Latest Blog

Hindsight!!

Date: 11/12/2012

Article:
What was I saying about hindsight at the beginning of the year..When I had Pneumonia in February in Australia I tried to carry on, played in the New Zealand Open 3 weeks later, druged up to the nines, and collapsed in China the week after of exhaustion and why.because I never give up, I just dont want to give in. Normally you would be praised for your dedication and resilliance but really!! It seems like I have learnt nothing from my experience at the start of the year as I have done the exact same thing here in Dubai and China 4 weeks ago. I have carried on regardless!!!

I shot 74, 76 in Dubai, not disgraceful at all, especially with an injury. I gave it a try and unfortunately it wasnt good enough. I knew it was a long shot as I hadnt played much at all but told myself if I could get on a roll and hole some putts Id be fine. So I am now on my way back to the UK, I havent improved my position on tour and I still have a painful finger. I have organised a scan on Wednesday in London through the tour physio though so at least at last I will know what the bloody hell is wrong with it. I have to pay of course, I started the ball rolling with the NHS 12 weeks ago now and have only received an x-ray to date, (which I knew would be ok anyway and therefore was a complete waste of time.) Heaven knows when they would eventually send me for a scan, probably never!

So after 12 continuous exempt years on tour, there is a gap! There is however a category called Career money which allows 3 pros a week to enter the field, I am hopeful I will get some starts from that and I can always write for invites too. In the meantime I need to fix my finger and enjoy a different life for a couple of months while Im in a splint! It just might be the making of me!


dubai!

Date: 04/12/2012

Article:
Having played 2 tournaments in China and made 2 cuts I was quite happy with my performance given the ligament damage my finger sustained over a month previous! Being in the position I am in at the moment on the order of merit, playing is imperative and as you can guess, not helping my finger at all. I have tried to rest it as much as I can in between tournaments but it doesnt seem to be getting any betterI am in Dubai at the moment and have been to the hospital today to seek out a specialistHis expert opinion is that I need a scanas I have damaged either ligament or tendon and have instability in my index finger joint! I kind of knew that anyway, he just left out the painful bit!! However the bit I didnt like is that he thought it should be in a splinttoday!!! Apparently ligaments and tendons need total rest.not easy when its something you move all the time and imperative to my profession. The most annoying thing is that my swing is feeling really good and looking much better. Probably due to a new approach, not being able to hit balls..all I have been able to do is swing in a mirror, align myself correctly and make better body movementsThe trouble is I am here in Dubai to play in the season ending Dubai Ladies Masters and two days before he wants to splint my hand.mmmI can play but only with the use of anti-inflamitories and strong paracetomol, which obviously isnt helping my hand My plan was to try and improve my position on the order of merit, even with the ligament/tendon damage I thought if I could hole some putts and get it round, you never know what could happen. Given the odds are stacked against me but I have finished well here before and 9th last year, I also love the place which helps! Emirates golf club has a real homely feel to it and combined with excellent facilities probably the reason it's very popular among touring professionals. Let's cross our fingers...if I could! And see what we can do....


Tenerife Open

Date: 21/09/2012

Article:
I know everyone thinks the life of a professional golfer is the life of riley but I beg to differ at the moment! Its been one of the toughest years on tour for me this year, the main word being frustration! It started with Pneumonia 3 days into a 6 week trip to Australia New Zealand and China. After recovering from that Ive had numerous bouts of cold and flew sporadically throughout the year. On top of that I was determined to make improvements to my golf swing, mainly to do with the power leak that has plagued me for some time now. In looking into that I have managed to improve a lot becoming more consistent in the strike of the ball, taking a better divot and gaining a higher ball flight. However in making so many changes and trying to carry on playing tournament golf I unfortunately have had a tough time making the cuts. The first part of the year was very consistent although nothing special thanks to my poor putting average. The second half of the year my putting has improved but making the changes I have made and expecting them to repeat under pressure has been tough and very frustrating. In Austria a week ago my first 9 holes were very different to the next 27, basically it took me 9 holes to find my rhythm and then I was away. The last 27 I played in 2 under, the first 9 in 4 over par. I missed the cut by 2 shots in the end and that is where I'm at, at the moment, right in the transition. I have been very lucky in 12 years I have never had to go to qualifying school, however it remains to be seen this year if I can get some cuts made to keep me in the top 80 to keep my card for next year. I still have Tenerife, Biarritz, 2 tournaments in China and Dubai to go. It has turned a corner recently so lets see if we can do it, Ive always liked a challenge!!

Tour life has got to be one of the most miserable places when youre not playing well. Normally I dont mind my own company but when its not going well you seem to notice the lonely side to your life even more. Unfortunately it makes all the sacrifices even harder, you dont mind when its going well but when its not your often left questioning yourself. A good friend called me the other day to chat to me about this very thing, He thought going through what I was going through with my golf this year was hard for anyone but with me being on my own, he was concerned about me. I was truly touched that he had thought about me and understood what I was going through. He reiterated that he and his family were there for me. What a friend, Ill never forget that. Its lovely to have that support and when its not going so well I have to remember that I have people around me that care about me. On that subject my parents have been fantastic, AGAIN, over the last few weeks. Ive been like a frustrated bear with a sore head and I cant thank them enough for just listening to me ramble on! My parents are coming to Tenerife this week with me, I was sharing an apartment with two friends but she hurt her wrist last week and wont be playing golf for some time unfortunately. My parents have stepped in at the last minute and I am delighted they did. Hopefully I will relax a little more around them and enjoy the week more. I also have a friend on the bag from Fixby , Sandra, who is a good golfer in her own right and I have one of my teachers from Whitcliffe in Tenerife on holiday at the same time so support is everywhere this week, lets hope we can draw on that and have a good week!


Home Sweet Home

Date: 18/07/2012

Article:
Having made the great decision to not play in South Africa I have had some much needed time at home to reflect and work hard at my game. My game is progressing nicely now despite the rain and thanks to Ping for sending me a new emergency rain hat, Ive never had it off! Cant imagine Im going to meet anyone while Im wearing it but its doing its job! I have re- collaborated my putting and it is starting to feel normal again. As for my long game I need to play some more golf in the next two weeks and make the progression from practice ground to course. Only then will I be ready to take on the mighty Kileen Castle.

While Ive been at home working hard, Ive also been having a bit of fun. I had a fantastic day out at York Races with friends in the sunshine on Saturday and even managed to have a winner in the last race! Also a day trip to Northallerton, finishing off with a fish & chip dinner in Whitby last week was a real treat. Of course this week is British Open week and I am eagerly anticipating a day out at Lytham and then hours on my couch glued to every shot! I must say I was a little disappointed with the BBCs coverage last week of the Scottish Open so I am hoping they have their act together this week.

Ive also had lots done in and around the house while Im here, I left painting the windows and staircase to the professionals but I managed to do a pretty good job painting the shed in under 2 hours on Sunday. Having 5 weeks at home in July has been wonderful and unheard of in recent years, I have to pinch myself when I think I still have two weeks left!


Hard Times!

Date: 01/07/2012

Article:
Six tournaments in after being ill in Australia and it has been quite a frustrating 8 weeks.Ive had two weeks at home in the last 8 and normally by now I have had at least a top 10 finish but this season despite my endless work and frustration I cant seem to bring it all together yet!!Putting has been the main worry, my average is well up on where it normally is and despite working hard on it, it still escapes me when they roll by the hole. I now have 5 weeks at home though and I have already started my campaign to get it back on track in time for the second half of the season. My long game is improving all the time however, resulting in more greens being hit and added length to my drives, at least there is some sign of improvement for all my hard work! I have been more consistent though making a run of cuts but when youre used to moving up the board on a weekend and suddenly your moving down, its not a very nice feeling!

However I am back home for a few weeks, I decided not to fly half way around the world to South Africa to earn very little prize moneyAt well over a thousand pounds to get there you would have to finish better than 8h to cover your costs, let alone make any money. I much rather have some time at home with my family and friends, work hard at my game with my coach and physio and get ready for the second half of the season. I was practicing at Fixby today and it is in great shape, I cant wait to spend some time up there and at Cleckheaton while Im home. Im sure Ill have a lot to catch up on from the junior girls at Cleckheaton; they never cease to amaze me with their age and capabilities. Its great to see!




May

Date: 06/05/2012

Article:
Well the golf in Morocco wasnt anything to write about and therefore its taken me until now to get around to itsorry! The greens werent great but 35 putts on average everyday and some very frustrating long game meant it was a week to forget, even with a 4 under par on the last day 37th wasnt quite what I was looking forHowever I managed to drown my sorrows at the party on the last night, my god them European Tour boys can dance!!!!

So Ive had nearly 5 wonderful weeks at home, apart from the weather in the last week I have treasured every moment of it. Ive done a lot of work with my physio and coach and my biomec results show a real change in the mechanics of my golf swing which is very exciting news. Ive still a long way to go and a lot more to learn but at least its starting to change and change is definitely what Im after.

After the disappointing start in Australia, having bronchitis I am raring to go in Scotland for the first of many tournaments throughout Europe this season. My parents are coming too for their first event in some while so its going to be a great road trip with the folks! We play a different format this week, similar to the Dunhill where one professional plays with an amateur partner. It was great fun last year with my partner Nick Theakstone and I have been chosen again apparently, so I must have done something right! Im really looking forward to the week.

The golf is still taking its time to come together but with only 1 months practice under my belt all year, I guess I cant grumble.I made the cut which is at least something but when the highlight of your week is your amateur partner having a hole in 1 then theres plenty of room for improvement in my game.Me and Nick had a great week and enjoyed every minute, I finally started playing something like on the back nine on Sunday but couldnt help him into anything better than 4thwell win it next year Nick!


Morocco

Date: 19/03/2012

Article:
There really is no place like home.. Just less than two weeks in my own bed with a bit of cooking, a few nights out and in with friends, just the tonic! I even had time to tend to the ever-growing rose climber that started to dominate the front of the house and lane sometimes. I am very lucky to have a fantastic family and some great friends around me and have thoroughly enjoyed a good dose of both while Ive been at home.

An early start this morning, 7.00am from Manchester to Agadir, so far its been crystal clear and smooth. I must admit it does feel a little early to be getting on another plane but after that start to the year I could do with getting some points on the board! I am fit and healthy though which is a good start and although I might not be match fit Im looking forward to working at my game and playing without aches and pains.

We are playing alongside the men this week in Morocco. Quite a few of the northern lads are on the same plane, its lovely to see them all and catch up even if its only for a week. JD has already commented that we should do this every week; I think overall the standard of golf might suffer but the functions would be fantastic! The parties are normally great fun and if this mornings banter is anything to go by it should be a good week.

The forecast is for 30 degrees all week in AgadirI dont think Ive ever been as tanned as I am right now so I dread to think what colour I will be after this week. We are playing a new golf course this year, which is a welcome relief to the previous one; lets hope its in good condition. Im really looking forward to playing this week, I had a lesson while I was at home and what we are working on at the moment is really exciting. It amazes me that after 10 years on tour and 23 years playing golf I am still so excited to practice and work at my game. Lets see if we can put it all together and have a good week!


China

Date: 07/03/2012

Article:
Having committed myself to playing the event in China I thought a week recovering in Dubai before hand would be perfect for me before flying another 10 hours. I could stay with my good friend Tom who houses me for the Dubai Ladies Masters and practice at the Emirates after some good rest at the beginning of the week. What a plan! And it saved me from flying home and back again. It was a great week, lots of rest followed by some good practice and my normal enthusiasm for the game was at an all time high! I was quite tired still but managing to do some good work. Looking back I did too much but at the time my enthusiasm to play some golf again and work at my game had taken over. Plus I absolutely love the Emirates golf club, so for me, I was in my element.

I arrived in China after two not so nice China Southern flightshowever when we pulled into the Mission Hills Resort and got inside the hotel lobby, all was forgotten. Mission Hills Hainan Island is where the men play their World Cup so for us a delight to be invited to follow in their footsteps. The first two days were cold and overcast for China and helped my chest to recover even with a Pro-am thrown in. The first day of the event I was out late and the heat had returned along with the humidity! 28 degrees and 98% humidity was a bit of a struggle but I fought hard all day and was doing well at 1 over par until I came to the last
hole. I hit a good drive then very unlike me fatted an 8 iron into a water hazard in front of the green. Looking back I was exhausted and had lost my concentration out there long before the 18th hole. I had a hot bath for my pulled rib muscle and got to bed early. I had been sleeping 11 and 12 hours every night since I arrived in China so with only 8 hours ahead of me that night I was eager to get to bed.

The next morning I didnt want to get out of bed, again unlike me. Im normally eager to claw shots back on a second day and love the challenge that brings to making the cut but soon into the round I knew there was nothing left in the tank. I eventually gave in on the 14th hole, feeling absolutely exhausted I retired. A very unfamiliar feeling for me to try and narrow the focus, try harder if you will and get worse!! Another day at 98% humidity and heat in the 30s had finished me off. In hindsight going to China wasnt a good decision but I really thought after the week in Dubai that I would be able to compete. Unfortunately I hadnt factored in the humidity, which can be a struggle when youre fit and healthy, let alone recovering from Bronchitis. I stayed in the room away from the humidity and slept and slept for the next couple of days. I knew I wasnt myself and was eager to get on the long flight HOME.

Flying into Manchester at 7am on Tuesday morning was a beautiful sight! It was a gorgeous sunny crisp day, my favourites. It was a lovely welcome home after such a long and unsuccessful trip! Ive spent this week recovering at home, seen my doctor and physio for the rib and have made progress. I hope to be well enough to play in morocco a week on Monday so if the weather stays like this I should be able to start practicing again by the middle of the week. Theres no place like HOME!


New Zealand

Date: 21/02/2012

Article:
I was able to play in New Zealand and did get stronger every day, however as this year is going so far, not without it's complications! Over the first two days I was having dizzy spells on the course and frightened the infection had moved to my ears and now affecting my balance I took myself into an after hours doctors surgery in Christchurch after play on Saturday. To my suprise it was my blood pressure that was dropping when I stood up from reading a putt and thankfully not my ears! I was told to take more salt in my food and electrolytes to replace what my body had lost during my illness...it seems to be working!
Having made the cut, I was a tired girl carting my body around that golf course on Sunday! I did have less dizzy spells but the week had taken its toll and all that coughing had on my ribs! I had pulled a rib muscle and with 18 holes still to complete it was a real struggle to get round! The weather was horrendous too. Cold, raining and a two hour delay was totally different from the 27 degrees and sunny the day before!
I got it around, made some unfamiliar errors and holed nothing so I made a bet with Steve on the 5th tee with 5 holes still to complete that if I birdied 2 holes out of the last 5 then he would buy me a bailey's coffee, if I didn't they were on me. It worked! We birdied 6 & 7. I felt good stood on the 8th tee with two to play at 1 over par but unfortunately the golfing gods had a different idea! My tee shot on the par 3 8th hole plugged in the face of the bunker and was the worst plugged ball I've ever seen! 3 shots later i'm out of the bunker, two putts for an eventual triple bogey!!! Can't remember the last time I had one of them. I should have declared it unplayable for a penalty with hindsight but I wouldn't say i was at my sharpest that day! I was obviously deflated to finish like that. Although happy I made the cut and even happier to be back playing some golf!

A big thank you goes to my host family for the week John & Mary Harris. It is the second time I have stayed with them now in their beautiful house and yet again they made me feel like part of the family. I thoroughly enjoy their company and really appreciate Mary's delicious cooking every night! Also my caddie Steve and his wife Liz, who hosted a very enjoyable barbeque on Saturday night, when I eventually got there after seeing the doctor! A fabulous evening and a great idea liz to get to know one another away from the pressures of the golf course. On the golf course Steve was fantastic yet again and the bailey's coffee was just what the doctor ordered on a cold wet day but not a patch on my Dad's creation every Christmas! I very much hope to return to New Zealand if not to play golf then to visit the lovely friends I have met during my stay in Christchurch. Thank you! and hope to see you all again soon!


Australia Bound

Date: 20/02/2012

Article:
32 hours door to door and Iím down under again for the start of the 2012 season. Iím amazed it has come around so soon, it only seemed a couple of weeks ago that I was on my way home from Dubai and looking forward to Christmas. Maybe its because Iím getting olderÖ.I definitely feel old after that trip!!! Every plane you get on these days is absolutely packed jam, it used to be lovely to have a few spare seats around you, especially if no body else had noticed them but unfortunately now it seems to be a thing of the past.

I have flown to Melbourne and have a day to get over my jet lag before playing a practice round at the qualifying course for the Australian Open tomorrow. I must admit I feel completely upside down at the moment so a nice walk, a bit of putting in the room and some stretching is probably all Iíll do today.

Had my practice round at kingswood in Melbourne where they are holding the qualifying for the Aussie open and after a $100 cab ride i'm now sat on a plane up to the gold coast. My jet lag seems ok, I was fine while I was playing golf this morning but I hit a wall in the airport, nothing a coffee didn't fix! Unfortunately that 35 hours in Melbourne is thanks to Golf Australia co-sanctioning the Aussie open with the LPGA, LET members have to Monday qualify for the tournament now, which has just cost me £200! Cheers golf Australia!

From Melbourne I then fly up to the gold coast to stay with my friendís the Mathiouís for a week and then start the 2012 season with the ANZ Ladies Masters. From there it is back down to Melbourne and the Australian Womenís Open, from there New Zealand Womenís Open and on the way home, a late edition, the World Ladies Championship in Hainan Province, China. At the moment it is proving quite a nightmare to get a visa to travel to China so as long as I can get that I will play. It involves loads of paperwork, a drive to Brisbane to the Chinese Embassy and another one to pick it up should it be successful, thank goodness Iíve got a week before the tournament starts to mess about with all thatÖwish me luck!

I'm on my way up to the gold coast to stay with my friends Jamie & Sjaan for the Week before the Anz Ladies Masters. I'm hoping for good weather because it has rained nearly every day for a fortnight and that course floods pretty easily... I would imagine we'll have a catch up day with the family tomo and at some point a surf at the local beach with Sjaan! Awesome! Hoping for no manta rays or blue bottles this year though! I can't wait to see them all again. Apparently they have renovated the house and built a new two storey pool / fun house as big as their house, I bet it's fantastic! They live in a great place not far from the beach and with an amazing view of the hills, gorgeous! I'm off the wine while I'm on tour but I'll have to enjoy at least one glass on their new balcony, well it would be rude not to!

Day 3 on the gold coast and it hasn't stopped raining yet! Every golf course in the area is closed and under water. I rang a driving range yesterday to see if it was open and I was told they were evacuating!! I can't believe how unlucky I am with the weather here. Every year my friends pull my leg that I bring the rain and this year it's more like a monsoon!!! If it carries on like this I'm not sure there will be a tournament this year. At least it will give me some time to try and sort a Chinese visa out in Brisbane. That way I won't have to go home and pick up my other passport. I can stay in Dubai for a few days and travel to china from there, much easier and less flying time, let's hope that works out!

I bet your all wondering where I am and why I havenít played any golf so far in AustraliaÖ.
Unfortunately 5 days into my stay on the gold coast I developed a chest infection and 3 days after that it developed into full blown bronchitis!! I have been very lucky in 10 years on tour I have never been proper poorly away from home, until now! It has been horrendous, unable to do anything for myself, consuming tablets on tablets, coughing to the point of being sick and a wheezing uncomfortably tight chest. I withdrew from the ANZ the day before and still hoped to be better for the Aussie Open but unfortunately the infection had a different idea. Friday of the ANZ masters I went back to another doctor courtesy of my dear friend Sjaan that had rescued me from the apartment I was sharing. I knew I was poorly due to the constant fever and the paracetomol, I couldnít go 4 hours without but I was asking the doctor when he thought I would feel better again to be able to play some golf. He stopped me in my tracks when he replied that I was very ill and if I saw no improvement in 48 hours I would be going to Hospital with Pneumonia!!! Now that got my attention.

Sjaan took me home and made sure I did everything to aid my recovery and thankfully two days later I had turned the corner and the fever had subsided. I was on antibiotics, which I am still on today but within a couple of days I was off the constant paracetemol and able to lay on a day bed and get some fresh air. I withdrew from the Aussie Open with a heavy heart but was very thankful to be feeling better. The doctor had said it could take anything up to 3 weeks to recover but thanks to the Mathiouís 12 days later I am sat on a plane to New Zealand. I canít thank Sjaan & Jamie enough for taking me in and taking such good care of me. Heaven knows what state I would have been in if I was alone. I am still on antibiotics and have a ventolin to help me breathe so I am travelling to New Zealand maybe a little early than I would like but I am eager to see if I can play some golf. However if Iím not right when I get there I will definitely not be playing. Thatís one infection I donít want to reappear! Iím going to continue to look after myself, enjoy the fresh New Zealand air and hope it will aid my recovery, if I happen to be fit enough to play some golf while Iím here, Iíll be delighted!


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