Date: May 03, 2012

Griffin blog: training regimes and on tour in Japan

By Matt Griffin The last month has been a little bit quieter with only one event in Japan surrounded by some hard practice. While only one event it would be really important, as it would determine whether I would play on the main tour or on the secondary tour in Japan. After returning from New Zealand I had the chance to put in a couple of big weeks in the gym and on the golf course. I put into place a couple of new programs in the gym, which have been really good and I definitely noticing some extra strength through the swing. This work has enabled me too make some good swing improvements with my coach, which has been really positive. We aren t quite there yet but some good results are just around the corner I m sure. So after a couple of weeks of hard work it was off to Japan and firstly to attempt to pre qualify for the Tsuruya Open a main tour event. The Monday would be a really important day as if I could qualify and have a solid week in the tournament I would jump up the re-rank and get most of the rest of the year on the main tour. So it was basically qualify and get the opportunity to play for $1-$2 million every week or miss and play for $150k on the challenge tour. A big day you would say! The good news was the course is really popular with the Aussies and in my practice round I took a liking to the course as it favoured my length. Luckily I was in one of the last groups as when I arrived at the course my clubs went missing as one of the caddies mistakenly thought my clubs were those of one of the other Aussie boys. So with broken Japanese/English we managed to get them back finally and I could warm up. The day would start well as I made the turn at 3 under and in real control of my game. A couple of near misses on 10 and 11 and then a nice drive on 12 left me in good position. What I couldn’t see though was the mud on my ball and the shot flew with a hard fade into trouble and a double awaited. I bounced back with birdies on 15, 16, and 17 to get back to 4 under and in control before we stood on the long par 4 last and it started pouring with rain. The hole got a lot longer and a near miss with the putter led to a bogey and a 69 total. I hoped it would still be enough but unfortunately the scoring was great and I missed by one. This was a real kick in the guts as I had played really nicely but to no avail. Having missed pre qualifying it was then off to Tokyo en-route to the Japan Challenge event north of Tokyo. Tuesday would be spent with Ryoko from Titleist who is looking after my travel arrangements as we set about organizing bank accounts and my re-entry visa. After a total of 12 trains and 3 taxis I eventually made it to my next hotel after a long day but I would have been lost without Ryoko for sure. That is one thing about the Japanese people they will do anything to help you. The train ride across the country was also spectacular with all the Cherry Blossoms out in full bloom. After good nights sleep it was time to prepare for the Challenge event and the game felt in good shape. The Challenge events are funny as you play with 1 caddy between 4 players and have an hour break in the middle of your round. The course was challenging and quiet severe around the greens but I played solidly early on to be 1 under through the turn. I came out on the back nine and played nice but copped a couple of horrible bounces, which proved costly, and I ended up missing the one round cut. It was a long day walking off the course 6.5 hours after beginning and fair to say I was looking forward to the flight home. That is golf though some times it gives you a lot and others takes it away. Since being home I have been preparing for a 5 week stretch of event beginning with 2 One Asia events in Korea before heading to Japan for 3 challenge events. My game feels in great shape so I am looking forward to some good finishes coming up. Till next month! Matt Griffin is a former National Squad member and current member of Golf Australia&aposs Rookie Professional Program. This blog can also be found at his website