By Matt Griffin
Over the past month it has been nice to get back playing and at the back end of the month have played the Victorian PGA at the Forest Resort in Creswick and then the QLD PGA up in Toowoomba.
To start February I continued on with the intensive program in the gym, which has shown some good results.
In testing I was able to increase my weight by just under a kilogram whilst reducing my body fat. Basically this means more lean muscle and hopefully more power whilst increasing my ability to keep good posture throughout the swing.
The aim is to look to add another 2-4 kilos and then should be where I want to be. Has been interesting to see Rory McIlroy put on a little over the summer as well. We have pretty similar body shapes but would like some of his results!!
While going through this program I have also been working on the swing with Denis McDade and some good improvements have come along. Getting closer to being where we want to be with the club being on plane for longer. The short game is coming along well too so if I can lock these in some good scores should be just around the corner.
With all this work it was nice to put some of this into action at the Victorian PGA at Creswick.
It is a new course that provides plenty of challenges on a very hilly piece of land. You have to keep it on the fairway as the trees are very dense while the greens have a huge amount of slope. I played solidly all week and after rounds of 69 and 71 wasn’t too far away heading into the weekend.
Actually played my best golf on the Saturday but had no luck with the putter and shot 72 which was disappointing. Then on Saturday copped a bad break on the 5th that would lead to a triple bogey as my ball came up against a massive stick just off the fairway. Battled back to shoot 72 but finished 17th only 7 away from the eventual winner Gareth Paddison who played great all week.
Plenty of positive signs to take out of the week though.
On the Sunday night made a quick trip back to visit the old cricket club from the junior days for Cheltenham’s 150th anniversary. It was good to catch up with plenty of old friends and coaches.
If it wasn’t for golf I reckon I would still be playing cricket there as I always loved it.
It was then onto the QLD PGA at the City Golf Club in Toowoomba. Had an early lesson on Monday morning and a bit of practice before heading north on the Tuesday.
The weather forecast looked horrible but we were lucky enough to get the first two days of play. Struggled early on Day 1 but played well coming home to begin with a 69 around the par 70 layout. Day 2 was tricky with wind and rain but played really nicely to shoot 67 and move into contention.
Day 3 saw the rain really arrive and after an initial delay we got out on the course just as it started to really come down.
With everything getting drenched I started birdie, birdie to move right in contention but then bogied the third in torrential rain. The siren went to suspend play again and we got out on course a couple of hours later for one and a half holes before the rain came again ending the days play.
Overnight rain left the course unplayable and with the rain finally clearing we finally had a restart at 12.30pm after being at the course at 5.30 in the morning.
The course was pretty waterlogged but it was great we got 54 holes in. For the rest of the round I couldn’t really find my rhythm and made a couple of birdies and bogies. The slower greens killed me as I left a couple of putts short in the heart.
A final round of 71 left me in a tie for 15th and my 3rd top 20 for the year out of 3 events.
This has been good given all the work of course but top 5’s is what we are really after. They aren’t far away though. A great finish by Andrew Tschudin saw him take out the win which was great to see. Definitely one of the nice guys on tour and a quality player.
In the next month I will have a few events starting with the Jeep Fourball on the Gold Coast. It is then home for a couple of weeks, which will include being best man at a wedding. Really looking forward to the wedding day and I’m working on the speech now.
In late March it is then off to Indonesia for the Indonesian Open and the start of the One Asia year before heading to Queenstown in New Zealand for the NZ PGA.
Matt Griffin is a former National Squad member and current member of Golf Australia’s Rookie Professional Program. This blog can also be found at his website www.matthewgriffingolf.com