I’m away from home about two or three weeks a month, and then I’ll fly twice a week, to the tournament and back. European flights are like a bus ride, lasting only an hour or two, but the longer flights are more of a strain, especially if you cross time zones and get jetlag.
Time to adjust
During long flights, I try to get as much sleep and rest as possible. Sometimes I’ll watch a movie or read a book, mainly biographies about sportsmen like Armstrong and Agassi, and I’ll start my mental preparation for the tournament. If I’m travelling long-distance, I make sure I get there at least two or three days beforehand. Tournaments always start on a Thursday and go on through Sunday. When I go to European tournaments, I’ll arrive on Tuesday morning, and when I travel long-distance, I’ll arrive on Sunday or Monday. That gives me time to adjust, which is vital especially in Asia and America where the temperature and humidity are different and the grass is different, which means it responds differently. You need a couple of days to get into your stride and get to know the course well.
Not easy on love
The fact that I’m away thirty weeks of the year, makes it difficult for my girlfriend. The main advantage is that, when I’m home, I’m always around, except when I’m training, of course. Still, I try to adjust my schedule to suit her as much possible. And sometimes she’ll fly over for the weekend. Fortunately, we have the internet and cell phones nowadays, which makes it easier to stay in touch. The only person I see a lot is my caddy, who accompanies me wherever I go, which is why it’s important that we get along well.
It’s all business
When I go somewhere, I’ll be there for the tournament, not to explore the surroundings. Of course I saw the Great Wall of China when I was there, but I don’t free up more than two hours to go there. Museums? A quaint little market? Maybe in my next life. It’s not a very romantic lifestyle. It’s all business. Everything that doesn’t support my game is bad for my performance. I’m in it to win.
I hope I’ve managed to give you an interesting look behind the scenes in these blogs. I’m now going to start my final preparations for the KLM Open, which starts tomorrow.