It’s now a decade since I last played competitive golf. I’d grown up playing the game, my dad was the club captain, and my brother, Niall, became a professional golfer. On his day Niall could be as good as anyone.
However, I started taking the game too seriously – as many low handicap guys do – and stopped enjoying it. And so I stopped. I just quit playing competitively, then I found the bike and that was that. A decade in the golfing wilderness, finding excuses NOT to play. I limited myself to a couple of games a year with my son and my brother.
Being the competitive type, I ended up becoming a competitive cyclist. This was a whole new sport to me, I had no idea where to start, so I got myself a coach. With no preconceptions about how you should do things, I put my faith in Ken, and over the past few years achieved more than I ever imagined I could. And now I’ve found golf again.
It’s funny – the way that people play and practice hasn’t changed in the time I’ve been away. The average handicap is still the same, and the majority of golfers don’t have a coach. They want to improve, some even set themselves goals and targets, but then blind faith takes over. And funnily enough nothing changes. As someone once said “if you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got”.
With my experience from cycling, I’m now looking at golf in a totally different light. I’ve got myself one of the best coaches (my brother Niall of course!), but also in Team McGill I have a fitness instructor a nutritionist and a mind coach.
In cycling we always had a training plan, so I’ve taken that and adapted it for golf. I even have recovery weeks built in! Fortunately Niall is a modern golf coach – a lover of technology and someone not afraid to challenge the status quo. And of course I’ll have our software system, www.loweryourscores.com to provide my team with performance data just like Training Peaks did for my cycling coach.
Just because “it’s always been done this way”, doesn’t mean that’s how we have to do things! Stay tuned……