End of season 2019.

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The MCB Indian Ocean Swing, Staysure Tour.

In cooperation with the Staysure Tour, the MCB Bank has established the Indian Ocean Swing, a final series of 3 tournaments played in Madagascar, Seychelles and Mauritius.

It has been an eventful 3 weeks with our first visit to Madagascar and exceptionally hot and humid weather in the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The first tournament in Madagascar turned out to be a very tricky course because of small greens and rock-hard fairways, that often had some slope to them and made them extremely difficult to keep the ball on the fairways. It was the trickiest golf course I have played on the European Tour and the Staysure Tour. Scoring was high all week, naturally. I didn’t hit a driver in the final round, because I was low on confidence with it and we weren’t allowed to practice with the driver on the range. In the first round I got off to a terrible start and was 9 over through 11 holes. I struggled with the swing, coping with the course and the tricky conditions. I managed to recover some of the lost ground in round 2 and 3 but was really happy to see the last hole played. I got some competition golf in after a seven-week break and that is all I got out of the week. Well not all, also a bit of stomach trouble from the Madagascar food .

Week two, off to Seychelles. We arrived in the Seychelles a day late, because Madagascar Airways had technical problems with the charter flight the Staysure Tour had hired to bring us to the Seychelles. Luckily, we were saved by Air Seychelles. They send down a plane from Dubai to pick us up and fly us to the Seychelles, but we lost a much-needed practice day. I struggled all week with the swing again, getting my clubhead too much on the inside and behind me. When this happens, I have to use my hands to square up the clubface and makes it difficult to get a consistent ball flight. My scores were consistent though, shooting 73 – 73 – 71 to finish tied 27th.  It was a step up from the week in Madagascar, but I am not where I want to be. The swing I had practiced in Denmark with coach Leif Nyholm before the trip was nowhere to be found. It is really difficult for me to bring the club out in front of me and not feel like I am cutting or slicing the ball, because it feels like I come across the ball. It will take a lot of time and practice to get back to a good shaft/clubhead position on my downswing.

No delay in getting to Mauritius and I had time to practice because we arrived on Sunday and the tournament was to start the following Friday with two days of pro-am Wednesday and Thursday. Unfortunately, stomach trouble and excessive tiredness kept me off the practice ground pretty much all week. I managed to get better for the tournament but was never 100% healthy. Nevertheless, I had a really good week, actually the best week for a long time. Shooting 69 – 69 – 72 finishing 7th. I still struggled with the position of my clubhead and used at least 20 different swing fixes during the tournament. 

I almost felt in control at times in the final round and it was really a shame I didn’t make the birdie putts early in the round because I had lots of chances and the ball danced around the hole most of the day. I am happy with the result and I am certainly improving my putting. It has slowly gotten better throughout the year after I started using the line on the ball and trusting it. I made another small change this week, addressing the ball towards the heal. I sometimes pull the clubhead towards me when I follow through and hit the ball towards the toe. Addressing the ball towards the heal made the ball come out of the clubhead from the sweet spot and gave me a much better roll. The improved putting and a relaxed focused mental state will be on top of the agenda for the 2020 season.

It is time to take time off from a disappointing season and I will evaluate on what is going to happen in 2020. I am happy to have moved back to Denmark and being closer to coach Nyholm, this will make a big difference for my golfing future. Finishing on a high note has done my motivation and confidence a lot of good. I am looking forward to updating my plans for 2020 sometime in the new year.

I wish all a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Holiday greetings,

Steen.