The One A Into the West

‘On my last visit i talked about the four Bs. After a bitterly cold few days in Rosses Point there is only one A we need to talk about and that is ATTITUDE’

A week before the tournament top Irish coach Seamus Duffy organised a mini tournament for players that he coaches in the breathtaking resort of Rosapenna in Co. Donegal. It was my first time to the area and the scenic views on the drive to the golf club almost caused me to drive off the road. It really is that beautiful. The views don’t stop when you get to the golf course either. Stunning. A really fine golf course that tests every part of your game. It would be a fine venue for The Golfing Union to send a championship to in the foreseeable future. To make things even more enjoyable the director of golf Mr Frank Casey Jr looked after us so well we all believed we were tour players. 

The weather on the other hand was not so pleasant. A gale force northerly wind with the wind chill factor well below freezing. This was a day to battle the elements and breaking 80 was a respectable score. I had it going very well. Only a few over par until the middle of the back nine when i lost a ball after a good drive. Dropped a lot more over the last few holes and threw away the tournament. It was won by Paul Cutler. I played with Paul and he got a terrible start but kept grinding it out right till the end and picked up the trophy. It was a great example of attitude on a poor day. He excelled, where being honest, i failed on the last six holes.

But being the scientific guy i am i reviewed the experience! Identified the negatives and learned from them. Then used them as a positive. I was also pretty happy i got that bad round  out of the way at a small event  instead of the West of Ireland the following week.

I learned a lot from Paul’s attitude too. He was a top amateur. One of the best we have had. I followed him around the back nine when he won the Lytham Trophy and it was as fine a display of ball striking you will ever see. He hasn’t quite hit the big time just yet on the pro circuit but that will surely come. I remember Sam Torrance mentioning ‘Form is temporary, class is permanent’ regarding Lee Westwood when he was struggling with his game. Well that would describe Paul.

Having not played a lot of golf coming up to the West i wasn’t expecting a lot. I set some goals. Basically they all revolved around attitude. One of them was to have a big smile on my face for the week. Another was to embrace the conditions. I felt i achieved them pretty well for 99% of the week. I qualified pretty well in the top 15 and got beaten in 2nd round by Rory Leonard who gave a fantastic display of putting holing some big putts down the stretch. It was no surprise he gave the eventual winner his hardest game on his way to the trophy.

All in all it was a positive week and i hit the ball very solid most of the week. But the pleasing part of the week was the attitude. Some of the toughest weather conditions i have played over the years and i still came out smiling. Onwards and Upwards.