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“The weak don’t last. The strong do.” Ruby Walsh

2013 was a great year. The 2nd half of the season didn’t quite match the first half but any year you win a championship, especially if its the biggest one held on the island of Ireland, its a year to be very content with. All in all i played very inconsistent golf all season but as a friend of mine pointed out, you would much rather play inconsistent and win than play consistent and not win. For 2014 my goal is to play more consistent and win! With the work I’ve been putting in during the off season i see this as a very realistic goal.

One of the highlights of 2013 for me was winning a bronze medal in the Leinster 200 metres indoors back in march. I didn’t run my best race but i was thrilled to be able to compete at this event despite only taking it up a few months earlier. Since the golf season finished up in October I’ve been training pretty hard on the track with a great group of people Brian Murphy, Brian Gregan and Shauna Cannon. Our coach John Coghlan has being doing a superb job and has us all running really well. Ive always been a big believer that you should surround yourself with great people. You get as far in life as those you chose to have around you. Ive been very lucky to hang out and train with these guys this winter and there is no doubt in my mind it will help me in 2014 on the track and on the golf course. Im very much looking forward to racing a bit more this year. Its a great way to take your mind off golf. I always advise parents to keep their kids playing other sports. It is vitally important for fundamental movement skills and for the ability to improve sport specific skills. Playing other sports improves you physically and also psychologically.

Ive also been very lucky to be part of the 8 man Irish team selected to go to South Africa for two tournaments end of january/early february. One of the tournaments is the South African Amateur and its a great honour to be able to play in that. Its a great way to kick off the 2014 season with 2 weeks in the sun and its even better that its with two prestigious tournaments. Its sure to stand to us all for the rest of the season. I haven’t completely decided on my playing schedule for 2014 but i plan to keep myself nice and fresh as much as possible and to avoid playing several weeks in a row. It was one of the mistakes i made last season and it won’t happen again. I play my best golf when fresh and thats very evident to me now.

I guess its one of the benefits of being older and wiser. I am coming into the peak of my golf career over the next few seasons with all the experience I’ve picked up over the years. In sport, and in life, experience is vital. Im sure i wasn’t the only one who was impressed with the experienced members of the American team in the Walker Cup. The team seemed to have the perfect blend of youth and experience. The two Irish lads Gavin and Kevin were the two brightest lights on the GB and I team. They were fantastic. But it was great to see the “older” gentlemen of the American side do so well. I use as much modern day sports science as i can to help me in my work and play but you can’t put a price on experience. With a bit of hard work and a bit of luck having that extra bit of experience should make 2014 a great one. Im certainly going to enjoy it anyway and looking forward to the challenges it brings.

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength” Arnold

Happy New Year