Chris Wood Diary -- May 2011
by Chris Wood on May 7, 2011
I had to put out an SOS to Mizuno last week - for a new wedge.
I broke mine last week in Korea, not out of aggression but a pure accident. It got wrapped round a tree. I was playing a recovery shot and followed through into the trees. So thanks boys for coming to my rescue.
Perhaps that little mishap rather reflects how the last few weeks have gone – when things could go wrong they did!
It’s been nice to get back to Europe. I really struggled to enjoy the Asia swing. I didn’t play great, I was a long way from home, and I tend to struggle with the food.
Having a couple of different caddies didn’t help either. Dave McNeilly and I split up for a couple of months. Changing caddies always causes a bit of an upheaval. We’re back together now, though. We felt we needed a change. Dave was as happy as I was for us to get back together. We get on so well and it’s so easy working with him on the course. He’s a great caddie, not the best organized person but that’s his character. I have to accept every now and then he’s going to lose something, never his cool mind though. We’ve been together for two years. He knows my game so well and I trust everything he says on the course. With the season really kicking off now, it’s great for us to be back together. Sometimes it’s good to have a break and I think it’s done both of us good.
I just need things to settle down now and get 100 percent focused on what I’m doing on the course. I just feel like I’ve not been able to do that for a long time.
Everything boded well at the start of the year – lost in a playoff at the Africa Open – and I found a little bit of form on the desert swing. Dubai I played really nicely but I made a course management error on the 14th in the last round when I was only one shot off the lead. It was costly. I finished 10th in the end and I was very disappointed because I’d played well enough otherwise to win.
The game’s been there all season so far but I just haven’t been quite scoring well enough since the desert swing. So for a couple of months it’s been pretty frustrating. Amongst the other things my putting has held me back a bit again. The putting is still a work in progress really, although everyone feels they should hole a few more putts. The frustration comes through knowing my long game is so good that I’m setting up so many chances. But I’ve not been taking them. I have seen a bit of progress this week (at El Prat). I’ve felt I’ve putted well on greens that are very tricky.
My work with putting coach Phil Kenyon, which I started at last year’s Scottish Open, has helped tremendously. We changed my posture and grip and I’ve seen good results from the technical side. But we’ve got to a stage now that there’s not a lot more we can work on technically – maybe a little bit on the set-up.
I’m pleased to where we’ve got to in the last eight months but I’ve now decided to leave the technical side alone and try and get the ball in the hole rather than worry about what’s going on in the stroke.
My driving and iron play gives me nothing to worry about. With Mizuno we’ve been trying to better the MP-630 9.5 degree driver I’ve been using for over a year now - but we can’t find anything that can better it. I can’t drive the ball any better than I’m doing. All the numbers we’re getting on the Trackman with a couple of new drivers – slightly different shafts, movement of the weight a little in the head, slightly different loft – don’t show an improvement on what I’m using. So it proved Mizuno did a really good job a year ago for me. The MP-630 won’t be shifted.
The MP-68’s are going really well, though I'm due a new set because I’ve worn the sweet spots out! I’ve already added a couple of MP-63 long irons (#3 and #4) which give me a little more stability at that end of the bag. Like how they look in the bag too.
Anyway it’s been great to get back home to Bristol. I’ve already had a couple of barbecues on my balcony. Let’s hope I’ll be roasting a few courses over the next few months.