The SK Telecom is being played at Pinx Golf Club on Jeju island which is a part of South Korea. It was an hour flight from Seoul to Jeju and since we have been here the weather hasn't been good enough really to see much of the water. It was raining on Monday limiting practice to some undercover range work, some rain putting and then finally when the rain stopped we managed to play 9 holes.
Pinx Golf club is high in the hills and so the fog/mist/clouds tend to hang around the course and in fact last year they reduced the event to 54 holes due to fog on the final day!! We have had some this year but not enough to stop play at all. Hopefully the tournament will not be affected this year. The course itself is very strong. There are a number of par 4's over 420 and all of the par threes are very strong holes. The fairways are good this week though which is a plus from last weeks long buffalo style grass.
Despite the length which is not a strength of mine, I am really excited about this course. I actually think it sets up really well for me. The tee shots in particular suit me as the fairway bunkers are all just a little further than where I will drive the ball to. I have enjoyed playing the course in practice and had some good success out there with not too many of the holes causing major problems. My long irons and fairway metals will need to be on this week but more importantly I need my wedge game and short game to be working to make the most of the shorter holes and par 5's as well as extricating me from any trouble I might find myself in.
Today I spent about 3hrs putting, working on speed control mainly as the greens are rolling quite fast. I worked on a particular drill for about an hour and a half which hopefully will pay dividends over the coming days. Dare I say it but it is the best I have felt over the putter for a long time. This week also sees the introduction of one of the best players in the world to the One Asia tour. For the first time this year KJ Choi joins us for the event. I have never met him but hopefully will be paired with him in the final group on Sunday where I can give him a touch up!!
I have just finished speaking with my coach, Big Kev, from Sanctuary Cove and he is really happy with the work I have done this week. The big change he has asked for from me this week is to increase my cockiness and arrogance in regards to feeling like I am good enough to play these big events. It is certainly something that doesn't come natural to me in golfing circles, to go out there and pump the chest out and walk and talk like I am a contender. But in reality I have enough game in the kit bag that suggests I do belong and if nothing else, winning with an 8 under par 62 in Wollongong last year against a quality field should tell me I've got game. Interestingly I would have no problems talking myself up in other sports but when it comes to golf I tend to be a little self conscious. Kev has recognised that having only coached me for a couple of months and I guess tomorrow is day 1 of the road to change.
So tomorrow is exciting, an opportunity to apply what I know, walk tall with swagger and take care of the processes and keep asking quality questions before each shot....."where do I want this ball to finish, what flight, what spin, what shape, what club......I am sure all of you reading this do that too, for every shot!! As usual I will post some photos from the course below so don't forget to have a look. Catch you tomorrow!!