As I fly over Spain en route to Ibiza, I’m reminded of the pain and adulation that will follow below over the next four days. Valderrama will play host this week to an enormous array of consequences, something it is probably well equipped to provide, given its natural brutality.
What’s worse is that I have friends playing who are in need of good results, just to keep their playing rights for next year. A position I was obviously in twelve months ago. Thankfully for them I guess, they’ve seen what I’ve managed to achieve this year, off the back of losing my card. This may provide them with some solace, I don’t know. But I suspect, due to our self absorbed tendencies being golfers, that their minds are deeply immersed within the winding cork trees of hell. It’s probably a good thing that the season ending event is being played around such a demanding golf course, as good golf will be sure to be rewarded. Valderrama is more than a putting exhibition, it’s a competition where getting the ball in play first is most important.
Another thing I’m reminded of, is the importance of understanding time. Twelve months ago, for a short moment, it did feel as though my world was crumbling down around me. I had to spend fifteen minutes in solitude reading every news app I had on my phone at the time, just to escape my own thoughts and immediate emotions following my double bogey finish. I only cried once I got back to my hotel room. This shows how gut wrenchigly painful it was for me a year ago, because I still felt these emotions in spite of being very aware of how it was only a moment in time. And one that I knew wouldn’t define me as a golfer, only refine me.
It’s always amazing how people suddenly ‘turn up’ when time is running out. The way Marc Warren has since September, just like he did last year. The shortage of time unquestionably focuses the mind. Some players will be going out this week simply knowing that they have to find another level, if they want to be part of the Rolex Series next year. Some may find ‘that’ level through nine holes, and then it becomes a mental battle to sustain it. Others will start poorly, as they have most likely been doing for a while, and the blues will kick in much earlier than they would’ve liked. This is the event where reality sets in, just like Q School. It’s a disgusting, yet wonderful period of time in golf. Because we go from being used to going week to week, to only seeing a cliff edge. And the drop for some will look scary, and for others look like an opportunity.
My dad’s foresight impressed me a year ago, as he predicted that 2017 would be my best year, and as things stand, he’s going to be proven right. I also felt the same. Out of bad often comes good, and usually always to those who think. Everything and everyone moves cyclically, something that is disappointing to the person who only wants hype. Successful people are level headed not because they were necessarily born that way, but because they learnt to be that way, in order to move with the inevitable eddy’s that careers bring.
Ibiza beckons for me though. Clubbing season is over, although not yet for Mick, I’ll be seeing you in Turkey.