The Tapestry Of Life

I’m sure there’s a Chinese proverb out there somewhere that satisfies my thoughts, one that explains my downfalls, one that lays out my pathway to a brighter future, but nothing you read can ever replace the reality of something. I’ve always felt that even if the closest person in my life died, I could take it and move on, use it for motivation and inspiration. But the shock of reality is what gets you. Thankfully nobody has died, I only ‘lost’ my Tour card. The prospect of that happening never scared me, the future doesn’t scare me. But the shock of what happened in Portugal was something I wasn’t expecting.

Unfortunately 2016 has been the year I came to the realisation I don’t love this game the way I used to. It’s like being married to someone you have such a deep, inextricable connection to. It beats you up, yet you still come back for more. Don’t get me wrong I love the challenge of getting better, and I really enjoy being in the hunt on Sunday. That makes me feel alive. But golf has shown me it’s darker, more insidious side this year. Of course the irony is you only ever witness this part when you, the individual, start spiralling out of control. I’d say I started wandering the corridors of discontent with my game sometime last year, and I thought I knew which door I needed to take to get out, but yet I could never open it. That hasn’t happened to me for a while. I went from being a talented 18 year old, to a good professional because I used my brain and figured out what my weaknesses were and how I would go about fixing them.

For me, 2016 is full of lessons. I’ve worked tirelessly this year on the range, especially since June, and yet I hit it worse on the course. I’ve learnt that no matter how good you feel in practice, that sense of perfection gets thrown out of the window once you enter the realms of competition. Logically this game doesn’t make much sense. In competition it’s not about what you know, it’s purely down to what you do. I’ve learnt, not for the first time, that looking at your golf swing in slow motion on the camera, yearning to see better positions, guarantees you nothing. I’ve gone full circle in remembering that it’s the order in which things move in the golf swing that truly matters. I may be considered smart, but if I was as smart as some may think, I’d never have found myself in the position I am, because honestly, I knew much of what I needed to do. But sometimes learning is remembering, and that’s harder than I could ever have imagined.

This is where it goes even deeper…

Possibly darker too. I never envisaged that struggling on the course with my golf would have the impact it did on my mood. My quality of life waned as my golf deteriorated gradually and became more frustrating. I considered myself rounded enough not to let anything golf related affect my personal life. But the truth is, I had to eliminate many aspects of life to enable me as a golfer to succeed in the first place. I had to become my own best friend because growing up I sacrificed relationships for my golf. But that’s also why I’ve always maintained that the most important thing in life is to be a nice person, because careers come and go, but if you sacrifice being a good person in order to become a great achiever, you’ll experience the unintended side effects once it’s all over. And loneliness will probably top that list.

On a brighter note, Donald Trump could be president this time next week…

Putting the doom and gloom above behind, the future looks pretty appetising for me. I’ve figured a good deal out regarding my swing recently. Since the Italian Open to be specific. Physically I’ve changed things up a little bit, incorporating the two trainers I’ve been working with so that we’re all singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak. I’m looking to carry on the good form I showed at the end of this season into 2017, and indeed Q School before that. I’m spending Christmas in Bali with friends. I own gold so if and when Donald Trump does become president, I can sell it and live like an Arabian Prince for a while. And above all, I live 250 yards away from Waitrose which sells the best cake on the planet. Mary Berry ain’t got shit on this one let me tell you.

I wasn’t even going to write this blog, until Richard Ashcroft started playing on my Spotify. Any Ashcroft fans may be able to spot his influence in this blog. Blinding lyricist that guy.

As a friend text me recently who works on the Tour; ‘Sorry things aren’t as straightforward as you’d like. Tapestry of life etc…’ We wouldn’t want life any other way would we?

 

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44 Responses to The Tapestry Of Life

  1. Les bayliss says:

    You are a credit. You are also a quality player. You will come back even stronger because that’s the type of person you are. Thoughtful caring to others. I would say good luck but you don’t need that 🙂

  2. aimee says:

    you’re an inspiration for me! hang in there.

  3. Good luck at Girona, Eddie.

  4. always nice to read your blog > My only regret you did not considered using my stuff > http://www.caddieplayer.com I recall back in Shanghai Masters last year presenting you the brochure…. > Your swing action remind me my first client Emiliano Grillo now successfull on the PGA tour. All the best and see you in 2017…. I do not own gold but water well… who knows one day they might worth gold 😉

  5. Ger Fenney says:

    Good for you Eddie
    Upwards and Onwards

  6. Karen Pearson says:

    I love reading your blog, you have a great down to earth view of your golf. Just remember there are loads of us wishing you well.

  7. David Willis says:

    You won’t recall this Eddie but at the end of the first round in the Abu Dhabi Championship in 2013 you came over to me, about six or seven steps, and thanked me for scoring your game. You shook my hand. I said to myself this is a remarkable young man, brilliant golfer and a good guy too. He will go far. You ‘re travelling Eddie and you’ll visit some great places.

  8. Peter says:

    Next to the idiotic, the dull unimaginative mind is the best for golf.
    WALTER SIMPSON

  9. nbmech1@gmail.com says:

    Its not easy, no its very difficult understanding why we lose something which was there before? A swing thought? A lapse in concentration? A belief in yourself? Pressure building up based upon reality? Its hard to pin point, perhaps its a combination of many things? However, the facts are that you have managed to get to this destination. You have risen the ranks, you have gained the knowledge and you had the belief that yes i can do it you is still in the locker!
    I have had the opportunity to see you and Jamie combine thoughts, turn them into shots and play great golf. It’s easy Golf, when things just become natural and its effortless. Its there Eddie and it will never leave you. Those are the times i remember.

    • Hamish Johns says:

      “Dig the well before you are thirsty”

      Enjoying reading your tapestry and nourishing myself with your wisdom.

  10. andrew picken says:

    I love your open style of self analysis.I have no doubt that you WILL succeed.I have no sage words of advice and I certainly don’t have any mystical oriental words of wisdom.Perhaps I could suggest “Trust yourself and trust your own instincts.” Look where they have taken you in your journey in life to date. You have a massive support network,many of whom you have not yet met.Wishing you well in your next challenges.

  11. Peter wilks says:

    A great writing awonderful read all best for the future there!s always need of good golf journalist
    You would as good as any of the new ones I have read
    Regards

  12. Daniel Field says:

    It’s all just life. Good luck at tour school Eddie. I wish you all the best, hope you and tom both get through.

  13. Andy Dutton says:

    Good to hear from you, Young’un. I followed you round The Grove on the Saturday and all seemed in good order. Best of luck at Q School and stay positive. Enjoy Christmas with your friends. They’re what matter, after all.

  14. James says:

    Yesterday , After finishing bogey, triple, triple, bogey to lose my state title by 2 shots. To put the collapse into perspective,I had just hit the first 14 greens to be -2 fit the day and level par for 32 holes. I woke this morning rather somber and noticed your latest blog. The hollow feeling and almost shame of being so pathetic doesn’t seem fair. Funny, writing this has brought me to tears.
    After almost 40 years of golf I can totally agree that on the course it’s how you can control the sequence of movements. I swing it better now than I ever did as a junior but I can’t say I’m a better golfer.
    Ha ha writing this has made me feel better, I’m glad no one I know will ever see it.

    Ps l enjoy your writing Eddie.

  15. Hew. G. Wang says:

    When a rat naws a cat’s tail, it will end in destruction.

    Hew G Wang

  16. Eddie,
    I’ve enjoyed your blog this year and enjoyed your insights to the tour. I also appreciate your honesty and openness.
    I’ve worked with many executives and a number of sportsmen who have lost focus of their purpose and lost the joy for what they once loved doing. Happy to chat with you any time. All the best at Q School.
    Doug

  17. William Cune Jnr says:

    “The Lion cannot see what the Gazelle has yet to reveal”

    Edward- be strong, be patient, be wise.

    Earnest Regards,

    William Cune

    PhD, Harvard Journals 2007.

  18. Leonardo says:

    For the turtle who only plays in the dark, his only friends are shadows.

    I often think of this when I need inspiration and there’s no blog update here.

    Love from Leonardo.

  19. Fox Warrell says:

    Out of darkness cometh light.

  20. GRAHAM CHRISTMAS says:

    Eddie, Ive followed golf for over 50 years and believe me in you I see one of the finest talents. You are still young and I believe great days are ahead of you. So go to tour school and prove what I and many others believe you are capable of. On the lighter side I should tell you that my wife thinks that you should not worry because you could make a living from your considerable writing talents.
    Good luck from us both.

  21. Jon b says:

    I wish you all the best , I enjoy the game but to play it for a living pah not funny. There are so many guys able to bang it 300 yards , it is then a pitch and putt mindgame . Good luck in q school but in the great scheme of life no one really gives a fuck who wins a tournament outside a very small minority . If you can stand your mates a beer and have a roof over your head and raise a family everything else is a bonus . A slip down the ladder will ground yourself . You are far too talented not to come back stronger .

  22. Jonathan Chuckleberry says:

    Dear Ed,

    I was once told something that changed my life, I quote.

    ‘When the ferret doth crawl up the sleeve a sweet treat he shall receive. When the ferret doth venture down south he shall choke with sausage in the mouth’

    Choose the right ferret.

    Warm thoughts and hopes from us all.

    Johnny

  23. David says:

    Your blog is great to read a good insight into the touring pro. Just keep believing I am sure your game is good enough you have just got to get the top four inches working on getting your confidence back.

  24. Sunburnt1977 says:

    Fair play to you Eddie, great blog! Brutally honest but better that than not!

    Just remember, the past is for reference, not for residence!

    Very best of luck for 2017!

  25. John McMorland says:

    Wonderful insight Eddie. I actually don’t know how you guys can do it. To play at the level you do and for the length of time you are at it. People often forget that the guys we see have been playing top level golf from early teens. So many people are in awe of your ability. They don’t realise sometimes that playing and being rewarded by money is not the be all and end all. Being a golfer and a thinker may not always go together because the game can take you to some dark places that can be very hard to get out of. One thing for sure is that you are a talented guy and whatever the outcome on that golf course you will always walk away a winner in people’s hearts and minds. Enjoy a break . Refocus and get back out there and enjoy the game and all that it throws at you. All the best mate!

  26. Richard Beck says:

    Many wise words posted here but if you’re going to Thailand then above all else, remember what Confucius taught us;

    “He who walks through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok”

    Best of luck for next year.

  27. Simon Walker says:

    Superb stuff Eddie. Wise beyond your years. Hope you crack it in 2017 and, even if you don’t, keep writing the blogs. So many of the world never get close to seeing the bigger picture, and it’s heartening to say the least when someone your age has managed it already.

  28. Steven Tomlin says:

    Have a year off Eddie. Don’t touch a club for 6 months and see if you can find the love again. If you do then come back slowly taking a fresh approach mentally and physically. Golf is not worth such deep angst and you know it. You are young and can afford this time. You may come back better and more importantly happier or you just might find something else to do that inspires you. I wish you all the best.

  29. Eddie,

    I admire your honesty in this post. It’s easy for people to say “it’s just a game” but when it becomes your career and the thing you’ve sacrificed so many things for I can only imagine how hard it could become to look at it that way, especially during the tough times. However, always remember that where our biggest challenges lurk so too do our greatest opportunities for triumph. All the best.

    Cheers
    Josh

  30. Robert Bennett says:

    A great and incisive insight into what this game can do to an individual. Anyone who has played the game with any degree of passion and who has strived to become a better player has encountered the darker side of golf. It is very hard to love the game when there is nothing coming back. It often feels that the harder you work at the game and try on the course, makes no difference at all, in fact things can get worse. As a Pro, you more than most will need to deal with it and move on. As hard as that might be. You seem in a good place and have the career/life balance right. I wish you all the best in Girona. You will find many like spirits in the ranks. One thing Eddie, and its a personal observation. Tidy yourself up. Get a decent haircut (keep it long if you want, but smart and tidy) and have a shave (or manage your beard so it looks groomed). If you go out on the course looking like a tramp, then there is a good chance you will play like one!!

  31. Matt Wilson says:

    Wishing you every success Eddie. I happened to be at Frilford Heath over the weekend just gone and saw you next to the putting green, laughing and joking with some of the members. You’re spot on that being a good person is what counts most of all. Best of luck at Q School – I’ll be rooting for you.

  32. Gillian Robertson says:

    Hang in there. I took up golf at the age of 47 in 2008 and after frustration and a few health problems, my handicap was cut from a 36 to a 35 and to a 33 in a matter of a week.LAST WEEK!! Persistence and sheer bloody mindedness pays off!

  33. tony says:

    Never be a victim matey

  34. Steve says:

    I followed you on Thursday in Portugal and you made it look so easy. I couldn’t believe what happened on Friday but I wont be the first to have said that I know. I’d be amazed if what’s happened doesn’t make you both a better man and a better golfer though. Fabulous blog as per and all the very best going forward. It’s tough to take but you’re still a Lucky Man 😉

  35. Chris says:

    Hi Eddie. I can only wish you the very best. I am sure you will be back on the tour in a year. Keep that gold under wraps who ever wins the election. The future is golden!
    Cheers
    Chris (an ageing golf fanatic).

  36. John says:

    Find yourself good true friends and / or loved ones that you can be honest with and with whom you can relax. Keep practising as you do and learn to relax on the golf course. If you beat yourself up when playing in competitions then you will never reach your potential.

  37. Garry Major says:

    Hi Eddie interested in what you have discovered with your golf swing particularly your transition feelings I would love to practise more but don’t know exactly what I should be trying.

  38. David Mitchell says:

    Every profession has its challenges, with highs and lows. The key is to stay strong, enjoy the highs and learn from the lows. Class is permanent, form is temporary. You are a class act and you will come through. One important question, what is your favourite cake? I recommend Cherry Genoa!

  39. Marleys says:

    Well done on retaining your card Eddie, after witnessing the disappointment on the Algarve a few weeks ago, we are so very pleased for you, just wished we could have been there to support, well done mate, onwards and upwards for next year!!!

  40. Ian says:

    Well done Eddie, glad to see you have your card for next year

    Sent from my iPad

    >

  41. Gary Garvey says:

    Congrats Eddie – a difficult year by the sound of it – but a good ending. All the best for 2017 and I very much look forward to reading your next blog.

  42. Ld says:

    Always insightful and honest. Great to read these pieces. Whatever the swing change is, hope it’s a very minimal change and just a feel sensation on the tee box…very little wrong from what I can see. Best of luck for 2017. Congrats on q school

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