• Nic Jones

  • The Golf Journey

    Welcome to my blog. I'm on the most incredible journey and I want you to come along with me! I'm turning everything upside down to dedicate myself, through 7 stages, to becoming a professional golfer and then onto one capable of competing on the Seniors Tour! From June 2009 - June 2014 I will be detailing my quest to turn myself from a 10 handicap golfer with a little talent into a PGA seniors tour competitor! It's going to be about mental fortitude and determination and about getting a life balance at the age of 45, earning a living and practising! I hope my journey will be an inspiration and motivator for others. On the way I'm going to find incredible hurdles to overcome and I will also meet and connect with some incredible people, which will be inspirational. I will be asking you to provide me with the energy that comes from your interest in my journey. I would really appreciate your support. All the very best, Nic
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Blimey – time moves on!

Hi

I haven’t forgotten everyone, I’ve been busy sorting loads of things out.

Golf is top of mind but bottom of list of priorities and whilst I now have a busy work schedule, I haven’t found time for much golf – just one round at the Oxfordshire and another on a par 54 course in Wales (shot a 60 mind, so happy with that).

Whilst I still have the ambition to take this journey as far as I can, it is fair to say that I’m going to re-appraise everything in the coming months and tie this into my life overall.

I suspect, I’m going to have to leave my timescales open, but nothing is set in stone and I’m enjoying the ride that life is putting me on.

Without this journey many things wouldn’t have happened and I’m delighted for all of that.

Back soon

It’s going to get philosophical!!

A Poem on life and golf!

A poem for all golfers and for life form my good friend Tony, whose brilliant academy is at: http://www.westwoodgolfacademy.blogspot.com

Too Soon To Quit!!

When you´ve given a task all the effort you can
And obstacles mount which alter your plan
Human nature advises you just to retreat
To simply give up and face your defeat
But though you despair you must never omit
A belief that it is always too soon to quit

So close you came in years gone by
To achieving success in the endeavours you tried
But the nearer you came to reaching the top
Impatience won out and you chose to stop
Had you only continued you soon would have known
The rewards of the reaping what you had sown

With age comes the wisdom and the vision to see
That you simply must truly persist to succeed
Through the faith you discover that hope is not dead
What you long for is waiting straight up ahead
And the lesson you learned was hard to admit
Forever and always it´s too soon to quit

Will my golf quest have more chance of success if I change my equipment?

Ok, the weather is improving and the cobwebs are being dusted off the clubs.
It’s time to get practising in earnest and I’m very excited about the physical and mental strides I’ve made and want to see if this is going to impact on the game itself .

It got me to thinking about everything I need to give me the best chance of achieving my goals and what else can I improve.

So what about equipment? Surely this is crucial and I have had many years of faithful and loving service from the equipment I carry – some would say that’s reflected in the clothes too!

Should I be updating my stuff? This is a list of everything I’m using at present, am I giving myself the best chance of reaching my goals with these?

Do I need to update some of this? One of the main things I’ve been thinking about is so-called “rescue” clubs and maybe replacing the 5 wood, 3 and 4 irons with these. Not sure?!

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

CLUBS:

DRIVER: Yonex Cyberstar Nanospeed, 10.5, regular flex shaft
I get on pretty well with this; straight and long (ish)

3 AND 5 WOODS: Callaway Big Bertha Steelhead iii, regular flex shaft
I always liked Callaway Big Bertha and had the driver until I joined the rest of you with the Yonex in 2008. These are nice clubs

3 TO 9 IRONS, PW AND SAND WEDGE: Titleist  DCI’s 962 (11 years old!), Dynamic Gold Shaft
On getting these they made a big impact immediately adding 10 – 15yds onto distance with each club. Are they a bit tired now, maybe?

LOB WEDGE: Maxfli, 61 degrees, Dynamic Gold Shaft
I like this club and use it for all shots from 70yds – o! It’s my “feel” club

PUTTER: Ping Anser 2
This is over 20 years old, but such a beautifully made club that I always think mistakes are down to the “puttee” rather than the putter itself!

GRIPS: All of above standard grips and they are all in need of replacement, but what sort of grip is the best?

ACCESSORIES:

BALLS: I used to like balata balls because of the feel and “sound” they make. I now use Pro VI’s where I can as they were the first Titleist not to split!

GLOVES: don’t wear them; like to feel

SHOES: I like Dryjoys and have a snazzy pair right now, very comfortable. Need to renew the studs!

BAG: Wilson Staff standard bag with legs; maybe a bit heavy; should I investigate “light” bags? 

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No golf in the snow and looking forward to the Oxfordshire!

Snowfall on trees, Germany

UK winter 2010!

Blimey, what a winter here in the UK.

No chance of golf on cold, hard ground, which is now thawing into wet, cloying mud; and it’s still cold so I’m going to stay in the warm.

I haven’t made it to the gym for 4 weeks; mainly cos of snow but I’m also working hard on changing my career – out with the person trying to run his own business and welcome to the new me, a great number 2 or marketing guru to someone else’s business. Let me know if you want to have a chat, I’m open to any ideas which take me into the fold, but I’m best suited to a creative, ideas driven environment.

Anyhow, for this year I’m going to blog about golf and food. Sorry if you don’t want to see any more recipes but I think it’s important to have a balance of passions! So golf is very important but so is eating and the odd glass of wine is crucial to a healthy mind. This is what you’re going to get from now on and  I may have to drop in a few things about the mind, but the focus is golf and practicing.

The aim is to put into practice all the winter work as soon as it gets warm enough and I find the right club to hit the balls. I’m in two minds as whether to go back to Castle Royle (expensive) or to join Winter Hill (less expensive and very local). The facilities for practice at CR are outstanding but it is 25 mins away as opposed to 5 mins for WH, where practice area is not as good. Mind you the majority of the work will be on the short game so I could do this almost anywhere. I’ll investigate but if anyone has a suggestion then I’m willing for ideas.

On the horizon is a game at the Oxfordshire in March. I won this in a raffle at the Duke Of Edinburgh’s golf day last year and I’ll be playing with Claire and Bill, with whom I played that day. This is something to really look forward to and hopefully the clubs will have been out of the bag before then!

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Cold, freezing in fact; get a golf book!

Happy Holidays to everyone!

We can’t get out of the house because our road is frozen and treacherous.

Never mind; I’m going to have to walk down to get the turkey and do a whirlwind shop tomorrow for our dinner on Friday.

Time to light a fire and curl up with Dave Pelz’s short game bible; and maybe a mince pie!

Looking forward to it.

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Another Consciousness study!

The Golf Journey day 167, December 4th 2009

Here’s an interesting thing I noticed walking the dogs; in fact I’ve noticed it twice, but have only just got round to posting it!

When throwing a stick for Basil (top name, top dog!!) I thought about the puddle up ahead, thinking “what would happen if the stick went in that puddle”. Low and behold when I threw the stick guess where it went? yes, the puddle.
And here is the point. It just reinforces the notion that your consciousness does not distinguish between negative and positive, it doesn’t rationalise. In this scenario it only saw my thoughts, which was about throwing the stick in the puddle and then it worked hard to achieve that goal for which we succeeded!

So next time you walk up to the ball if you think: “don’t hit it in the bunker”; guess what you are most likely to do?
Much better, when you do have that thought, to step away and re-focus on something more positive: “I’m going to put this in the middle of the green”. You may still put it in the bunker, but you can accept that because your mind was set on putting it on the green. In fact my bet is that 9 times out of 10 you will achieve what you want, providing you have a golf swing!

It’s cold and wet here in the UK; so to all of you who still brave the weather, have a great round this weekend.

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Hello again; golf has taken a back seat – or has it?!

The Golf Journey, Day 160; 27th November 2009

Somebody told me when I set out on this that it would take a lot of keeping up and the inference is that I would give up pretty soon.

Well nothing is further from my mind, but I have been extremely lapse in not blogging my thoughts and actions.

So let’s start with a hello to Annie Liston, who asked why I hadn’t been blogging and flew over from Chicago to find out the reason! Happy Thanksgiving to all you cousins across the pond!

What have been up to; well reflection is probably the best way to describe not going out to play golf – oh, and the fact that it’s got cold and I’ve lost so much body weight and fat that I get a bit too chilly!
This, I realise is no excuse and so be it. I have had the intention to play but somehow it hasn’t happened and I haven’t got down to the range but there is a reason for this…

…I want most of all to practice my short game, which is difficult to do at a driving range. In fact I’m so keen to work on the short stuff that I have bought the PelzMeister’s short game bible, which is my winter reading alongside the inspirational “golf in the kingdom”; and Don Quixote, plus another business book called “Trust Agents…” So that should keep me going!!

The work I’m doing now is really about the imagination and developing a love of the game in my head, which involves a lot of visualisation (all the pro’s do it, so why not me!), plus “mirror golf”, balance techniques and exercises and of course, watching golf on TV. I’m still in the gym regularly and doing some yoga and the diet can’t really be any healthier without being called obsessive!!

So let me think about what I’ve achieved since I started 160 days ago.
The question I get asked first is “how’s the golf going?” and I answer “very good thanks” which leads to “so what’s the handicap now”
I understand this, as we are left brain trained and can only assess things on tangible results, things we can understand in simple terms. Handicaps are an easy judge of this. However for me this is a problem!
I don’t want to think about the handicap; I want to concentrate on the lovely swing, the great short game, the invincible putting and the unquestionable attitude on the course. To me this is far more important than the number I’m “tagged” with; If I get the first bits right, the tag will be easy.
But I understand the desire to judge and to think – “oh, nothing’s happened in all this time!” because my tag is still the same. So that gives off a negative vibe, where in truth there are many positives that far outweigh the handicap.
Here are the ones I can think of right now, and if you think they’re self-indulgent, you’re right, but it is important to be honest with yourself when appraising everything in your life as golf is about the whole, not just a club and a ball:

  • Appraised my life and set out to improve as much as I could 
  • To find out who I am and who I can be
  • Set myself a task and vision – have a belief
  • Broke a 30 year “drinking habit” and culture
  • Control and management of body and spirit
  • To live in the present and remove doubt
  • More grounded and aware than ever have been
  • Fitter than since I was 17 years old
  • Know, and like, myself
  • Cut out trans fats, additives and processed food as much as I can and eat very well
  • Be happy!

And do you know, I feel better and fitter and healthier than ever and am convinced I’m happier and more positive than ever.

I’ve set up new business ventures and am engaging with people in a much more positive way. GO ME!!

So that’s why I answer “great” when people ask how the golf is going. I recommend you all try it. 

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