This week’s Player Blog presented by Enterprise Rent-A-Car comes from newly appointed EDGA Ambassador Paul Waring, who is back to practicing off grass having spent lockdown testing his golf skills on Trackman and indulging in his passion for cars.
With the golf courses now opening up in England it’s great to be hitting off grass and getting back out on the course. My club, Bromborough Golf Club on the Wirral, was absolutely rammed the first few days back so I booked a spot on the practice ground for couple of hours when it first opened so at least I could go and see the flight and take a few divots!
Everything has been okay really these last few weeks. Because I have my indoor set up and chipping and putting green outside I can do 50% of my practice anyway. That is how I train in winter so I don’t feel I have missed too much.
We are not due to be playing tournament golf for a while so I am not going get fully back focused just yet as I like to try to peak for tournaments, or in this case the return of golf. I will try to get some time with my coach, Graham Walker, if we are allowed, and then ramp it up from there. I like to see my coach very early in the process just to make sure the basics I have been working on are in the right place and will then build up and get into performance mode. Graham is based at The Oaks in Yorkshire, a good two hour drive from here. I have been with him for 16 years now and he knows my swing inside out.
Beautiful day to do some holing out! Even kept my shirt on today! pic.twitter.com/CyYG2PlSmT— Paul Waring (@PaulWaringGolf) May 14, 2020
I played the Trackman Indoor Invitational at Royal Portrush last week, which was great fun but showed me up as I wasn’t great – it gave me bit of a kick to do some practice! I have generally kept the feelings good and kept the body moving for the basics and once I get to see the ball in the air I can really start working properly.
What I realised playing the Trackman event more than anything though was how much I missed the interaction with my playing partners. Playing with Joost (Luiten), connected with a zoom call, we were talking to each other the whole way through. It was nice having that little bit of banter, encouragement and the understanding when either of you hit a bad shot. These are things you miss - that human element. Having known Joost, someone I consider one of my mates, for many years it was nice to reconnect with him.
I have the full Trackman set up now at home with the PC and projector. I had been meaning to set it up for years and have been using the Trackman Go app which gives numbers but I now have the full set up with the course visualisations. During lockdown, I thought it was a chance to invest in that and get it set up. I am absolutely made up with it as it is an amazing feature, especially to have in my own home. It could also become very social down the line - some people have pool tables whereas I can see getting the lads round for a couple of beers and having a go on this in the future.
Lockdown has been a funny time. While wouldn’t say I have enjoyed it, it has given me that time that I almost craved to get those jobs done that I have been meaning to do and have been on the back of my mind for few months.
I am a big car nut. It is one of my real passions outside golf. I love the engineering side. My uncle was an engineer, my father-in-law is a well-respected mechanic and I have learnt things growing up. I just enjoy it, whether building Lego or tinkering with a car. I have a car I use for track days and just hadn’t had the time to strip it and change things around until lockdown. Once I get it up on the jack it takes a couple of days to get the jobs done. Usually when I have few weeks off I would book track days and take it for a run rather than working on it, but with no track days available, it was a good chance to get the car on the axel stands and do some of the work I have been meaning to do.
The car is a Porsche Cayman R so not an out-and-out track car but it is slowly developing into one. I treat it is a big Meccano set and I am lucky as if I do mess something up I can call my father in law or we can stick it on a trailer and take it down to his workshop and let him do the proper work on it. He also checks anything I do on it regardless to make sure it is safe for being on the track.
Time to take some skin off my knuckles pic.twitter.com/Vv9sk0bnTC— Paul Waring (@PaulWaringGolf) April 22, 2020
I was quite taken aback when the opportunity came about to be an EDGA Ambassador. I hadn’t really played golf with anyone with a disability until last year. So, when I played the British Masters Pro-Am with Brendan (Lawlor), Juan (Postigo Arce) and Caroline (Mohr) it was an incredible experience. They are all just really good golfers, they don’t moan about anything and the task is not too big – it is a case of finding their own way of doing it. They were all infectious to be around, not viewing themselves any differently and rightly so as they shouldn’t be seen any differently.
I actually don’t know how I got into golf as didn’t come from the typical background but I think I just loved the game. I want to try and break down the barrier, this exclusive perception, and show that anyone can play. What better example than people with disabilities really enjoying the game?
I still think the traditional elements of the game should be there but golf should be accessible to everyone to at least have a go and see if they enjoy it. So if there is anything I can do to raise the awareness for golfers with disability I will. I am also passionate about trying to get golf into the Paralympics and how that looks.
@EuropeanTour star @PaulWaringGolf is now an Ambassador for EDGA. Paul is a thoughtful guy & has already been a great friend to us. We will be sharing some of his views on @edgagolf & our players who, along with Paul, are all helping to make golf a more inclusive sport for all... pic.twitter.com/PTn2BsuZLM— 'Golfers First' (@edgagolf) May 9, 2020
I love all sports and I’m a big fan of Liverpool. It’s typical, 30 years we wait for this moment to win the league and we are still waiting thanks to the pandemic! If the Premier League restart comes off, great, but if not hopefully the lads will be fit and healthy and ready to go again next season. I think everyone is missing live sport, the unpredictable elements. I have found myself watching things like virtual F1 where people are racing online, just to find that unpredictability and have something to cheer on.
I have missed the competitive edge during this period, the nerves and adrenaline which comes with being a professional sportsman. It is not always adrenaline that comes with winning and challenging for titles, but also the adrenaline when you are not having a great week and battling to try and make a cut. Those situations challenge your mind and character and I have missed them. You can’t recreate that. Maybe that is why I like the track days, thinking I would love to go racing one day to get my heart rate up.
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