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Gary WolstenholmeMBE

GARY WOLSTENHOLME MBE | THE OFFICIAL SITE

July Monthly Newsletter 2015

Welcome once again to my monthly newsletter for July. It seems to have been a busy month for me as the European Senior Tour has at last begun to kick into life, and this month I’m reporting on three events.

It started off at the Swiss Seniors Open at Bad Ragaz which is a truly amazing place (well worth a visit if you’ve the time), and it’s always been a favourite event/venue of mine. It’s a pretty town set in picturesque surroundings on the valley floor nestled between spectacular high mountains. Bad Ragaz has hundreds of years of history as a hot springs spa destination…. and the golf course is a decent test weaving its way between mature pine forest as well.

I arrived in Switzerland not feeling completely on top of my game, but it helped that the course suits me well with a good record of success there in the past.  I played some decent golf through the week, which got steadily better over the three rounds. I finished tied for 19th with a score of -6, which was a little disappointing as every year previously I have finished inside the top 10 but nevertheless, it was a positive week’s golf which I was hopeful I could build on.

Due to the very short turnaround before the next event in Vorbeck (Eastern Germany) it proved to be a pretty stressful time what with golf, packing, travel etc and it made the following two days tiring to put it mildly. Therefore preparation for the WINSTONgolf Senior Open was not ideal, and meant that I was playing catch up for the tournament. The course tends to suit bigger hitters but after a decent performance at Bad Ragaz, I was hopeful I could record a good finish. I even managed my 19th hole-in-one on the 11th hole using a 7 iron in the practice session playing a match between Peter O’Malley, Greg Turner, Paul Eales and yours truly which was a bit of fun! 

Initially on arrival at the club, I was told that I would be first reserve for the Pro-Am after unexpectedly the organisers extended the pro/am field to 27 teams, but the weather conditions were very poor on the Thursday with cool high winds. I was glad not to be playing after everyone had teed off, and I went to have lunch. However at the last minute after the teams had played four holes I was told I would have to play which meant having to rush out on course to join up with my new friends. With so little preparation after an hour back in the clubhouse I didn’t have the best of times battling the conditions! This unfortunately had a knock-on effect when the actual tournament began the next day again in inclement windy weather finishing with a 77. I had a much better second round with a 69 where I somehow got it round in a decent number, but missed too many opportunities to finish as well as I would have liked. The weather was of course pretty awful, which seems to have a particularly negative effect on my game not being the strongest of hitters. Sadly after a 73 final round with a triple bogie thrown into the mix I was rather frustrated as I had hoped to be making progress on the tour rather than going backwards.

After six days of solid practice on the first class facilities here at Carus Green the following week, despite the less than ideal weather, I felt that I was making progress once again with my swing. I then travelled up to Sunningdale – which has always been one of my absolute favourite venues of my career – for the biggest event on the 2015 calendar, The Senior Open. Things started well, and I was leading after four holes having had three birdies on the first, third and fourth. Unfortunately I was not able to maintain that sort of form finishing with a 69 (-1). Then not helped by the weather the tournament took a real twist with a rain delay for most of the second round leaving chaos in its wake where players having to restart the following morning at 7am to complete their second round… then play the third round soon after. Despite military precision of start times, we couldn’t finish the 3rd round either needing to again return the following morning to complete the round and then play the 4th round to completion! This all meant a great deal of waiting around, practice, play, wait about practice, play - not ideal for quality golf I can assure you! However, I have the utmost respect for the leaders who despite these impediments played some incredible golf culminating in a brilliant win by a little-known American Dawson who thoroughly deserved the plaudits! Sadly I finished way back on +6…. for me inclement conditions always have a particularly negative effect on my game sadly which is frustrating as it always takes some time to recover my scoring touch once again. At least I made the cut which is far better than a great many others, so I guess I shouldn’t be too hard on my shortcomings.

Also playing alongside a couple of the top American players, Bart Bryant and Scott Dunlap showed me that I still have some way to go to get my game to its highest level, but it has made me all the more determined to achieve my goals…. as I’ve been quoted in the past “hard work is the only way to achieve your goals” there are no short cuts despite a lifetime of experience! Mentally and physically the Senior Open this year was probably the hardest tournament I’ve ever played in since turning professional, but hopefully the experience will make me stronger in the long run.

The pressure is now on to try to secure a top 20 finish on the EST OoM, and my tour card for next season – it’ll not be an easy task now with only four events left on the tour this year, but I’ll give it my best shot as always and see what happens.

On a more positive note, I’m delighted with the clothing I’ve received from Galvin Green this year as I’m a great believer of looking the part, playing the part! Certainly the clothing is also very durable which is ideal for touring sports people too. Also I’ve made some great contacts with a company called PAR which is a leader in skin care/sun protection which is a subject I have quite a bit of understanding about. I genuinely believe that this product is one of the best on the market, so well worth checking out if you have the time. It could be one of the best things you do this month - trust me. 

As always, onwards and upwards and many thanks to my team and sponsors for their continuing support.

All the best to one and all,

Gary  

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