2016 European Senior Tour Championship

The 2016 European Senior Tour Championship in Mauritius is the final tournament this year. It is a limited 48-player field based on the Order of Merit following the final field event in Italy.

Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar and a 4-hour flight from Johannesburg South Africa.

I began writing this blog on an Emirates Airline flight from Orlando, Florida to Dubai. This is the first time I have flown on Emirates and visited Dubai. The flight from Orlando took 14 hours then we had a 15-hour layover in Dubai before catching the Dubai to Mauritius flight, which is 7 hours long. When all is said and done we left Orlando on Saturday at 1:30 pm and landed in Mauritius on Monday morning at 10:30am.

Jet lag is a major factor when travelling this far and so it is imperative that all your golf preparation is taken care of before arriving here because your energy levels are quite low for the first few days after arriving as your body adjusts to the new sleeping and eating times. So besides playing a practice round or the Pro-Am there is little practice after playing. The rule of thumb is it takes your body one day of adjustment for each time zone difference from where you were the last week. In my case this means 9 days to adjust but unfortunately only 4 days from the day of landing until the first round of the tournament. The surroundings are very nice thought and being able to relax on the beach makes this an enjoyable week.

The last month has been very productive for my personal health, tournament play and preparation for the final event of the 2016 European Senior Tour season.

To begin with I have been battling through bursitis in my left shoulder for the past year. The bursa sac had been inflamed for quite a while and I had extensive acupuncture and active release message therapy in an attempt to overcome the problem throughout the year. Because of the extensive travel and lugging my suitcase and golf bag around it puts a great deal of stress on my shoulder and I was struggling in some rounds just to finish with constant pain. So I decided after talking with my doctor, that following the Italian Senior Open at the end of October, I would return home and have a cortisone injection to reduce the inflammation.

The result has been very successful. I have been able to raise my left arm above my head and have regained my strength and range of motion completely. Not to mention it is now possible to swing a golf club properly and not require compensating movement patterns to be able to hit the ball.

The result of all this is a much-improved tee to green game and higher finishes in the events I have played since the injection.

I spent the last week in Orlando practicing and playing while my family enjoyed a wonderful vacation at Disney World. We had planned this trip a year ago because the final stage of Champions Tour Qualifying was being held at the Disney Magnolia Golf Course. Unfortunately, because of my shoulder pain and indifferent scoring this year, I decided not to enter the Qualifying School. So it provided me an opportunity to get my shoulder taken care of and work on my swing to regain the normal movement patterns.

An added bonus while our family was together in Orlando was to see the look on my four-year-old granddaughters face each evening when we talked about her day. She was thrilled to be able to meet all the Disney characters and especially the princesses whom she was able to have her photo taken with.

We are playing the tournament at the Constance Belle Mare Plaqe Legends Golf Course. It has undergone extensive renovation since last year’s tournament. The fairways have been raised to aid in draining surface water; the tee decks rebuilt and bush has been cleared along each fairway exposing the water hazards that parallel virtually every hole.

The Weather Forecast During Playing Times

Friday 30C Overcast POP 48% Wind 16 – 20 km/h E

Saturday 29C Partly Cloudy POP 35% Wind 16 -20 km/h E

Sunday 29C Partly Cloudy POP 29% Wind 12 – 16 km/h E

Finally as I am currently in 45th position on the Order of Merit and only the top 20 maintain their full status for the following year, I will require a win this week to maintain my full status for next year’s tour.