Resolute in 2012

Posted: 16th January 2012

Happy New Year everyone from sunny Dubai where I'm currently practising for my first couple of weeks back on the course. But before the golf starts I'll fill you in on what's been going on

It was such a huge honour to be awarded the OBE by Her Majesty The Queen and certain capped off what was the most wonderful year for me. As you can imagine there are two very excited young chaps in the Clarke household who can't wait for their visit to Buckingham Palace along with myself and Alison.

As most of you probably already know, the Irish Open is coming to Royal Portrush this year which is going to be a massive event for Northern Ireland. It's one of the best courses in the world and I think all the guys will really enjoy the challenge when they play the tournament. It's a difficult course but fair at the same time and I just hope we get the normal little breeze to get it to play the way it should be played. I'm certain very proud that it's there on my home territory - and I can sleep in my own bed for the week - always a bonus!

After Christmas we went to see Van 'The Man' Morrison who is just brilliant. I've been a fan of his for a very very long time and haven't had the opportunity to see him live in concert before. I also got the opportunity to meet him briefly before he went on stage for his set and it was great just to say hello to him. Legend!

The 2nd January 2012 has also seen the appointment of Jonny Bloomfield as my new fitness trainer. I've been pontificating about my fitness for a while and Jonny, who is based in Belfast, was recommended to me by Lee's trainer, Steve MacGregor. My golf career has been extended somewhat by winning the Open Championship and I just thought that enough is enough and it was time to get myself into better shape. Jonny's a sports scientist and he's got me doing all sorts in the gym, having my eyes checked out, nutrition etc. Therefore my alcohol consumption is taking a massive dint.....currently down to zero! However, no pain, no gain and I'm very excited about the route that we're going down  - it's a long road but I will give it my best shot.

I did treat myself to a new vehicle just before Christmas - it's a new Mercedes SLS and it's a stunner - and luckily the weather was ok and it had a good few runs out! Christmas was the usual hectic run of parties followed by a fantastic relaxing family occasion which we all enjoyed very much and now it's back to the grindstone and I'm raring to go.

I'm really looking forward to the Volvo Champions at Fancourt in South Africa and then on to Abu Dhabi which is always a great week.

That's it from me and I hope all you have a great 2012. Darren.

PS. Thanks to my lovely fiancee Alison who collected the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year Award on my behalf last night, another great honour.

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