The Elusive Tarpon!

Posted: 24th March 2012

Hello there from sunny West Palm beach! Since my last blog I've played in the WGC Accenture which wasn't great and then came down here to play in the Honda Classic which is always a great tournament. That week I stayed at Old Palm Golf Club which is absolutely beautiful and in a stunning location right on PGA Boulevard. I struggled a bit in the tournament but didn't play that badly until the last four or five holes where things just got away from me completely.

It was then off to Doral in Miami for the WGC Cadillac Championship where I was joined by Alison, my two boys and my sister. This current trip that I'm on right now is a seriously long one, in fact I think it must be the longest; I left home in Northern Ireland on 17th February and my next day (actually half a day) at home will be the 1st May, so it was great that the family were able to come out to me. I played really nicely all week apart from the 18th hole, which if I had found a stick of dynamite I would have dropped it right there! All in all, I hit the ball very well and it was a good positive week. I've been working very hard with Pete, Phil Kenyon and Dr Bob Rotella, have started shaping my shots a little bit and I'm really enjoying it.

Andrea and the boys flew home on Saturday evening to be back in time for school and Alison and I went down to our house at Abaco in The Bahamas for a week. We had a wonderful time down there relaxing and I put in a bit of practice and of course, some fishing - where the Bonefish were fairly willing to be caught!

I then came back into West Palm where I met up with Bob Childs (aka Bob the Belt) from Atlanta. I then did something that I've always wanted to do - drive down to the Florida Keys and go fishing for Tarpon. Unfortunately we were a little bit early in the season, it was quite windy and  my casting was something like my erratic golf of late. These fish get seriously big because they are not stupid - unlike myself! So the end result was that we didn't catch anything which was most frustrating. I thought I only got frustrated on the golf course but the Tarpon fishing is right up there with the golf! We had a wonderful guide whose name was Bus who found us lots of fish but my ambitions and casting abilities with the fly rod were two completely different things. However, at Islamorada we stayed at the most wonderful place called Cheeca Lodge.

I came back up here on Wednesday night and spent Thursday and Friday working with Dr Bob Rotella at Old Palm again and take off for Houston this evening for the tournament there next week. The Shell Houston Open at Redstone is always a brilliant week and is run by tournament director, Steve Timms, who puts on a fantastic event.  Then it's on to the first major of the year at Augusta which is always very exciting and I'm really looking forward to getting back there again.

After that it's back down to the Bahamas for a couple of weeks for the Easter holidays with Alison and the boys. From there I go to Korea for the Ballantine's Championship, back home for a half a day and then I'm off to Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is going to be an amazing time as it is the inauguration weekend at Pine Valley where I feel very honoured and privileged to have been invited to become a member.  I am extremely excited about this - it's amazing, everything about Pine Valley is just sensational.

I'm still working away in the gym and Jonny was with me at West Palm Beach and will be coming to Houston to put me through my paces there.
I'm quite chuffed to say that I've managed to fit myself into some of Ian Poulter's trousers (not literally!) which are seriously comfortable and you'll definitely be seeing me sporting some of those over the coming events.

It was great having Wobbly on the bag again at Dove Mountain and down in Florida and he is going to be working with me again for the next two events in Houston and Augusta.

So that's it from sunny Florida and I'll report in again soon. Bye for now, Darren.


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