Veteran David Drysdale writes this week's player blog, sharing his unique dynamic with wife and caddie Vicky while reflecting on ten years on tour.
I still love going to all these places, even after 15 years and 441 events on the European Tour. It’s a career I’m proud of, but the win is the thing I’m after.
My first year was 2002 and I’ve had some sort of status every year since then. I’ve not had many chances to win an event, but have had two or three second places where someone else has put together something special in the last couple of holes. The goal is obviously to get that first one and then go after the second one. Obviously I'm getting older and with all the travelling it’s harder.
That said, last season was a great year. Whenever you make the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, you’ve had a good season. I feel like I played three decent rounds out of four for most of the year. There was a lot of good golf, but I just didn’t string four rounds together. I played beautifully for two days at The Open and even at the Irish Open I finished in a tie for fourth and closed with seven birdies, so I feel I could have threatened more there. You can talk about fitness levels, being tired, concentration and lots of other things when you’re talking about consistency. That’s just the game. One day you think you’ve got it cracked and the next day it just bites you.
My wife, Vicky, caddies for me. She’s upbeat, positive and if I’m getting down she gives me a kick. She’s much different to any of the caddies I’ve had before. I’m not saying we’ll do it forever, because it’s very tough for her, although she does insist on carrying that big bag. Everything is done in a much more positive way.
It came about a couple of years ago when my caddie’s sister wasn’t very well, so he took a couple of weeks off. It was bit strange when you’re used to someone giving you a yardage, but I quite liked it. We started last year together, not thinking we’d do every week.
I then tried a couple of caddies for three-week stints and found I was falling into the trap of relying on a caddie to tell me how far it is and what the wind’s doing. I was getting lazy and complacent and thinking the caddie knows better than me. I’ve been playing the game professionally for 21 years now, so I should know what I’m doing. After that poor spell of having a couple of different guys for six weeks and not playing well, I decided to skip Sweden and Austria and practice in Orlando. It was then Vicky got the gig full time!
I spent the Christmas break without touching a club which was nice. After the Joburg Open, which finished in mid-December, Vicky and I had five days in Cape Town. That was fantastic, eating fillet steaks and drinking red wine before going home for Christmas. It was a quiet new year. We’ve done the Hogmanay stuff in Edinburgh, but I guess we’re getting a bit old for that stuff now. I jumped on a flight to Dubai on the second and practiced there before coming down to South Africa.
Looking ahead to this year I'd love to make The Open again. I’ve only played it twice, at Turnberry in 2009 and Royal Birkdale last year. What an event that was. Teeing off with all those spectators in the grandstands.and playing well - I loved everything about it. It’s a huge goal to make Carnoustie this year and that road starts this week in South Africa.