Tour Professional Graeme Storm Continues His Exclusive Column For Golf North East
I've been back at home in Hartlepool again over the last few weeks trying to fine tune my game ahead of the start of the 2008 season proper.
Following over four weeks away from family and friends, it's been great to get back to the North East and now I'm looking forward to another concerted effort on the European tour.
After loosing a bit of time with my game before Christmas thanks to a recurring bout of glandular fever coupled with tonsillitis, I was keen to see how my game would hold up.
After a spot of warm weather work with my coach Pete Cowan in Dubai, I played the events in Abu Dhabi, Qatar as well as the Dubai Desert Masters.
I said in the last issue of Golf North East that it was going to be interesting how my game fared in those events and I obviously missed a couple of cuts to begin with, though only by a very small margin of a shot or two - before making it through at the big event in Dubai, which was very pleasing.
I felt I played pretty well there and that things were starting to come together. I finished in 62nd place on three over but it was a good tournament all round and there were a lot of positives to take from it.
I'd already decided to miss out on the events that followed Dubai in India and Indonesia to give myself a few weeks back home with my wife Sara, who is expecting our first child in April, and to do some intensive work on my game with Pete.
I've also been able to relax a bit, which has been great, as I'm determined to try and avoid all the long haul traveling and feeling of burn out that has affected me in previous seasons.
After winning in France last season, the pressure is off having to secure my Tour card fr a couple of seasons and so I can concentrate on trying to do improve my consistency, which I believe is crucial if you are going to do well as a professional.
I'll be back in action at the Johnnie Walker Classic in India and then plan to play at the Malaysian Open, at the WBC-CA Championship in Florida and the Andalucia Open in Spain over the following weeks.
It's also great to see that the third Royal Trophy clash between Europe and Asia has been rescheduled for January 9-11 2009 after being postponed this year after the death of the Thai Princess Royal - it's something to look forward to at the start of next year.