I'm sure you're probably all wondering what exactly we get up to during "off weeks." We call them "off weeks" because we will not be competing in a tournament. However, that doesn't mean we're not working hard on our games and learning from our previous tournaments.
When I arrived home from Los Angeles, I went straight back to workouts with my trainer but I took a couple of days off from practice. This helps me recover from the traveling and time difference, so that I can go back to practice feeling refreshed and raring to go. In these couple of days, I unpacked, did lots of laundry, organized my receipts from the week, which I like to keep on top of for my taxes, and then I took some time to analyze my tournament rounds to see what it is I need to work on during these three weeks off. I usually meet with my caddie in those couple of days so we can figure out where improvements need to be made and the things we did well during the first two events.
Overall, I felt I played reasonably well for the first two events but I didn't quite get the results I was hoping for. As I mentioned in my last blog, my caddie and I, had noticed that my course management was not quite as disciplined as we would like it to be. I started working on that at the Volvik Championship and it was much better, but it is something that I will continue to work on in the weeks to come. As always, my short game could be better, so I will spend a lot of time working on that. While I practice, I will try to play as many games as possible that mimic tournament play. This is the best way to put yourself in a situation which is similar to playing in an event. You feel the pressure a little more that you would just hitting chips and putts aimlessly. When I play these games, I always have a goal in mind. For example, I have to get up and down 10 times, or I have to make fifty 5-foot putts in a row.
I plan on making a minor change to my putter in the weeks off. I decided to switch putters at the end of last year and the putter I have now feels much lighter to the one I used to have. With the putter being so light, it is making my lag putting too inconsistent. When the putter is too light, I struggle to feel the weight of it when I take it back, causing me to either decelerate or "hit" the putt, not stroke it. This is a very personal thing and isn't a theory that works for everybody.
When I come back to Charleston, one of my favorite things to do is to get massages. In these three weeks, I will have at least one relaxing massage and then a deep-tissue one. I use the deep tissue massage as maintenance for my body to get rid of any tightness or knots that may have developed over the couple of weeks of travel. You'd be amazed how much our bodies go through with lifting our luggage, sitting on planes, playing golf, going to the gym and sleeping in beds we're not used to. To a lot of people, massages are a luxury, but for professional athletes, they are essential.
Our weeks off are also a time for us to have a bit of downtime. I like to spend time with my friends, watching movies, going shopping and whatever else I feel like doing. It's important for us to be able to take time away from golf and do some "normal" things, especially right now. Before we know it, the season will be in full swing, and downtime will be very limited.
Olivia Jordan-Higgins plays on the LPGA Symetra Tour and will be in the Self Regional Healthcare Foundation Women's Health Classic on May 4-10 at The Links at Stoney Point.