2017 Masters Preview

One of the great weeks of my year comes when I arrive in Augusta, Ga., in April. Next to the Canadian Open, this is probably the tournament I enjoy the most. It’s a great honour to be able to come back here every year and to play the Masters tournament.

This year has been especially great having some Canadian company here at the Masters. Adam and Mackenzie are exceptional golfers and have earned their place here in the field, just as I did many years ago.

After watching them both win tournaments earlier in the season, I reached out to them and invited them to play a practice round together. It was a great feeling to have three Canadians playing together at the Masters on Tuesday. I was told that it was the first time since 1968 that we’ve had three Canadian golfers in the field. That’s too long but I’m glad we’re getting there.

Playing with them was a lot of fun. I tried to teach them all the things I’ve learned over the years playing with guys like Fred Couples and Mark O’Meara. As a rookie, this is a tough golf course to try and understand in just a few rounds. Heck, I’ve played more than 100 rounds here and I’m still learning. There are a lot of subtleties and nuances that you don’t often see the first few times.

I have to admit that they were pretty well versed in the course already. They’ve both obviously done a lot of work and talked to some of the local caddies to get knowledge. But they still asked a lot of good questions.

Some of the toughest parts of playing Augusta National aren’t about the breaks on the greens but on how you deal mentally with what this course throws at you. It’s very easy to compound a mistake here, to turn a bogey into a double or more, just by trying to quickly make up for a mistake. That’s another lesson I tried to impart to both Adam and Mackenzie. Everyone is going to get bad breaks, everyone is going to get hurt by the gusting winds that are expected. You have to expect, accept and move on.

Of course I’m here not just as a teacher but also as a player. I’ve been working hard on my game this year and I feel good about where I am ahead of Thursday’s first round. On Tuesday I made quite a few birdies and drove it pretty well.

This course is pretty long for me these days so I’ll have to capitalize on driving it in the fairway and then taking advantage of my short game and my knowledge.

For me, the Masters is about much more than just what happens inside the ropes. On Tuesday I went to the Champions Dinner, which is always a wonderful evening. Last year’s winner, Danny Willett put on a great spread and it was nice to catch up with some of the winners from through the years. It was sad that this was the first one to be held without Arnold. He used to be one of the cornerstones of the dinner, looked up to by everyone in the room. We all miss him and it will feel different seeing the ceremonial tee-off without him taking part.

And today, I had a special moment playing in the Par 3 contest when I made a hole-in-one! I’m not sure who was more excited – me or my girlfriend and caddie Michelle!

I also have a great many friends here who make this week special when I’m not at the course. We have great meals and tell lots of stories, which has become somewhat of a tradition. It’s a week unlike any other for sure – lots of fun and memories, with more created each year.

I’m hoping for a good week when I tee off on Thursday and I will be paying special attention to how both Adam and Mackenzie do. This is a good week for Canadian golf and I’m happy to playing the Masters once again.

Thanks for your support,

September Update

It’s been a while since I’ve updated my blog and for that, I apologize. A lot has been happening both on and off the golf course – it’s been a busy period but a very good one in many aspects.

I haven’t played many tournaments of late. While I love competing, it’s also not a bad thing as I continue to try and sort out my swing. I’m not sure when my next start will be but possibly the Sanderson Farms Championship.

Right now I’m still working hard on my game. I did suffer a relapse of elbow pain and was forced to take some time off but thankfully it wasn’t anything serious.

I truly enjoy practicing and trying to improve. But when it comes to the future, I’m not exactly sure what my plan is. A lot of what happens is likely going to be based on how my game responds. If I see some progress I’d be happy to play in Europe or on the Tour.

But physically right now, my arm simply won’t let me swing the way I used to. I can’t get my hand into the proper positions and so it’s a search to find a way to make it work.

Right now, I want to improve my game not only to possibly play on tour regularly again but also just to be able to play golf with my pals and enjoy it. I’m a competitive person and I still want to play.

So I will work hard but if my game doesn’t turn around, it’s not do or die. My golf career, while certainly important, isn’t everything to me at this point. If I never hit another shot on the PGA Tour, I’ve accomplished more than I ever dreamed I would in my career. I could walk away satisfied. I don’t want to do that just yet, but I’m comfortable knowing what I’ve done.

I read a quote from former NFL player Ray Lewis recently who said: “Run it hard until the well runs dry.” That’s where I am with my golf right now. Well see how it goes.

And these days, I have a lot of other things on my plate. I did some commentary work at the PGA Championship in July and really enjoyed that. I heard from friends and colleagues that they liked my work, which is a good feeling. I especially enjoyed being in the booth although walking out on the course – which is a lot harder a job than it might seem – is fun too.

I’ve been approached by Golf Channel to go to Florida for a week or two in the fall and join them in studio and I may do that.
Family life has been busy as well as I took my eldest daughter off to university a few weeks ago – as I’m sure many parents know that’s an emotional moment and a life passage. I’m proud of her and know that she’ll be getting a fabulous education and some great life experiences.

My youngest daughter is now busy with soccer and I’m more than happy being a soccer dad, going to her games and cheering her on.

I’ve also been following lots of Canadian golf and I’m thrilled to see Brad Fritsch and Mackenzie Hughes make it to the PGA Tour for next year. I’m sure they’ll do well as they join the other four who’ve all had strong seasons.

And it’s great to see the women playing well. Brooke Henderson is exciting to watch – what a season she’s having! — and it’s wonderful that Alena Sharp and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc are having career years.

Like many of you, I’m interested to see the return of Tiger Woods. I think he made a smart decision in allowing his body to heal fully this time. He’s young enough that he can still achieve a lot and I truly believe that if he didn’t think he could compete and win, that he wouldn’t be coming back.

I hope that it won’t be quite as long until my next update here. I thank you for continuing to support me.

2016 Masters Tournament

Another year at Augusta National has come and gone, and with it, lots of great memories of one of the greatest events in sports.

My week was interesting and different in a number of ways. First, on the course, I really saw some progress in my game. On Thursday and Friday I felt really good with my driver.

As many of you know, that’s the club I’ve been struggling with and so it was nice to see the ball landing in the fairway more often. I know the scores I posted weren’t the best but Augusta National is a pretty difficult place to try and find your game.

I think much of the progress I made was due to my work with David Leadbetter. He was here in Augusta this week and that was the first time we’ve been together at a tournament in some time. We talk on the phone quite a bit and I’ve gone to see him at his place in Florida but to have him there to walk around and see me in tournament play was very helpful.

We found a few things in my setup that are proving beneficial and I’m hoping I can carry them with me into the RBC Heritage this week at Hilton Head.

In addition to playing golf, I also took on some new duties as a television analyst for TSN and CTV. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect but I have to say it was a really fun experience.

Working with James Duthie, Bob Weeks and producer Jamie Reidel was eye-opening in many ways. I didn’t realize how much preparation is involved, how long the days are for them, how hard the crew works and also how much access to data the announcers get. There was also a lot of down time compared to how often we were actually on the air. That’s pretty common in television I was told. I also learned the new phrase: “Television – hurry up and wait.”

But I like to talk about the game and I hope that I was able to provide insight into what was happening on the course and with certain players. It’s something I’m hoping I can do more of in the future.

Again, I was able to have lots of family and friends down in Augusta this year. We have a wonderful tradition of combining a great tournament with some fun social times. It’s something I look forward to every year.

I’m heading off for another week on tour and I remain full of optimism that my game will keep improving. I have a number of events on my calendar after the RBC Heritage including New Orleans, the Byron Nelson and also the French Open. When I’m over in Europe, I’ll also try to qualify for the Open Championship.

As always, thanks for your support.


2016 Masters Preview

Masters week is here and for me, it’s one of the great weeks on the calendar. I look forward to that drive down Magnolia Lane every year and seeing the course and all the people who are such a part of Augusta National.

This year I’m coming in with a renewed hope and lots of good feelings. Last year, I had a lot going on off the course and my game wasn’t the best. But now I’m feeling good about where I am both personally and professionally.

I know my recent scores haven’t shown much reason to be optimistic but as bad as I’ve been scoring, I really feel that I’m not that far off. It seems that each week, I’m hitting two or three bad shots and then compounding the errors. If I can clean those up – and I think I can — I’m expecting things to get better very soon.

I’ve been putting in lots of work with David Leadbetter who is here with me this week. He probably knows my swing as well as anyone and he’s always been around, even when we weren’t formally working together.

Through our work, I feel as if things are starting to come together. Really what we’ve been working on is a swing that will work with the way my body now moves. Because of my injuries and surgeries, I can’t swing as I did in my prime. I used to like to cup my wrist to get the clubface in the right position at the top of the swing. I can’t do that any more so I’ve had to adjust and find a different way to get it done.

So my expectations this week are to play well. I want to keep showing progress with my game and I feel I can do that here.
There’s not a course anywhere that inspires me as much as Augusta National. To walk around here and play these holes and see the beauty of it, it’s hard not to feel good. And knowing what I was able to accomplish here also gives me confidence. I know the course, I know how to play it, where to hit the right shots and now it’s just a matter of getting it done.

One of the other things I’m doing here this week is joining TSN as part of its broadcast team. After my rounds I’ll be on the set with James Duthie and Bob Weeks to discuss the tournament and lend my knowledge. We’ll be on Sportscentre and on the pre-game shows.

I’m excited to do this. It’s a new challenge for me and a new direction. It’s sort of like when I started designing golf courses, something new that I’m looking forward to.

This week is also all about enjoying friends and tradition. Tuesday night I’ll be at the Champions Dinner to join all the other winners in our annual get-together. And I’ll also play in the par 3 contest, which is a great fun event before getting down to the serious business.
I have a good assortment of family and friends here too, which adds to the fun of the week. It helps to keep things in perspective and keep me loose.

This will be my 17th Masters and I’m as excited this year as I was my first. It’s one of the greatest weeks in golf and I don’t think that will ever change.

As always, thanks for your support!

October Update

It’s been a while since I posted on here and probably too long since I updated you all on what’s been happening in my world.

First of all everything is going great. Life is good and I’m feeling very positive about so many things.

After stepping away from the PGA Tour last summer, I actually put my clubs away for seven weeks – no swings whatsoever. That’s probably one of the longest stretches since I started playing the game back as a junior.

Instead, I spent a lot of time with my daughters, doing the things most parents do – watching them play sports, going on vacations and just enjoying our time together.

We spent some of the summer in Europe, which was a lot of fun and a great break for us all.

Now I’m back at it, trying to gear up my game again. I’ve been working hard and feeling good about things. I’m back working with David Leadbetter and he and I have been in regular contact, sharing videos of my swing and building out a plan for me to work on. I’m hoping to see him in the next few weeks for a few one-on-one sessions to take the next steps.

The break let me get away from some of the bad habits I had in my swing and, under David’s watchful eye, start progressing to the point where I am hitting it better.

My troubles were really around my longer clubs – especially off the tee. The longer the club, the more the swing flaws were exposed. That’s what we’ve been trying to fix and the plan we have in place is starting to take shape.

All that said, I don’t yet have a timetable for when I’ll try to go back on the PGA Tour. I’ve played golf with friends and I can tell when I’m out there that my game isn’t ready yet, but it’s moving in the right direction.

I may play in the Shark Shootout and possibly at Taylor Made event at Pebble Beach – I think those will give me a good indication of where I’m at. I want to make sure that when I go back, my game is ready for the PGA Tour.

As well as the physical break, the time off was great mentally too. It was hard being out there and shooting bad numbers. It’s no fun shooting 75, I can assure you. Now, I feel refreshed and with a much better outlook on where I am and where I’m going with my game.

If there’s one thing I miss, it’s probably the competition. That was ramped up as I watched the Presidents Cup last week. I was thinking back to my time on those teams and how exciting and charged up the atmosphere was. I’d still like to get back and play on another team.

Some day I also hope that I can play a part, perhaps as a captain or assistant captain, on the International Team. I think I have a lot to offer the players and the overall event. But there are a lot of worthy guys to be captain and I really think the Internationals will just keep improving. Nick Price has really raised the bar.

The other team I’ve had my eye on is the Blue Jays! I’m definitely on the bandwagon and I hope they can keep it going. My family tells me just how exciting the atmosphere is in Toronto and across Canada and I’ll be cheering from down here in Utah.

It’s been too long since I’ve updated you but just know that I am very grateful for your continued support. When the time is right, I’ll be back on tour and knowing I have so many fans behind me will be a big help.

As always, thanks for your support.

July Update

To all my fans,

I will be taking an indefinite leave of absence from golf competition effective today.
Family is incredibly important to me and I have decided to take some time to focus on my personal life and children.

Although there is no set timeline for my return, I love the game and will return when the time is right.

It was extremely difficult to make the decision to forego this year’s RBC Canadian Open, as I love playing in front of the Canadian fans. At this time though I know the focus needs to be on my family. I look forward to teeing up again in front of Canada at our National Open very soon.

Thank you to all my fans for their understanding and continued support.
Mike Weir

The Masters Round 2

I finished up my Masters on Friday with another tough day. It wasn’t how I wanted to play or even how I know I can play, but considering my arm ailment, I’m glad that I finished.

Once again, my arm really didn’t allow me to swing the way I wanted to. It is frustrating to see the results despite the efforts.

Still the Masters is a tournament I love and Augusta National is a course I cherish. It’s a remarkable week and one that I look forward to playing for a long time to come.

Right now, my mission is to try and find a way to get my arm better. I’m doing some different therapy and exercises to see if that will help things. I simply need to build up the strength and endurance in this arm. I feel as though if I can do that, I can turn this around.

All it takes out here is one week. I proved that last year at the Byron Nelson. That might come next week – in this game, you simply never know.

One really nice part of this week was the chance to play with Corey Conners. We had three days together out here and what I saw from him makes me believe he’s going to have a really nice career.

He’s poised, organized and has all the shots. I think he’ll be a very good pro. Clearly, Canadian golf is really on the rise.

Thanks for all the great messages this past week. I appreciate the support I get from my supporters.

The Masters Round 1

Today was a bit of a struggle at the Masters. Obviously, going in to this week, I knew it was going to be difficult with the stiffness and fatigue I’m feeling in my forearm. But I thought I might be able to drive the ball a little better than I did in the opening round.

It doesn’t matter who you are, it’s no fun to play poorly. You certainly don’t smile as big or enjoy the day as you do when your game is going right.

The trouble I have is with my full swing so it shows up with mostly my driver. I get to the top of my backswing and my arm just is too weak to stay straight.

In my mind I want to keep my swing short but the arm just keeps bending – and that’s just the ligament and the strength in my forearm. Somehow, I need to find more endurance in it. I’m not really sure how I’ll do that but obviously right now, it’s not working.

Still, there were some positives on the day. The rest of my game is solid. I hit some great approach shots today and made some good saves too. But when you drive it bad, you’re starting out behind the eight-ball and you have to play catch up.

For instance on nine today, I hit my tee shot into the trees on the right. I hit a punch shot out into the fairway and then hit my wedge to three feet and made the putt. There were some good shots in there but it’s a tough way to make a par.

I also really enjoyed watching Corey play his first Masters round. While his score wasn’t what he wanted, I was impressed with how he hit the ball and executed his game plan. He is going to have a great future in this game and I’ll bet he is back at the Masters before too long.

One last good thing about today is that there’s another round tomorrow. I’ll come out and try and to play better, one shot at a time.

As always, thanks for your support.

2015 Masters Tournament

I’ve arrived at the Masters, and as is always the case whenever I come here, I’m excited for the year’s first major.

There is nothing quite like playing the Masters. That drive down Magnolia Lane each year is so special and everything that is done here is first class. They treat the players so well from the moment you arrive.

Now I wish I could tell you that I’m 100 per cent here, but that’s not the case. My arm that started bothering me in Los Angeles is still tender and that is affecting the amount of work I can put in to prepare for the tournament. It’s just not strong enough to do the things I want to do with it.

Having said that, I’ve been working on the range, especially focusing on my short game and putting. And I’m pleased with those aspects of my game. Of course, I know this course pretty well so that helps. I have also been playing the course, although in small bursts. I played the front nine on Monday and then did the back on Tuesday. I will also play one more nine on Wednesday morning.

My preparation is limited because I don’t want to strain or re-injure my arm. For that reason, I’ve decided to pass on the Par 3 Contest this year. I always love playing there but I need to save my arm for the tournament.

All of this doesn’t mean I’m not going to be ready come Thursday morning. Any time I play at Augusta, I get charged up. There’s not another tournament in the world that can really get me as excited to play as this one. Knowing all the history here, and the legends that have walked on the fairways, and of course knowing that I’ve won, makes it easy to get up for the tournament.

The course is in excellent shape, but that’s not really a surprise. I can’t recall ever seeing it when it’s not in perfect condition. From the weather forecasts it looks like it will be wet here, and I think that will actually help me. If the greens are holding, that will allow me to hit longer clubs into them.

The year I won at Augusta, it was very wet and that played into my game well, so perhaps it’s a good sign for the coming week and my performance.

I’m excited to be playing the first two rounds alongside Corey Conners, the young Canadian player who is making his debut at Augusta as an amateur. I haven’t seen him hit the ball yet, but we’re planning to play nine holes together on Wednesday morning. I’m looking forward to seeing his game, which is obviously impressive when you look at all the great achievements he’s already had. Just to be in the field here at his age is a tremendous accomplishment. It says a lot for Corey and a lot for the state of Canadian golf.

The Masters is special for me and I’m glad I’m here, even if I’m not at my best. There’s nothing like being in Augusta in April.

As always, thanks for your support.

March Update

The West Coast Swing is over and I can’t say I’m sad to see it go. While it’s always a wonderful time playing courses such as Pebble Beach and Riviera, and the tournaments are run so well, my game wasn’t sharp during that stretch and I paid the price in missed cuts.

Obviously it’s disappointing to play poorly, especially on courses where I’ve done well in the past. But I know I’m on the right track to getting my game back and while I’ve been playing poorly, I’m still optimistic about where I’m headed. Overall, I know I’m moving in the right direction with the swing changes I’m making. Some days it feels really good and other times not so much. But I know that I’m improving. And I feel like I’m really close to a breakthrough.
That’s what happened last year at the Byron Nelson. It can happen out on the PGA TOUR where one day you get up on the tee and find that trigger and fall into your balance and aiming properly and putting well. I’m trying to find that stress-free golf where I’m not standing over eight- and 10-footers for par all day.

I’m using a lot of technology available to me to help out my swing, things like Trackman. But when I get on the course, I want to forget that. I want to be more artist than scientist when I’m playing.

One of the most frustrating parts right now is that I can stand on the range and hit great shots – on my target with the right trajectory and everything. But I can’t seem to take that to the course. When I step on to the first tee, some of my bad habits come back. I think Tiger Woods calls that Ranger Rick – I guess I’m Ranger Mike right now.

I also know that there are no short cuts to getting things going properly. It’s simply going to take a lot of work. That’s something I’ve never shied away from although I do know I have to work smart and not necessarily overdo it. I think that may have been what caused my most recent elbow stiffness. While I was playing the Northern Trust Open, I felt my elbow get tight – it wasn’t really a pain, but when I gripped the club, I could really feel my elbow. Although I was gripping the club lightly, it felt as if I had a stranglehold on it. I tried to play on with that feeling but I just couldn’t do it; it didn’t make much sense to keep playing and risk a more serious injury.

I had some acupuncture and massage therapy on it and it’s feeling much better. Thankfully the doctors told me that it wasn’t another serious injury to the ligament where I had my surgery a few years ago. I have a feeling that this week I’m going to need my Aleve!

I’ve been asked a few times about what’s new in my bag this year and I’m excited that I’m using the new TaylorMade AeroBurner, which I love. I really feel as if I can hit it long and straight, and it just jumps off the face. It’s been a great addition. I’ve been playing a lot recently so I haven’t had time to implement the fairways and rescues yet, but when I get a week off and I can get them dialed in, they’ll go in the bag too. TaylorMade really has the smartest engineers in the business and it’s nice to know I can get the best equipment for my game.

This week it was announced that I will be the captain of Team Canada at the second RBC Canada Cup, part of the Nova Scotia Open on the Tour being held in Halifax. I’ll be joining up with Graham DeLaet and David Hearn to take on Team World. It was announced that Fred Couples will be the playing captain of that side which is just great. Freddy is one of my good friends out on tour. He really helped me along in my early days and also showed me a lot of Augusta National when I first started playing there.

It was out in another Maritime province where Freddy and I really became friends. We were playing in the Skins Game at Crowbush Cove in PEI and we hit it off. That was my rookie year on the PGA Tour and he made a point of playing lots of practice rounds with me after that event. We’ve been good friends ever since.

Team Canada will be looking for a little redemption this time around as we got beat up pretty good last year in this event at New Ashburn. I’m hoping Graham and David are as hungry as I am for a win.

My schedule leading up to The Masters will be a little on and off. Hopefully I’ll be playing this week at Honda, then Valspar and finally the Valero Texas Open.

Speaking of The Masters, I’m hoping to arrange a practice round with Corey Conners, the young amateur from Listowell, Ont., who is in the field by virtue of his runner-up finish as last year’s U.S. Amateur. I’m excited to see his game and to show him around Augusta National – I can only imagine how exciting it will be for him to play here for the first time.

As always, thanks for your support.