Personally I have played just three rounds since the turn of the year and on the evidence of those three games I know I'm a long way off hitting top form yet, but as the weather improves ever so slightly, I am determined from this week on to get in my regular two games every week.
I don't play team golf anymore (been there, done that and have the t-shirt) so I won't be involved in preparations for the Cups and Shields, which are, I understand, well underway in most clubs by now. I'm told that some clubs in Kerry have had panels of players getting together one or two nights per week in hotels and gymnasiums in preparation for the forthcoming GUI Cups and Shields. Sadly that's the way golf has evolved and there are clubs nowadays (particularly from the North) that prepare their Jimmy Bruen and Pierce Purcell teams like professional athletes in an attempt to win a national title. They get together a couple of times a week with the professional for coaching, they're doing fitness work and even monitoring their diet.
Gone, I'm afraid, are the days when a group of players from a club happened to hit form at the right time and got the necessary breaks to win a pennant. It's a science now so unless you and your club have been preparing properly don't expect to reap the rewards against these "professional" amateurs.
In the immortal words of Roy Keane "fail to prepare, then, prepare to fail".