Guest blogger Jess Ratcliffe is here with her May update, the result of her quest to get to single figures in nine months

Jess Ratcliffe has a life-threatening, one-in-a-million blood disease called Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH), which meant she had to shield during the Covid-19 lockdowns in the UK. Then she found golf and went on a mission to get to single figures by the end of May 2022.

Here's her fourth blog and final blog (for the time being)...

A few months ago, I shared with you my quest to reach single figures by the end of May 2022. It was a big goal and one that grew in size every time I told someone about it and heard a sharp intake of breath followed by…“May, this year?”

I know it was a big goal but the thing is, I enjoy setting myself big goals. Goals that stretch me to discover what’s possible when you give yourself permission to go for it. 

I believe we learn so much more when we pursue a goal that when we set it, might not feel possible, but that inspires us to take action we wouldn’t otherwise take. And break limitations we might not otherwise break.

As you’ll know by the title of my article, the risk in setting yourself a big goal is that you might not make it. It’s that fear of failure that puts us off stretching ourselves in the first place.

But as someone who set themselves a big goal and didn’t make it, I can tell you that the reward – the progress you’ll make – is worth it.

I wouldn’t have cut my handicap from 34.1 to 13.8 in 9 months if I didn’t set myself this goal. If I didn’t have a focus to point myself towards and encourage me to spend hours (and hours) practicing and playing, even through the winter months.

It hasn’t been easy and I won’t lie, there have been times when I wish I hadn’t set myself this goal, especially on those rounds when you’re walking in wondering if you’ve lost it all together.

But golf isn’t easy and that’s why we love it. In fact, I believe it’s one of the hardest sports out there because you’re not only playing against the course, you’re playing against yourself and all those negative thoughts that can take over your mind.

And that’s what excites me now – to learn how to harness my mind when I’m on the course, so I can fulfill my golfing potential, by bringing together the methods I use in my coaching outside of golf with the sport I’m still head over heels in love with.

To wrap up this series, I thought about sharing everything I’ve learned (so far) but really, there’s only one thing I hope you’ll take away; an excitement to set your own big golf goal. One that stretches you beyond what might feel possible because you just never know what you might achieve when you give yourself permission to go for it.

Thank you for being with me over the last few months – I can’t wait to continue my quest and see where my golfing journey might take me. If you want to say hello, I’d love to hear from you, I’m @jessratcliffe on Instagram or [email protected]