Josh Hill on the range ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Josh Hill on the range ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship Image Credit: Supplied

On the eve of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, I met up with Dan Coughlin, strength and conditioning guru for the DP World Tour at Yas Links.

It is a coincidence that Dan is also the strength and conditioning coach for England — I had heard of him and the work he does, but this is the first time I had met him face to face. The older I get, the world of golf seems to be getting smaller and smaller as everyone seems to know each other at all levels of the game.

Dan did his assessments and tests to try to find some room for improvement, even just a little advantage as golf is a game of such small margins.

I have got my results, but this is more a long-term project, not just for this week and the next four weeks in the UAE. All he said to me was that the numbers looked good, which gave me a lot of confidence.

I did some light work on the range around noon and a lot of putting practice. Peter, my caddie, and I took our PCR tests earlier on Wednesday and it was a relief to come back negative. They have a very impressive on-site service set up by the DP World Tour.

I have an early start on Thursday for Round 1 of the Abu Dhabi Championship. I will do some light stretching exercises in the gym and then off to the course at around 7.15am for an 8.50am tee time. This is my tournament preparation routine that I have adapted over the past couple of years.

It is great to see UAE professional Ahmed Al Musharrekh getting the last invitation in the field, so we have the UAE boys with Ahmed, Ahmad Skaik and myself in the field. I wish them both well and I want to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and followers for all their support.

The last time I played this event was in 2020 at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. Since then, despite the challenges of Covid-19, I have matured as a golfer and as a person.

I am looking forward to a nice meal, a good night’s sleep, which I always have, then it all starts in the morning.