Gonzalo Fernández-Castaño

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Gonzalo, Francesco Molinari and Jeff Paul, Fernández-Castaño's caddie.

Hi everyone! Vacation is over, time to get back to the grind. The first stop of a three-week streak of tournaments is the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs, California. And it's incredible how fast the good part comes to an end. 

On the one hand, I really feel like getting started on my second season of the PGA Tour. I truly think it's going to be an amazing year, and that after various slip-ups in 2014, from which I learned a lot, it's motivated me to come back with a vengeance and to do things well.

On the other hand, I'm going to arrive a bit rusty for these first couple tournaments of the year. It's logical and normal after eight weeks of down time, but this time, something else came up to alter my plans for the pre-season. Throughout these eight weeks of rest, I've had the opportunity to consciously prepare for the first couple events of 2015. And that was exactly what I did during the first three weeks away from competition, but unfortunately strong back pain mid-month in December put my plans to a screeching halt. What began as a small disturbance after a session of training at the gym turned into sharp pain, so much so that I couldn't even move. I was really upset for a few days. Two weeks went by and the pain had subsided, but I was still unable to do my normal swing. Since the symptoms were similar to those I had in 2011, I decided to go back to Spain after the holidays to see Doctor Sacristán, who helped me so much in my recovery the last time.

Alicia was able to come with me for those days. You had to see our faces when the plane touched down in Madrid! On the contrary to other times when we couldn't wait to get back to Spain, we looked like two deer in the headlights: we were not looking forward to the doctor visit at all! Thank god the doctor was able to help me again, and in just four sessions of aponeurologic surgery at the Leonor Sacristán Medical Center, I was already set to go back to Miami!

We took advantage of those days in Madrid to see family and friends whom we had been missing so much after so long away from home. And we also ate Roscón de Reyes, one of my favorite sweets, so the trip wasn't in vane after all. If I would have been able to hunt one of the days, that would have been the icing on the cake!

After getting back to Miami, I tried kicking it into gear to recover for lost time because of the injury. But I has to start little by little to avoid overdoing it and getting hurt again.

This weekend on the way to California, I stopped in Dallas to see my new coach, Randy Smith. Weather was on our side, and we took full advantage of the two training sessions. We went over all aspects of the game, with a special emphasis on the wedges, where I think I had the most trouble last year. I'm very excited about this new project: it's never easy to make a decision to change coaches, but I think I was a bit stuck in my swing and needed a different perspective.

But the best news is that I was able to play without any pain and that I'm ready to start this year off on the anticipated dates. So, here we are again on the plane ready to embark upon my eleventh professional season, excited and ready to take it on, and clear-minded thanks to the long break I've had the last couple of months. So, let's go get 'em!