The weather during January is ideal for playing golf. Daytime temperatures creep above 20 centigrade, the sun shines much of the time and light breezes are common. Increasing numbers of players are aware of this and heading to Abu Dhabi to play at a time of year when courses closer to home are affected by cold and inclement weather.
Performing at an elite level of sport requires a tough mental and emotional discipline and that is not a given thing, it has to be learned. Its just as big a part of your training as the hours in the pool, the gym or the track. How you approach the mental and emotional side of sport will teach you more about yourself than any formal education, and probably be the biggest lesson you will learn... at elite level, you have to learn how to lose and your emotional response to losing is what toughens you up and teaches you who you are.
There is no doubt that Rory McIlroy has cut a rather depressing figure of late. It may be cliché to write about the world number three, only writing about Tiger Woods would be more frowned upon. Whether you agree he deserves his current world ranking or not, there is a distinct sense that all is not well in the McIlroy camp.