Grant Forrest is guarding against burnout as he bids to make his season catch fire in the latest big event on the Craigielaw star’s 2016 schedule.
The 22-year-old started his year in Australia back in January then played in events in South Africa, Spain and Portugal before the domestic campaign kicked in.
Throw in two Challenge Tour starts in Turkey and Italy and it is easy to see why Forrest was aiming to mix some practice with an equal measure of R&R this week.
Next up for the Walker Cup player is the Amateur Championship starting on Monday at Royal Porthcawl, where he’ll be bidding to go one better than runner-up at Carnoustie 12 months ago.
Straight after that he’s got the SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge at Macdonald Spey Valley in Aviemore then Open qualifying at Gailes Links in Ayrshire.
“There’s a lot of big golf coming up, so I am trying to use my experience to stay as fresh as I can,” said Forrest, the world No.22 and Scottish No.1.
“I need to stay rested, having realised the importance of that last year when it was too late to do anything about it.
“I came home from college in the States after a stretch of golf and played so much golf back here that by the time the middle of July came around I felt burned out a bit.”
Based on his decision to skip events like the Scottish Champion of Champions and Craigmillar Park Open earlier in the year, Forrest isn’t scared to make some tough decisions. And, having finished second and 12th in the Scottish Open Stroke-Play at Gullane and the St Andrews Links Trophy in his latest two outings, his game is peaking when he needs it to.
“I’ve had two solid performances over the past fortnight and have taken a lot of confidence from that,” he admitted. “I played some great golf at Gullane while St Andrews was the total opposite but I still managed to record a decent finish.
“I didn’t have my A game there, so it was a bit of a battle. I made a few long putts that kept me going and coming back in two-under in the last round was definitely pleasing.”
Forrest lost to Frenchman Romain Langasque in the final of last year’s Amateur Championship and has discovered there was no disgrace in that. Langasque, after all, shot a 67 in the last round after making the cut in this year’s Masters and is now making his presence felt as a pro on the Challenge Tour.
“I was low in confidence going into the Amateur Championship last year so getting to the final definitely gave me a boost,” recalled Forrest. “Once you get into the match-play phase in it, you can get on a run, as I did last year.
“I am heading down to Wales tomorrow to start preparing for my latest crack at it. I’ve not played Royal Porthcawl but have only heard good things, having hosted events like the Walker Cup.”