Richie Ramsay aims to have a “clear goal” for 2019 when he tees off his new campaign in the Middle East next month.
The Capital-based golfer will be competing on the European Tour for the 11th season in a row after digging deep in the final event on the 2018 schedule to hang on to his card.
He has made some swing and equipment tweaks which he hopes will help him do better in the new Race to Dubai and also wants to be more focused on what he is aiming to achieve next year.
“I’m trying to get everything aligned,” said Ramsay, a three-time winner on the circuit. “My swing has been good but it’s not as consistent as it needs to be, so I have been working on a few things with Ian [Rae, his coach]. I have also made some changes to equipment at St Andrews with the guy from Callaway while I’ve mirrored that with my work with Kenny McKenzie at First Tee Fitness.
“I need to try and chase a little bit more speed but, at the same time, maintain flexibility and stability. All those things are hopefully going to be good.
“We all want to be in it together and we all need to have the same idea about what we are doing for me to be the best I can be – and I want to be chasing wins.
“There’s an element of complacency that can creep in. Sometimes you are wondering what goals to set when you’ve won a few tournaments and made it to the Race to Dubai final but are not knocking at being in the top 50 in the world.
“You are not in a position where there is a clear goal in front of you. Ian always says that if I have a clear goal of where I want to get to, I plan it out and try and execute it.
“I think that is going to be one of the main changes for 2019. I need more of a clear goal and make sure that I don’t deviate from that plan. I think in my younger years I was very good at that. Nothing would sway me back then and I need to be more headstrong. Every little thing makes a difference to what happens on the golf course day to day.”
Ramsay resisted the temptation to join the likes of Craigielaw’s Grant Forrest in heading to Hong Kong, Mauritius and South Africa for some of the early events on the 2019 schedule. Instead, the former US Amateur champion organised a “mini camp” at Pearl Valley, where he won the South African Open in 2010, to get himself ready for his first event in Abu Dhabi.
“I was tempted to go away and play but, on reflection, I felt it was better to cross a lot of t’s and dot a lot of i’s,” he added. “Last season I felt I was a bit tired before I even started and that’s never happened before.
“I was quite fatigued, to be honest. I wasn’t really ready to go. The idea is to go to Abu Dhabi and do five or six days with Ian.
“Other than this mini camp in South Africa, I’m trying not to touch the clubs too much. I will work on the swing in the mirror but not be out there grinding too much. I want to feel a bit fresher when I start out in January.”
While determined to taste success again, not just for himself but also wife Angela and young daughter OIivia, Ramsay says it is easier said than done.
“A lot more guys on the tour these days are far more disciplined than when I started,” he stressed. “You have to work as hard as ever but I have an idea of what I want to do the next few years. I’m 36 next year and the goal is to play to 40 and assess it from there.
“The biggest thing for me is taking care of my family, that’s my number one thing in life. I want to be as good as I can be and, as a consequence of that, if I can play well and give Olivia and Angela choices in life that they might not ordinarily get to do, that would be great.”