If you haven't played as regularly during the winter as you do in summer - and let's face it, most of us do not - the chances are that it is touch, feel and judgement that will be most affected by the layoff.
And while all parts of the game are dependent on feel, it is the short game, particularly putting, where it becomes most important. To find out where you are with your putting stroke, a simple and effective drill is to putt with your eyes closed.
Just put down 10 balls on a practice green and stroke each to the hole, closing your eyes once you have addressed the ball - it's one of the most effective ways of feeling how well your putting stroke has held up during its period of neglect; that's why Ernie Els does it.
Don't give yourself a hole or other target, simply concentrate on making the same stroke each time, so that the balls will finish in a (hopefully) tight cluster.
|| 16 - FEBRUARY 2005