In winter, particularly in Scotland, none of us can get onto the course as often as we would like. And even when we do, rock hard or wet spongy ground, plus the unkind elements, all conspire to make the game a stiff challenge.
But we all know that, when obliged to play more infrequently than we would like, touch on and around the greens is the first element of skill to leave us.
Yet those tricky little chips and pitches are the easiest thing to practise at home - either in the garden or, if you're brave enough to risk that family-heirloom vase, even indoors.
All you need is an old, coconut matting style doormat from which to pitch or chip, and 10-20 minutes once or twice a week. You'll still be frustrated at the lack of opportunities to get on the course but when the new season kicks off in earnest you should at least have a head start on your usual playing partners.
|| 9 - JANUARY 2002