Coast golfer aims for world's top-50 players
HIS new year will start on Aussie soil but if everything goes according to plan for 20-year-old Shae Wools-Cobb, 2017 will end with him inside the world's top-50 amateurs and be painted in red, white and blue.
But as the Maroochy River and former South Burnett product will tell you, even the most tightly knit plans can come unravelled.
Keeping a structured approach and routine is what the current no.132 world-ranked amateur hopes will take his game to new heights.
After a few days away from the game over the Christmas break, Wools-Cobb is refreshed and ready to tackle the Australian Master of the Amateur at Royal Melbourne next week.
He will then take on the Australian Amateur at Yarra Yarra and, later this year, has plans to travel to the United States to try and qualify for the US Amateur at Riviera Country Club in August.
"My goal is top-50 so I can qualify for the Asia Pacific Amateur where you can earn a spot in the US Masters, which would be awesome," he said.
"If you're in the top-50 you're straight in(to the US Amateur). If not, I'll try through one of the qualifiers."
His first assignment in 2017 is on familiar territory, albeit unforgiving.
He opened last year's Master of Amateurs with a round of 79. He bounced back in the final three rounds but it wasn't enough to feature at the pointy end.
"I think I was five-over really early and I just tried to get really aggressive instead of staying patient and trying to get a few birdies," he said.
"You can't do that at Royal Melbourne."
Melbourne's Sandbelt courses are considered among the toughest in world golf.
"There was a 120m par-3 that played 107-over (par) for the week ... there was guys getting on in one and walking off with eight," he said. "It was ridiculous."
Now a little older, and definitely wiser for the experience, Wools-Cobb believes his preparation is spot on ahead of next week.
"I sometimes go away from my routine ... especially when I'm under pressure," he said.
"I've got a small 'c' on my glove now which is short for 'content'. I just look at that and it's my trigger.
"Jason Day (stays in routine) even when he's practising."
He said Maroochy River was ideal to prepare for the prestigious tournament.
"It gets very windy at Maroochy River so I've been out there working on my low shots in preparation for Royal Melbourne," he said.
Wools-Cobb will be joined by Pelican Waters' member and Keperra Bowl winner Charlie Dann.
* We'll catch up with Dann next week to see how he is preparing to tackle 2017.