CARBON’S DP World Tour ambassador Richie Ramsay is coming off a memorable top 20 Order of Merit season and a welcome return to the winner’s circle. Now, he’s gearing-up for the 2023 Middle East Swing, starting with the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship at Yas Links from January 19-24.
“Abu Dhabi is the first tournament of the year for me, after a week’s preparation in Dubai with my coach, Ian Rae.
“Chances are I’ll be in the Middle East for four weeks and it’s a great time of the year to be away from Scotland.
“Part of the process has been testing out the new clubs from Callaway on the Trackman. Back home I was doing work at Kingsfield and Murrayfield on their great indoor facilities.
“People ask what courses I play and I tend to go for ones I haven’t played for real.
“One was Baker’s Bay, somewhere in the Bahamas. Simulators are ideal when it’s cold outside, you’ve got new clubs to try out and you can bomb round 18 holes in an hour and 15 minutes!
“I want the clubs close to being dialled in for the first tournament and nowadays the technology gives you instant feedback.
“I have been with Callaway for the last four years. I don’t change clubs every year. Something needs to be better for me to do that. It must be evidence-based.
“Fortunately, we have very good systems which tell you all you need to know in terms of carry and spin. Then, if you like the look and the feel of them it’s a winner.
“Callaway are superb with me. They give great support.
“This season I have the new Paradym driver and I’ll have some new, longer Rogue irons that will hit the ball a little higher and spin the ball a bit more.
“I always go with four wedges. They all have different grinds on them, depending on the type of turf I’ll be playing on.
“You have to be careful not to disappear down a rabbit hole over-thinking the options but fundamentally it does make a difference.
“It’s mostly the same clubs and the same technology that’s there for club golfers. It’s just that the pros can get them tweaked to the nth degree.
“It’s your livelihood so you have to have faith in the team that is building your clubs. It really does make a difference. A quarter of a shot per round can be huge in terms of a leader board.
“I won the Cazoo at Hillside last year by a single shot. I told the Callaway guys afterwards I had no doubt the equipment I had was spot-on.
“The proof will be under the gun but if I can get close to where I want to be before teeing-up then I’m in a good place.
“It is amazing how much technology has changed in my time as a professional on Tour. It will be the same in whatever line of business you are in. Contact with home, whether it’s the office or family, is so much more immediate.
“I remember in my amateur days I would pace out yardages, hit balls, collect them and hit more.
“Now there’s a slo-mo camera on the phone and What’s App so a couple of clicks ensures I can get rapid feedback from my coach wherever I am in the world.
“Ian used to rely on those hefty video cameras which needed gym work outs to lug around.
“It’s all a far cry from the days I’d look to download stuff and come back two hours later to find less than 20% of it had landed.
“When I was at college in America I didn’t even have a mobile phone. I had Post It notes everywhere.
“I’m looking forward to the new season and Abu Dhabi is the first test.
“Ian and I have stuck with the same routine, with the preceding week working on aspects of my game in Dubai.
“I took quite a bit of time off after a good season last year and cleared my mind before stepping up the training.
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