Sam Hutsby believes a new caddy will spark an upturn in fortunes as he bids to get himself back into the European Tour elite.
The 22-year-old missed out on his full European Tour playing privileges this season by just one place and needs a good start to the new campaign to boost his ranking and gain more entries.
But after an unsuccessful switch to a new caddy – Darren Reynolds – last season, the former Lee-on-the-Solent man has found a new partner in crime to carry the bag – South African Trevor Muggeridge.
And despite missing the cut at the Sicilian Open last week, Hutsby believes the new partnership will pay dividends after admitting his choice of caddy was a factor in last season’s failure to retain his card.
Hutsby explained: ‘I had my best friend Martin Adams on the bag to start with.
‘But I made a decision to go with an experienced caddy in Darren, who used to be Paul McGinley’s caddy.
‘He was a good caddy and his preparation was second to none.
‘But when I was playing really well, he didn’t quite give me enough support.
‘And when I wasn’t on my game you need someone to get you in a good frame of mind to keep you positive.
‘Unfortunately, having a guy I didn’t know very well didn’t work so well for me.
‘You need a caddy by your side to give you that support, encouragement and advice.
‘It’s a massive role. I found it difficult when he was telling me to hit a certain shot that I wasn’t comfortable with.
‘It’s hard because there will be times when the caddy is right and you’re wrong.
‘You don’t want someone just there agreeing with everything but then it comes down to personalities and knowing each other.
‘Maybe I should have dealt with the matter a bit sooner but I let it drag on.
‘I stuck with him for the year but if I’d kept my friend on the bag, I think I would have secured my card.
‘At the time I thought, for the long run, it would be a better decision.’
While the partnership with Reynolds didn’t pan out quite as he had hoped, Hutsby is positive about his new man on the bag.
He said: ‘As soon as I met Trevor, I knew he was a great guy who is easy to get on with.
‘Trevor is still getting to know my game but if I think it’s a perfect seven iron and he agrees, it’s sometimes just that little bit of assurance that you need.
‘If you’ve got a guy disagreeing with you, even if you think it’s a seven iron, you will have that bit of doubt in your mind.
‘But I’ve got a guy on the bag who I feel comfortable with now.’
Due to his ranking, Hutsby was not expecting to be in action on the European Tour this week as it heads to Malaga.
But he will return in the Kenya Open on the Challenge Tour on March 31.
‘I played quite nicely in Sicily last week even though I missed the cut,’ added Hutsby.
‘The long game is pretty much going how I want it to.
‘But now I just need to tidy up the rest of my game and I will be on my way.
‘I just need a good result, get some confidence and it will go from there.’