CHARLESTOWN professional Jake Higginbottom is confident that a change in coach will lead to more consistency - his career might hinge on it.
After spending more than a decade working with Gary Barter, Higginbottom has switched to the Grant Field camp.
"I have been with Gaz for a while and have been struggling a bit with my game," Higginbottom said. "You can only struggle for so long. I thought I needed a change. As much as it is me, I guess your coach has to take some responsibility.
"I am still good mates with Gaz. It was a hard decision to make but I thought it was the best one for me."
Based at Pelican Waters on the Sunshine Coast, Field also coaches US PGA tour winner and world No.28 Cameron Smith and European tour player Maverick Ancliff.
"I have been up to Pelican Waters a couple of times and we have done a few facetime lessons," Higginbottom said. "I try and send him video every Monday to make sure the progress is going the way we want it to. The things we are working on are not big changes but they will take time. We have made a couple of adjustments to my set up and the way I rotate back."
Higginbottom has spent the majority of his career on the Australian and Asia tours.
He has eight top-10 finishes in 94 events on the Asian Tour which is currently suspended due to COVID.
As well as practice, Higginbottom is working part-time in the pro shop at Waratah golf club.
"I want to improve everything and be more consistent," Higginbottom said.
"It is all well and good to play well every now and then, but you need to be playing consistently well. Then when you have a bad week, it's not that bad. There are too many good players these days. To make money you need to play consistently well."
Higginbottom will team up with Mark Rainey in the NSW Foursomes at Strathfield today.
"It will be a bit of fun," he said. "The format is Canadian foursomes. We both hit off the tee and then alternate from there. That will help us a little bit."
The first Australasian event is the $150,000 Northern Territory PGA starting August 19.
"The Hawks Nest pro-am is the week after then Port Macquarie," he said. "If you go to the NT PGA, have an average week and come 30th, you don't make any money. That is the way Australian golf is at the moment. That is why you have to try and play overseas so you can compete for decent purses."
** The Newcastle District representative team made it two-from-two with an emphatic 16.5-7.5 win over Central Coast at The Springs Golf Club, Peats Ridge on the weekend.
The two-day competition was split into fourball and individual matchplay in senior, colts and juniors. The Newcastle juniors featured 12 year olds Harry Leggatt (Hawks Nest) and Lachlan Lawson (Nelson Bay).
They teamed up with senior Mick Coutman and Chris Turnbull respectively to be among six winning Newcastle pairs in the four ball.
The individual matchplay contests were tighter. Josh Robards, Luke Ferrier (colts), Patrick Duffy, Max Duffy-Smith, Hamish Ellison (juniors), Dave Alexander, Tom De Witt, Mick Wade and Mick Coutman (seniors) won matches for Newcastle.
Next is a battle with Hunter River at Hawks Nest on July 24-25, followed by the regional championships at Kooindah Waters (August 14-15).
** Shane Beasley (Pacific Dunes) battled brutal conditions at Belmont on Sunday to win the B-Grade division of the OC Colley Cup with 38 points. Local Peter Jones was runner-up with 35 points.
Tanilba Bay's Iain Neilson was the C-Grade Oc Colley champion, with is 40 points, two clear of Bill Jaeger (38).
** Former Hunter professional Aaron Townsend and Brendan Smith will tee up in the 54-hole $70,000 Rockhampton Pro-Am starting Thursday. Smith woks in logistics at a mine in Central Queensland and takes time off to play in events in his area.
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