Chris Wood has revealed he is hopeful of making his competitive comeback from injury at the African Open in January.
The Englishman, 23, has not played since pulling out of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship at the start of last month.
Wood was forced to withdraw after the third round of the event in Scotland having sustained a disc injury in his lower back.
Although he has written off the remainder of this season, the Bristolian has stepped up his rehabilitation recently and is already looking forward to next year.
Indeed, he is hoping to be ready for the first event of the 2012 European Tour schedule which takes place at East London Golf Club in South Africa on January 5.
"I'm still at home and officially finished competing for the year," he told the ISM (International Sports Management) website. "Obviously this is very disappointing but I have to keep looking at the bigger picture and coming out completely fit and ready for the start of next season is the goal.
Turned the corner
"The good news is I think I have turned the corner.
"I'm hoping to be hitting long irons this week and have set myself the target of a first game back in a local Gloucester and Somerset PGA medal early next month at one of my favourite courses near me, Burnham and Berrow.
"It's only a few weeks away now but I think it's a realistic goal. If I'm going to play at the African Open I need to be ready."
However, one upside of his inactivity is that Wood has been able to work hard on his short game in recent weeks and he feels the practice has paid handsome dividends.
"I've been able to do a lot of pitching and short game practice in the last few weeks and I am really enjoying being able to spend a couple of hours each day totally devoted to those areas of the game," he continued.
"When does anyone spend three weeks of practice just pitching? I feel like I have it on a piece of string inside 100 yards now with some really good numbers that I will be looking to take to the golf course next season."