AS a nation chitters and golf courses resemble the Arctic tundra, there are always a few hardy perennials battering away.

Temperatures may have plummeted and the ground has been as hard as a marble plinth but that’s not going to stop Doogie and Ronnie having their Wednesday two-ball. At least they’re probably getting more run on their drives than they did during a sodden summer.

For those who play this game for a living, a migration to the warmer climes of Spain, Dubai, the US or the heated bays at the World of Golf near Drumchapel tends to be the favoured option. Not for Marc Warren, though.

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“I’ve tried going to Florida for the winter but I probably had my worst years on tour after I had done that,” said Warren, who will resume his European Tour duties in early January.

“I felt I was doing everything right when I was out there. I was doing a bit of training and did some putting out there which isn’t easily accessible in Scotland in the winter, so I thought

I was giving myself an advantage. But it had the opposite effect.

"So I think for me, mentally and physically, I’ve decided to just have that down time, especially as the next tournament is so far away. The clubs are away just now.”

The 2018 campaign will be Warren’s 13th consecutive season on the main European Tour. Unlucky for some? Well, let’s hope not. The three-time tour winner endured his fair share of misfortune in 2017 with a niggling shoulder problem which was finally cured towards the tail end of the year and allowed him to produce a late flourish which

lifted him away from the danger zone of the rankings and into the upper reaches.

By his own admission, Warren tends to be a slow starter but the shoulder injury made that progress even more laborious.

“Once or twice I’ve had decent starts, but majority of the time it’s been the second half of the season when things click,” added the former World Cup winner. “This year, though, I felt as if I had a really good winter, I worked hard physically and felt as if I was ready to get out and play well.

“My hopes were quite high, but then I got a shoulder injury at Dubai and from then it was a bit of a struggle. It was a long, tough summer. I’ll try to use these five, six weeks to get physically stronger again and hopefully prevent those things happening again.”

The last of Warren’s three tour triumphs arrived in Denmark in 2014 and he flirted with victory in Portugal this season during his resurgence and finished second.

While adding to that tally is always the target, Warren prefers to let golfing affairs take their natural course.

“I don’t set goals,” he said. “I used to do that and I was very detailed but I don’t do that any longer. It’s just a case of trying as hard as you can day in, day out. No matter what score you shoot you want to feel like you’ve given it all you can.

“I joined the tour at the end of 2005. It’s flown by. I’ll be 37 next year and apart from this season, I’ve been lucky with injuries. Look at Monty? He never lifted a weight in his life and has hardly ever been injured.”