Mel Reid estimates she’s only hit roughly 25 balls in the last four months.
But the England star believes if her game clicks around the 13th Beach layout at Barwon Heads this week she can defend her Oates Vic Open crown.
Reid has only recently been given the medical all-clear to resume playing and hastily booked her flights to Australia to start her 2018 campaign.
The 30-year-old is delighted to be back at Barwon Heads to defend her Oates Vic Open title and said she hopes the back injury that plagued the end to her 2017 season are well and truly behind her.
“My main goal over the (English) winter was to get fit and healthy and I’ve managed to do that to probably about 75 to 80 per cent,” Reid said after playing in Tuesday’s Pro-Am event at 13th Beach.
“I haven’t hit too many golf balls – that could be a good thing, it could be a bad thing, I’m not sure yet.
“So I’ve not got huge expectations this week. But I definitely like to put myself in some sort of contention on Sunday.
“I feel like I’m hitting it decent enough.
“But it’s great to be here. I’ve got good memories here. Whenever you defend a title it’s very nice.
“It was certainly one of my favourite weeks last year and this is where I wanted to start my 2018 season.”
Last year’s emotional victory over Germany’s Sandra Gal in a three-hole play-off was Reid’s first victory for two years.
She only posted one more top 10 finish for the year on both the Ladies European and LPGA Tours, but was part of Europe’s Solheim Cup team for the third time.
Reid said in hindsight, she shouldn’t have played on through her back issues late in the season.
“It kind of repaired itself and then I did it again in September, I bulged a disc,” Reid said.
“So I probably shouldn’t have played from September onwards but I did and it was a mistake and I did a bit of damage to it.”
Reid admits Australia has been one of her favourite locations to play golf throughout her career and is excited to be back down under.
“I feel very at home here and I really like the people here and the way of life,” Reid said.
“I enjoying the golf course (at 13th Beach). I feel like it sets up well from my point of view and obviously played some relatively decent golf here.”
In 2018 the men and women will play for $1.3 million in prizemoney which will again be split equally between the two fields. Reid said it’s a positive for women’s golf to have such a tournament where the spotlight is shared by both genders.
“That’s the way golf kind of needs to go to a certain degree. There’s lots of equality chat going on at the minute all over the world and it’s nice to have a tournament where it is equal,” Reid declared.
“There should be way more tournaments like this. I think it would be fantastic for golf.”