Have a saunter along a driving range at a tournament of significant stature and you’ll be confronted by a tremendous sea of bodies.

Coaches, agents, managers, caddies, trainers, mind gurus, nutritionists, soothsayers? You name it, the modern golf professional will have it as they encircle themselves with the kind of vast entourage that used to kowtow to the world’s most extravagant Divas.

While the touring circus of the pro scene can often feature more hangers-on than a rockpool of barnacles, Grant Forrest prefers to plough something of a lone furrow.

The 28-year-old’s best season on the European Tour, which has included a maiden win and two more top-four finishes, will come to a conclusion at this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.

In this very individual game, his individual approach continues to reap rewards. “I think we are all quite independent until you get on tour,” reflected Forrest, who joins his fellow Scots, Robert MacIntyre and Calum Hill, in the end of year beanfeast.

“I think it’s easy to fall into the trap. You see top players with loads of folk around them and I think there is a place for that, but it is a big adjustment.

“When you are playing college golf or you’re on the Challenge Tour, you are usually just on your own and sometimes you don’t even have a caddie.

“All of a sudden, if you jump into having coaches, psychologists, caddies, managers, whatever, it can be just too much. You can get distracted from what you are trying to do, which is playing golf tournaments,

“It’s just part of the learning experience, finding what works for you and what you want.

“So, for me, I just want to turn up at a tournament to play and not see a coach on the range. I’ve been trying to do most of my work away from tournaments. My coach has been at a few events, but when he’s there he’s just there for Monday/Tuesday or Tuesday/Wednesday and then he leaves me to get on with it. I think that is important.”

Forrest sits in 38th place on the Race to Dubai rankings and if he could barge his way into the leading 30 by the end of the week, he would clinch a tee-time for the 150th Open at St Andrews. It won’t be an easy task, though. “Everyone is picking up points this week, so you really need to be in the top-10 (on the leaderboard) to start making a jump on guys who are ahead of you,” noted Forrest.

Last week, on the Fire course in Dubai, Forrest was 12-under but that was only good enough for 51st spot. He is anticipating a tougher examination on the Earth course over the next four days.

“Last week was wide open with not much rough and showed that even at 7,500 yards we’ll still tear it apart,” Forrest said. “This week is a proper golf course.”

Whatever happens this week, Forrest can look back with satisfaction on another year of progress in a hellishly competitive environment.

Since earning promotion to the main circuit at the end of 2018, having earned his stripes on the Challenge Tour, the former Scottish Amateur champion has inched his way up the ladder. He was 94th on the rankings during his rookie season in 2019 and 72nd in 2020.

“It seems to have been a steady progression every year although sometimes it doesn’t feel like that because golf is full of ups and downs,” he added. “But you have to keep looking long term. I’m going in the right direction every year.”

The 2022 schedule has been bolstered by the financial clout of a sizeable Dubai war chest. The strategic alliance, meanwhile, with the PGA Tour will see a couple of co-sanctioned events in the diary.

Two of those – the Barbasol Championship and the Barracuda Championship – take place the same week as the Scottish Open and The Open respectively. Forrest, obviously, would be desperate to be in the two showpiece occasions on home soil but, if not, the chance to compete on the PGA Tour is not to be sniffed at.

“They are smaller events but you could go over there and win and it gets you an exemption for the PGA Tour,” said Forrest. “It would be massive to get that. Next year, we’ll have more opportunities and we’ll be playing for more money. It’s an exciting time.”