Jason Norris’s self-proclaimed worst year in golf could not have come at a worse possible time.

A win last August in the Fiji International – a week after quitting his job working in the pro shop at The Grange Golf Club in Adelaide – provided the golden ticket to the European Tour that he had craved his entire career.

At 45 years of age, Norris was headed to the big time for the first time only for a back injury he first suffered late in 2017 to turn his lifelong dream into something of a debilitating nightmare.

Currently 211th in the Race to Dubai standings having made just six cuts in 19 events this year, Norris knows his maiden European Tour season will likely be his last but a strength program that has eased the pressure on his back has him ready to go out with a bang.

Starting at this week’s D+D Real Czech Masters at the Albatross Golf Resort in Prague, the South Australian has nine tournaments in countries such as the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Scotland and Spain in which to leave his mark.

While regular weekends off this year have provided the opportunity for more time as a tourist than he would have liked, Norris is now determined to spend more time contending and less time sightseeing.

“It’s been a whirlwind year. What should have been the best year of my life has turned into one of my worst because of injury,” Norris said.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s been an awesome opportunity and I wouldn’t swap the experience for anything in the world. I’ve had my family over for three months at one point and they’re going to come back later in the year, but as a golfer I’m here to compete. I’m not here to finish last every week.

“My whole career I’ve averaged 12 and 13 greens a round; this year I’ve averaged eight. That’s how far down I’ve been on my golf. In that aspect it’s been very difficult, but right now I’m as fit as I’ve been for 10 years and I’m going to really enjoy the time I’ve got left here.

“I’m going to practise a bit less this trip and hopefully play a lot better. I’m definitely playing a lot better now than I was a couple of months ago so I know I’ll enjoy this trip a lot more.”

Key to better performances in the second half of the year will be the pre-round preparation Norris puts into his body. Forced to withdraw after the opening round of the Trophee Hassan II tournament in Morocco in April, Norris had his best performance of the year a week later at the Volvo China Open but it wasn’t until he embarked on a new training regimen six weeks ago that his back began to improve.

Typically he will arrive at the course three hours prior to his tee-time, undergo a series of stretches and lift some weights in the gym before heading to the range, a routine that was certainly not the norm when he started out.

“I’ve been doing some heavy weights before I play now,” Norris revealed. “As an older guy you would never have thought that was something that you should do before playing but they all do it here. It’s quite amazing. They’ve realised it’s an explosive sport so they get into it and work hard before their round.

“Everything I’m doing is designed to strengthen the area around the lower back and down into the glutes and that’s been the big improvement. It was so out of a normal golf routine, but the key was to get my back better and now I feel like I can actually play some decent golf again. I’m really looking forward to the end of the year now.”

Joining Norris in Prague this week are Lucas Herbert, Scott Hend, Sam Brazel, Andrew Dodt, Jason Scrivener, Adam Bland, Nick Cullen, Matthew Millar, Jack Munro and Kiwi Josh Geary.

Having made the cut in 11 of 20 events he has played this year, Scrivener is currently 115th on the moneylist as he returns to the course where he finished tied for fifth 12 months ago to be the leading Australian.

• The European Challenge Tour is in Switzerland this week for the Rolex Trophy at the Golf Club de Geneve, Dimitrios Papadatos the only Aussie representative in the limited-field event.

• On the Staysure Tour, Peter O’Malley makes just his fifth appearance of the seniors tour at the Willow Senior Golf Classic at the Hanbury Manor Marriott Hotel and Country Club in Hertfordshire. Peter Fowler and Mike Harwood are also both in the field and will be keen to repeat their performances from last year where they were fifth and eighth, respectively.

• On the Champions Tour in the US the sole Australian in the field at the Boeing Classic is David McKenzie, lining up alongside Major champions such as Fred Couples, Darren Clarke, Bernhard Langer, Larry Mize, Lee Janzen and Mark O’Meara as well as senior Major champions in Miguel Angel Jimenez, Colin Montgomerie, Kenny Perry and Rocco Mediate. Jerry Kelly is the defending champion.