By Mark Lamport-Stokes
THOUSAND OAKS, California, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Jordan Spieth has a great deal of success to reflect upon after delivering a sensational debut season on the 2013 PGA Tour but he would far rather look ahead as he bids to become an even better player.
The remarkably composed, 20-year-old American was taught by his father to improve himself at something on a month-by-month basis and he is using that lesson as a template in his rapidly burgeoning golf career.
"Each year, I think going back to when I was 12 years old, I've improved as a golfer," Spieth told reporters on a sun-drenched Tuesday at Sherwood Country Club while preparing for this week's Northwestern Mutual World Challenge.
"A big thing for my dad was to say, 'Just try to look back at each month and see if you got a little better each month at something.' This year a big focus of mine is on the majors.
"Now I'm able to be in all four of them and pick my schedule leading up to them to have the best success I can there versus not even knowing I was going to be in a couple of them."
Spieth, who won the John Deere Classic in July before ending a golden 2013 campaign by being voted the PGA Tour's Rookie of the Year, says his main aim is to go into the majors well rested with a better game plan.
"That is going to be a big focus of mine, trying to play all four weekends, really getting competitive in them and just try to see what it feels like," he said.
"I know what it feels like right now down the stretch at a Tour event, what it feels like to win having done it once, but I have a feeling it will be a little different kind of pressure in a major championship."
Spieth has come a very long way since January when he had to play in a Thursday qualifier just to get into a Monday qualifier for the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines where he missed the cut in his first tournament as a professional.
However, after recording successive top-10s on the Web.com Tour, he returned to the PGA Tour in early March for the Puerto Rico Open where he tied for second and has not looked back.
"It's been an incredible year," smiled Spieth, who recorded nine top-10s in 23 starts on the 2013 PGA Tour. "It's great to look back at what happened to be in this scenario and learn from the positives.
"But all-in-all, I think the way to have success this year (in 2014) is to not dwell too much on the past and focus on the best players in the world that I'm playing against now week-in and week-out."
Spieth, who three months ago became the youngest player ever to qualify for the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship, has identified two areas of his game he specifically wants to improve.
"I really need to focus on my long-iron play, and I need to hit some more pitches around the greens," he said. "That 20- to 40-yard range, pitching the ball, it just wasn't getting it close enough.
"Luckily that's something that is based on how many reps you hit and just getting the feel of the grass each week. If I had the same kind of routine and put a little extra time into those two departments, I'd just improve from last year (2013)." (Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Frank Pingue)