With 2017 whizzing by faster than a Dustin Johnson drive, it’s safe to assume most of you didn’t “check the boxes” of your golf resolutions for the season. For us in the upper Midwest, 2017 was certainly a season of ‘up and downs’ (pun intended): Golf in February, a cold & soggy May, flooding in July, record temperatures in September, and a gorgeous Thanksgiving weekend.
For the PGA TOUR, there were also a number of exciting moments, including Sergio’s first major victory at Augusta, Spieth’s infamous driving range drop at Royal Birkdale, and of course Tiger’s promising December return at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas (for those of you who didn’t watch Tiger, his driver ball speed was 180mph, which is the same as Rory’s…).
As we turn the page to 2018 on the calendar tomorrow, countless empty self-promises are made, but are coined as resolutions to give us a little glimmer of hope. In America, the top 5 resolutions are:
1. Lose Weight/Eat Healthier
2. Life & Self Improvements
3. Make Better Financial Decisions
4. Quit Smoking
5. Do More Exciting Things
While the above are great resolutions, 92% will fail in keeping their promise to themselves. Are they too boring? Unrealistic? Not supported enough by family and friends? Yes, yes, and yes.
Instead, let’s make a better resolution list for 2018 – one that is all about golf! We’ll make it fun and attainable to keep you motivated. Without further ado, here’s your 2018 Golf Resolutions:
1. Plan a Golf Trip. This is a great resolution because it is very open-ended. You can go with your buddies, your spouse, or your kids. It can be on a budget, or extravagant. No matter which direction you choose, make a point to plan a golf getaway for 2018.
2. Take a Lesson. In today’s age of $500 drivers and $1,000+ sets of irons, golfers still aren’t getting better (don’t get me wrong – properly fitted clubs can certainly help if you have a consistent swing). However, nothing beats a good old fashioned golf lesson from a quality PGA Professional.
3. Work On Your Short Game. The quickest and easiest way to lower your scores is to improve your short game. It may not be as glamorous or as fun as hitting the “big dog”, but your handicap will thank you at season’s end. Drive for Show, Putt for Dough.
4. Learn to Move On. We’ve all been there: a bad shot or a bad hole ruins your round. The wheels come off, and there’s no putting them back on. Learn to overcome adversity on the golf course this year, and not only will you see lower scores, but you’ll have more fun. As Ben Hogan once said, “The most important shot in golf is the next one.”
5. Improve Course Management. Don’t try to be a hero every time on the golf course. Aim to the center of the green more often; lay up short of the hazard instead of trying to carry it; and take less than driver on short par 4s. While SportsCenter shows the “hero” highlights from PGA TOUR players, more often than not they are playing it safe. Go to a TOUR event to see for yourself.
The best way to achieve your 2018 golf resolutions is to work with a friend or loved one to hold each other accountable. Don’t look back in disappointment 365 days from now that you didn’t “check all of the boxes”.
Happy New Year!
Posted by Matthew Boesch, Hawk’s View’s PGA Head Professional