What are your golfing New Year resolutions for 2013?

We all know that every year people make resolutions about what thet are going to achieve in the New Year. Some of the most common include drinking a bit less, losing a bit of weight or giving up smoking and we all know that given the best intentions, the vast majority of people will usually have succumbed to temptation usually by the 10th January with a shrug of the shoulders and the thought of “Oh well! There’s always next year…”

However when it comes to golfing, it is a different matter. Being amongst the most fastidious of hobbyists when it comes to our game, a new year gives us a chance to bring a fresh start, a new approach to our own amateur games.

So the question I ask of you, is what are your New Year golfing resolutions?

 

 

I’ve thought long and hard about mine and I’ve recognised three areas of my game where I reckon I can make big improvements to help me become a better player and get that handicap down into single figures for the first time ever.

So without further ado – here are my three golfing resolutions for 2013.

 

 

1. Get fitter physically and mentally

Much as I’m loathe to admit it, to play good golf you need to have more than just an ability to swing the club straight and true and hit the ball accurately. As many tour professionals are showing, fitness is of key importance to golfers, so that is something I am going to work on in 2013.

It’s not just a case of losing weight either. As I push past my 40s, I’ve recognised the first signs middle age. Those aches and pains after a round that weren’t there three years ago. So, I’m not just working on losing weight, but increasing flexibility, especially in the hips and shoulders.

In addition,  I’m not just focusing on the physical aspects too. One trait I have is that I can be easily discouraged early in a round if I don’t start brightly and that tends to lead to me ‘giving up’ during a round and going through the motions.

To combat that, I’m going to focus on the mental aspect of the game and give myself individual targets to achieve on each round that are entirely unrelated to the score I am shooting. Can I hit all the par three greens in regulation? Can I two putt the remaining holes? Can I hit the fairway with each tee shot? Can I hit the green in three on a par five?

Hopefully by giving myself lots of targets for each round, even if the round isn’t going well in terms of score, it will still keep me focused on improving my play and of course, playing more often will help in terms of my fitness too.

We really recommend to have a chat with Duncan from Peak of Wellbeing, who is dedicated to improve your golf performance.

 

Golf-practice-range

 

2. Attend refresher lessons with a local pro.

It’s been a long while since I received any tuition and I have absolutely no doubt that, just as a driver picks up bad habits once they have passed their test, a golfer equally picks up bad habits having played for many a year without any tuition.

So, I’m going to give up on the amateur philosophising on the range this year as to why every drive I hit seems to want to dive straight right as soon as I try to speed up the swing, and I’m going to take some advice from my local pro in the form of a few refresher lessons.

Seriously, if you are beginning playing the game in 2013 or wanting to lower your score, improve your play or just play better, then a few lessons from a pro can have an immediate impact. Small changes and quirks they notice and correct can have a clear and measurable effect on your game for the better.

There’s some great courses around in Switzerland and golf clinics, organized by MyGolf, that help players of all abilities and experience learn about the game from top teaching pro’s like Bran Banic (below), and I am certainly going to follow that advice this year.

 

Branislav-Branic

 

 

3. Structure my practise at the range still further.

I must admit, I am pretty good at this as it is. I am not a golfer who heads the range with a driver in his hand and hits 100 drives, thinking I am improving my game. I do vary the shots I hit almost from ball to ball and I will work on different types of shots, different distances both on and off the tee.

Yet I still believe I can use this time more effectively. Too often if I have a run of bad shots with a club, I will ‘give up’ on it and go back to a club I am more comfortable with to get that good feeling back, rather than trying to work out why I am hitting the other club incorrectly (no doubt, my golf lessons with the pro will help with this too, as will being leaner and fitter!)

I also want to work on aspects of my game where I feel I let myself down. I still three putt too often, especially from longer distance on the green. My short and mid range putting is usually ok, but I am hopeless from distance and I want to improve that. My chipping also needs work and I’d like to develop the ability to play a variety of different shots in any given situation (a high lob shot, as opposed to playing a bump and run, for example).

I believe that by working on these specifics at the range as a focus for each session, in addition to hitting balls as I would normally, this will help me focus in on areas of the game where I can make significant improvement.

 

So they are my three resolutions for 2013. What are yours?

And let’s check back in 12 months time and see how things went!

 

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Scott Messner January 1, 2013

Most high handicap golfers do not structure their practice properly. Great point.

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