This is the ninth in a series on things to do to feed your golf addiction in the off season:
Make Some New Year’s Resolutions
The New Year is a great time to reflect upon the old, and to make some resolutions for improvement of your golfing life. Get out some of your old score cards and notes (yes, I take notes—don’t you?) and replay those rounds in your mind. In your day dreams, try to identify where things went wrong, and what areas you could stand to improve.
In my own reflections this morning, I’ve determined that I have two primary problems. First, I am too often hitting long irons and woods into par fours. That indicates a lack of distance off the tee. Second, I have an inordinate number of two putts, with a bogey as the result. That tells me that my recovery shots from around the green are not getting close enough to the hole to make a one putt a consistent proposition.
So I’ve come up with a four resolutions for the new year:
1) Improve my distance by losing weight. My theory is that with less weight around my middle, I’ll be more flexible. And more flexibility will result in a longer swing and more speed. My only question is how to go about it. My go-to diet in the past has been the Adkins, but it’s very limiting. I’ve also thought about just keeping track of, and reducing calories. That has more appeal, because it’ll still allow me to have a Coke or other evening drink if I plan it right in cutting calories elsewhere. There’s another benefit to reducing the calories: some studies have shown that reducing calories increases lifespan (quite apart from the weight related problems). That’ll mean more time on this planet for golf.
2) Improve my distance by increasing my strength. I’ve got a GolfGym PowerSwing Trainer , which is essentially a golf grip with a set of those resistance cords attached. My resolution is to use those three times a week to improve strength, particularly in the core.
3) Improve my distance by improving my flexibility. One of the very best things I got to review this year was the G2 Fit Self-Guiding Golf Stretch Fitness Mat . It’s a brilliantly simple idea: a high quality exercise mat with the stretching exercises printed right on the mat. No watching DVDs or flipping pages in a book. It’s all right there. I have been using it daily for a couple of months and will continue into the new year.
4) Finally, I’ll work on my short game some more—in particular, the pitch shot. For my money, that’s the easiest of the short game shots, and the one I should turn to more often. It’s also one of the three basic scoring shots described by Stan Utley in his excellent The Art of Scoring.
New Years resolutions are of course made to be broken, but over the years I’ve had a much better record keeping my golf-oriented ones than with the others.