I’ve had a casual relationship with my New Year’s resolutions in the past. Some years I set realistic goals and fought valiantly to the bitter end to try to reach the finish line. On the other hand, if I had lost all the weight, given up all the bad habits, and saved all the money I had resolved to in years past, I’d be the youngest, richest, best looking retiree on Sea Island right now. With renewed hope, I have decided to adopt a new strategy for my resolutions for 2014: all of my goals will be centered around something I actually care about deeply – my golf game. Since it seems this golf addiction is more than a passing fancy for me, I have decided that I will make reasonably attainable goals involving how, where, and with whom I play and practice golf this year.
My Ten New Year’s Golf Resolutions for 2014
- I will buy a new pair of golf shoes. This one will be easy, because my last pair has finally made their way to the garbage bin after nearly a decade of faithful service. My golf shoes had become riddled with broken and missing spikes, and frankly, had come more to resemble aqua socks than serviceable footwear. I will miss their comical conversation piece value, but I am already looking forward to playing golf with dry feet.
- I will take at least one golf lesson this year. I have never had a golf lesson. I’m cheap. I’m a know-it-all. I have an ego that doesn’t take kindly to criticism, no matter how constructive it is.
Nevertheless, I know I need golf lessons. I know there is room for monumental improvement in all aspects of my golf game. I have a friend that is a golf pro. So, really, I’m out of excuses.
- I will keep an accurate score every hole, every time. I admit, in years past I have occasionally fibbed, at best, with truth and accuracy when recording my golf score. Paul Harvey is credited with saying, ” Golf is a game in which you yell ‘fore,’ shoot six, and write down five.” Not this year. I started keeping a mostly accurate score in 2013 (see the 11 I recorded on #10 at Houston Oaks last week). This year, every stroke, penalty, topper, shank, yip, and snaphook, they all go on the card.
- I will practice and work on my game at least once a week. Even if it’s just spending 30 minutes chipping and putting on the closest practice green, I have to find time to practice. I played golf roughly 30 times in 2013, practiced maybe four or five times, and ended the year as 12 handicap. I
know I can do better.
“The more I practice, the luckier I get.” – Gary Player
- I will stretch to work on my flexibility three time per week. I have no intention of channeling my inner Jack LaLanne. And I don’t need to be able to kick the ceiling like Sam Snead. However, I haven’t been able to touch my toes with locked, straight legs in more than a decade, either. It’s hard to accept that I am that far removed from the athletic peak that were my late teens. However, some diligent work on improving my flexibility can only help my golf game.
- I will invite someone to play golf with me that I have never played with before. I love the game of golf. I enjoy people who also love the game of golf. I want more people to enjoy the game of golf.
- I will play the five best (public) golf courses in Kentucky. We have some tremendous golf courses in Kentucky. There are some great courses, old and new, in and around Louisville. The Bluegrass region has several wonderful tracts worthy of a few extra minutes drive. And I’ve played most of them, including virtually all of the public golf courses. However, over the last decade, Kentucky has invested significantly in their State Park golf courses, creating the Kentucky Golf Trail, hoping to mirror the success of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones Jr. Golf. Hidden Cove, Eagle Ridge, Wasioto Winds, Falls of the Rough, and Stonecrest golf courses all have received rave reviews. I haven’t played any of these courses, but plans are already being hatched to make sure I play them all in 2014.
- I will take each round seriously, but not too seriously. This may be the most difficult resolution to achieve, because it is going to take a lot of mental energy to maintain the balance between remaining focused enough to play good golf shots and remembering to enjoy the moments, camaraderie, and scenery that golf affords each golfer.
- I will be active in my local golf club. 2013 was the year I kept my scores and compiled a golf handicap for the first time in a decade. I played my home course, the Gay Brewer Jr. Course at Picadome, 13 times from early summer through the fall season, mainly on my own. This year, I am going to join the club’s Mens’ Golf Association and take part in some of their tournaments. Hopefully it won’t be too competitive, and it never really hurts to meet some new people and maybe make a few new friends.
- I will play 3 of the Top 100 public golf courses in the United States. The early candidates coincide with the two vacations to which I am already committed for the year: Harbour Town Golf Links, Kapalua Plantation Course, and Wailea Golf Club Gold Course. I also expect to get to the greater Columbus area and play Longaberger Golf Club in Nashport, Ohio, which is just a couple hours drive. These are all supposed to be great courses that I am really excited to have the opportunity to play. It will require some penny pinching to be able to pull this all off in the same year, but I want to be able to make the memories before I’m too old to remember what playing these courses is like.