Our 2017 Golf Related New Years Resolutions
First and foremost, Happy New Years to all golfers out there. We have stuck out another pain staking year of golf of “trying” to get better at the game we both love and hate passionately. It’s frustrating, it’s fun and you can’t live without it. That’s why we are here today writing this blog post. Fortunately enough for you reading this, half of the New Years Resolutions will come from a certified PGA Pro and the other half comes from an average Joe like yourself who is going to devote time and effort to getting better this season at golf (Your current author, Alan Liwush). We will give you the resolutions/pro tips from Scott Chambers of Webster Golf Club first and if you decide to stick around, you can get some of my resolutions as well. His will be more beneficial, but mine may give you a chuckle or two.
Scott’s New Years Resolutions
- Practice for a Purpose – I rarely hit golf balls and when I do I get bored easily, which leads to practice without purpose. This season I plan to practice aspects of my game which need improvement, most notably my driving accuracy. This includes creating a plan for my practice ahead of time. Sit down on Sunday after your round while you enjoy a beverage and think about where your game struggled that weekend. Set a day or two aside the upcoming week to work at the range on those specific things and then re-evaluate after your round the next weekend.
- Improved Course Management – Evaluate the entire hole from distance, layout and hazards. After collecting this data choose the best club. I have trouble keeping the driver in play at times but always choose to hit the driver (“Let the big dog eat” is a saying in my head that haunts me heading to the next hole). Mix it up to hit the club off the tee that gives me the best opportunity to score.
- Mental – Play the game one shot at a time. Don’t get too far ahead of myself and take shots for granted. For example: Rushing the layup shot on a par five and leaving myself in a poor position for my third shot.
- Visualization – Creating a mental picture of exactly how I intend to hit the shot. I used to do this prior to every shot and it helped immensely. Lately I’ve been more rushed and by skipping this important step I’ve hit more loose shots. Jason Day does this very well. Though his pace of play has been called “Sloth-like” he takes a moment to visualize the shot.
- Play More Tournament Golf – As a PGA Professional, we focus on running the day to day operations leaving little time for our own game. This season I plan on implementing the above steps to improve my game. After doing so I’ll be participating in more Western New York PGA events. Nothing gets you more in the zone than tournament golf.
Alan’s New Years Resolutions
While I wasn’t gifted with the smooth/natural swing like the guy above me, my resolutions are more practice based to perfect the small errors in my game that I believe will lead to lower scores. I plan on implementing the 80/20 rule a lot to maximize my efforts. For those of you who stuck around, enjoy.
- Putting – When you have been referred to as “King of the three putt”, this is a great place to start. The thing that gets me in trouble most of the time is leaving putts short, which leads to pressure of hitting the next putt which inevitably leads to you guessed it, a three putt. So to cope with my misery, I plan on spending an hour mid-week and a minimum of 10 mins pre-round putting, using the infamous clock, ladder and path drills. I know no matter how much love I give my putter, including nights allowing it to sleep in my bed with me (which my fiancé doesn’t appreciate too much) will prevent me from “Erniing” other than more practice. (See example of “Erniing” below).
- Doing golf specific workouts and stretches – THIS IS A HOT TOPIC IN GOLF RIGHT NOW – The pros are doing it, so why aren’t we? Guys that are dominating the tour are ripped and spending time in the gym. For those of you that know me, I love the gym and workout out. Now, it’s time to start doing these balance based workouts to help gain muscular and mental strength to succeed on the course. Here are a few of my favorite routines I found that I plan on implementing weekly.
– The Golf Channel Stretching and Flexibility Routine
– Rory’s Muscle and Fitness Workout (I have done this already and its not for the below average gym goer. Watch video below.)
- Practicing better awareness on the course AKA understanding WHY I scored well/poor on a hole. – Take a moment at the end of a round to review/reflect. Look at the score card and make note of bogeys. Ask yourself what you could have done to prevent that? Was it being too aggressive on your second shot? Take that into effect in your next round and make note of it in a journal. Review the journal prior to the round and remember to select the right club to give yourself a better chance to score.
- Practicing good golf etiquette. – Get rid of the phone on the course. Is 4 hours without looking at Facebook or Instagram going to kill you? No! Unless your wife is 9 months pregnant and you could miss the birth of your child, leave the phone in the car, bag or clubhouse. In the case of a 9 month pregnant wife, I suggest not golfing for a few weeks, but I get it, we live in upstate NY with a limited golf season and if your in mid-season swing, you don’t want to lose your JuJu. More importantly, don’t lose your wife or end up like the guy in this craigslist posting (picture shown below). But I digress. I bought the apple watch for yardages while playing. I currently use an app called golf logix for my apple watch which gives yardages. Stay tuned for a future blog about my review on it. But for now, read the craigslist post below and have a laugh/cry for a fellow golfer.
- Last but not least – WALK MORE. Mix in a walking round every other round. You would be surprised how therapeutic the game can be while walking and not to mention the health benefits. See caloric burn from walking vs. riding in article HERE. I don’t recommend walking for the guy who can never find his tee shot or doesn’t pay enough attention too, but that’s a different problem for a different blog. Not to say walking always means carrying your bag. I have tested a few styles of push carts and if you are willing to make an investment, I recommend the Model 3.5+ golf push cart by Cliqgear (shown below).