A bunch of people have asked me about my New Year’s resolutions and I blankly told them I had none. On reflection I had a think about my New Year resolutions for golf and here they are. 2022 was a big year for my golfing journey, with a swing overhaul. Watching a trove of instructional videos courtesy of Porzak Golf I decided to bite the bullet and change my whole setup. I moved a lot closer to the ball at address and hip bumped into position. Immediately my ball striking improved a hell of a lot.
New Golfing Aspirations For 2023
Of course, it takes some time to integrate changes into the golf swing and you have to commit through thick and thin. In line with this my New Year resolutions for golf are to maintain my progression toward better and more consistent ball striking. In addition, I am not going to play so much golf. Yes, you heard that right – I am not going to play so much golf in 2023. I love the game but I have learned that you can go to the well too often. Playing long stretches of consecutive competition golf days can be counterproductive.
In The New Year I Will…
It is like how high handicappers just walk up to the golf ball and try to hit it. There is little awareness of what the body is doing and limited understanding of how it impacts upon where that ball ends up. Lots of golfers enjoy the challenge of the game but lack the fine motor skills to excel at it. Golf, for the majority of players, is not something you can walk up and do without professional help. Too many hackers remain at that level for their entire golfing lives.
Promises & Best Intentions
This is why so many golfers who have a lesson struggle with the experience and making use of it in their games. One lesson will not cut it. It takes a minimum of 6 or 7 lessons to get any benefit from instruction. Plus, you have to religiously practice the drills set for you by the PGA instructor to get the real benefit. Learning golf is a lifetime journey, in my view. That statement is not a negative either, it is wonderful that the game has so much depth with which to engage.
I was walking off the green after another double bogey and my playing partner turned to me and we agreed that golf was hard. Both of us nodding our heads in grave assent at the complexities of this great game.
Putting is a game within a game and demands those fine motor skills. Bunker play is another gear change. Delicate chips yet another shift. Driving the ball another set of sequenced movements and skills. Iron shots yet more gear shifts. 3 wood off the deck. High pitch shot over trees. Bending balls left and right. Bump and run shots. One hop and stop wedges into tight greens. Golf is a complex collection of strokes that demands good technique and great timing. 14 golf clubs in the bag – think about it!
Becoming biomechanically self-aware can mess with your head. Have you played with those golfers like Matt Jones, who get up and hit the ball super quick? These folks do that to avoid thinking about stuff to the detriment of their ability to strike the ball. No time for negativity or too many thoughts to creep in. This can work but every now and then it comes undone with pulled hooks or blocked shots. However, we all make mistakes out there, so perhaps statistically it works for them. Too many swing thoughts out on the course is a killer.
However, I have found that having some check points in my golf swing can really help when things are not firing during a round. If you know where the clubhead should be at various stages in your swing you can self-correct mid-round. If you have no idea biomechanically what you are doing whilst playing golf, then, when you get out of sync – you sink. My New Year resolutions for golf are, firstly, to play less golf, meaning more quality golf and less quantity of golf. We will see how this goes when push comes to shove. The game is pretty addictive, as many of us know. The inclination to back up after a bad round in search of redemption on the scoreboard is pretty strong.
Secondly, I want to increase my consistency when it comes to ball striking. Less duffs and mishits. Commitment to my pre-shot routine and setting up at address is the number one key to removing the variables from the strike.
Vigilance around how I set up and getting into the correct position prior to pulling the trigger on my backswing is essential to getting it right every time. Anything less is asking for trouble. The challenges here lie with the ground beneath your feet. Adjusting the stance to uneven slopes is paramount to hitting the golf ball on target. Chipping, in particular, is bedevilled by uneven ground. Never assume things in golf. I see so many players pull out lob wedges around the greens without feeling the texture and lie. Invariably the leading edge gets caught or buried and the shot goes nowhere good. We need to remain flexible as golfers in regard to club choices. The lie and the ground surface defines what club has the highest percentage of pulling off a good result around the green. Play smart and score better.
I have been documenting my rounds via technology like Shot Scope H4. This allows me to review every stroke I play. Not a pleasant experience after a shocker out on the links. However, if you can track when your round heads south and if you find a pattern, then, you can begin to do something about it. What are the reasons for those bad shots? Tiredness? Lack of focus/concentration? Distractions? Swing technique issues? Whatever the reason if you know you can do something about it. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing all the time and expecting a different outcome. I don’t want my golf to fall into this category. Happy golfing folks! Happy New Year!