I might loathe seeing them through, but I really enjoy making New Year’s resolutions. They’re a nice deviation from the perpetually regretful and pessimistic way I prefer to live my life. They give you hope you’ll find the motivation to make a big enough character change to see your goals achieved, and that they’ll inspire you to transform other aspects of your life as well.
There are, every year, the standard list of resolutions. Workout more, lose that weight you glare at in the mirror every morning, add another comma to your savings account whilst somehow traveling more than you ever have. For golfers, the traditional resolutions are no different. There’s the ever popular take X amount of strokes off your handicap, hit the range X amount of times per day, finally break that threshold score you shot within a stroke of ten times last year, or, if you’re really ambitious, win a local tournament you’ve never played in.
Unfortunately, just like the six pack that somehow has already eluded you by Valentine’s Day, these resolutions often go by the wayside long before we’re all watching someone get a green jacket slipped onto their shoulders. So, make your first resolution to break the mold and pursue achievable goals, goals that won’t require a fundamental personality or lifestyle change. Try out some of these realistic New Year’s golf resolutions.
Hit Less Range Balls: This probably seems counterproductive. If you already don’t feel like you hit enough range balls, how would hitting less range balls get you anywhere closer to that magic round? Simple. The problem of your range time not producing the scores you want is likely not caused by the volume of balls you hit but the way in which you hit them. If all you do is buy a jumbo bucket and work yourself into a sweat for 45 mins then the only thing you’ve produced is a hole in the ground and tired arms. Instead, don’t even go to the range if you don’t have a practice plan in mind. Each range session should achieve an attainable lesson, whether it be really grooving in center face contact, better tempo, a more consistent length of backswing, a certain type of flight, or more accurate distance control with one (1) club. All of these things can and should be done with a bucket of no more than 75 golf balls, and that’s if you take about 25 of those to warm up. Slow down your practice sessions and learn and adjust from each shot rather than rapid firing ball after ball like a catapult. I promise you’ll see quicker results from your range time and you’ll feel much more accomplished after an hour on the practice tee.
Hitting less range balls can also be interpreted as spending more practice time on the chipping and putting greens as well. Far too many people devote their time to learning to craft a solid tee shot or a great 7 iron, but they never make the time to teach themselves how to read more putts or control the ball when the greens are rolling at unfamiliar speeds. They definitely don’t take the time to try and get up and down from every available lie around the chipping green either.
This brings me to another point. Chipping practice should never involve a bucket of balls. Rifling off ball after ball to either one flag or various flags around the green does absolutely nothing for your skill with a wedge besides teach you how to hit from the exact spot you’re in which, unfortunately, does not exist anywhere on the golf course. If you’re going to practice a wedge it should be with one ball. The small added pressure will encourage just the right amount of focus necessary to execute the shot, and will give you a better perspective of where you stand on getting up and down when you’re trying to save par. If you really want to take your short game to another level, make yourself hole out every one of those chip shots. You’ll find pretty quickly you’d rather walk up and tap the ball in so you can get to your next chip instead of walking across the practice green to try and save a skull ball that got 40ft away from you.
While the prevailing thought among many amateurs is they need to increase their time on the practice range, they’re actually probably already visiting the range as much as they need (unless they never visit the range of course). Unfortunately it’s what goes on at the range tee that hampers progress toward lower scores. But, by tweaking the philosophy of practice to be less about volume and more about quality and purpose, any amateur can achieve improvement to their game without having to sacrifice great pieces of their lives in the name of better golf.
If your game improved so dramatically after implementing this 1 (one) tip you feel the need to thank me by emptying your bank account feel free to tap the link below.