Happy New Year! This article about New Year’s golf resolutions was originally published in View on Mesquite Magazine Jan/Feb 2016 issue. If you’re here to follow Doug’s progress, please keep checking back. Unfortunately, he had a medical setback that has delayed his resolutions so they could not begin January 1. But he’s determined to make a big comeback and get going on these ASAP!
Please join in and share your own resolutions or your thoughts/progress with those listed here.
New Year’s Resolutions You Can Keep
by Doug Lesko
It’s 2016 – Is this your year? Is this the year you stop smoking? Stop drinking? Lose 30 pounds? If you put your mind to it I have no doubt you could. Doesn’t sound like much fun to me though. I’m choosing to focus on golf in 2016; I want to take five shots off my game. By June I want to be a +2 handicap. It doesn’t matter what your goal is – breaking 100 or breaking 70 – a desire to get better is all you need. I’ll give you eight easy things everyone can do to make golf more fun.
- Stay hydrated.
This one is so easy and so important to playing good golf, especially in the desert. Staying hydrated is a daily requirement; your body needs water, and a lot of it. Drink a glass first thing in the morning, have a glass with every meal, and have 2 glasses between each meal. You’ll feel fuller and eat less.
- Eat healthy (most of the time).
I like food, most of it not very healthy. I like pizza, wings, mashed potatoes, cake, and bacon. To say I’ll stop eating the foods I love is unrealistic and sets me up for failure. I’ve found I also like salmon, tuna, chicken, sweet potatoes, salad, and many types of fruits and vegetables. If we can just eat healthy five or six days a week, a cheat day or two is acceptable.
As we get older, our muscles start to shrink. We need to stretch every day, even if it’s just bending to touch our toes. Stretch your back, your arms, your shoulders, your legs, and your neck.
- Swing a club 100 times everyday.
Start with slow easy swings, make a full swing and proper weight shift. Lay another club on the ground and pay close attention to your alignment. You can use any club but switch it up from day to day. On the seventh day swing two clubs at once.
- Practice your putting.
You can do this anywhere – at the course or in your living room. Work on five to ten foot putts. Proper techniques are the first priority: straight back and straight through using your shoulders and keeping your hands still.
- Commit to at least one day a week at the range.
Go through odd number clubs one week, even the next. Always use alignment sticks or a club to make sure you are aligned square to the target. Hit the driver on each trip. Range balls do not fly as far as your normal ball, so don’t worry about distance. Focus on hitting the sweet spot on every shot. Technology has made the sweet spot bigger but it’s still very important to hit the center of the club for consistency. Finish with full swing wedges; again, make good contact and control the ball flight.
- Find a club you can chip with consistently.
Just because Jordan Spieth uses a 60° wedge doesn’t mean you have to. I prefer my 50°, while you might find an 8-iron to be your best fit. Whatever works for you, spend at least 20 minutes practicing chipping to inside a three foot circle.
- Get fit.
Playing with clubs that are too short, too long, too upright, too flat, or don’t have the proper shafts can cost you several strokes. Bring your clubs to Ready Golf and Gear and have them fit you for your swing. You might be playing the right clubs; you may just need your clubs bent to fit you. You may decide to get new clubs, but playing the right clubs fit for you is the only way to play your best golf.
I will be implementing these resolutions personally and blogging about it at thegolfchick.com. Feel free to follow along and share your process and progress with me.
Make 2016 your best golf year ever – go play!