If you’re a recreational golfer, your main goal in playing should be to enjoy yourself. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t worry about improving over time. Making a few golf resolutions at the beginning of the year is a great way to ensure that you’ll keep having fun and feeling challenged.
1. Practice Patience
This is a good New Year’s resolution that can apply to almost anyone, but you should specifically make a point of thinking about it while playing a game, since the sport is as much mental as physical. When you start to get frustrated, your game falls apart. Arnold Palmer said, “Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated.” Just learning to take a few deep breaths before taking a swing can make a big difference.
2. Practice Visualization
Most of the best athletes admit to using visualization as part of their training routine. If you get caught waiting on the phone or standing in line at the store, you can close your eyes and picture yourself making the perfect swing. It really can improve your game.
3. Sign Up for a Tournament
If you’ve never played in an actual tournament, give it a try. It doesn’t have to be an intensely competitive experience. There are plenty of community and charity options out there, and it’s a great opportunity to give yourself a specific occasion to train for. Jay Ewing, CEO of Bird Golf Academy says, “Our students find that when they work on their golf game with a definite goal and deadline in mind, they are more driven to make the most of their practice sessions. That extra motivation really makes the difference in lowering their handicap.”
4. Get Better Equipment
If you’re looking for golfing goals you can work on even when it’s not the right time of year to play in your region, this is a good choice. Many golfers are using gear that isn’t exactly right for them. You can use some of your free time to learn more about what equipment is available, and research which items you’d like to buy.
5. Do More Drills
If you play golf as a game, without doing drills to build skills, you’re probably not improving as quickly as you could be. On the subject of getting ready for a tournament, Tiger Woods said, “I do most of my preparation at home. Once I’m at a tournament site, I’m there just to find my rhythm, tune up a little bit, and get myself ready to go play the next day.” You should set aside an occasional weekend morning for doing drills dedicated to improving your swing or your control of what direction the ball will go, and it will pay dividends in your next game.