The beginning of a New Year brings with it the chance to reflect on the ups and downs of the last 12 months, and to set goals for the year that lies ahead. Here at Hole19, we are no different.
We don't need to remind you that 2020 didn't exactly pan out as any of us had hoped, but we're all looking forward to a strong comeback this year and, with that in mind, here are the Golfing New Year's Resolutions that have been kicking around Hole19 HQ - they could help you smash 2021.
1) "Appreciate Every Round"
After such a strange year, when golfing opportunities were not as freely available as they might otherwise have been, we're determined to be thankful for every round. It's very easy to get too wrapped up in our games, so let's remember to take a look around as we pound the fairways.
At times, we can get too hung up on the stresses and strains of a bad round of golf and can leave the course feeling a little dejected. In 2021, a more appreciative mindset could have the added benefit of staying 'in the moment' and shaking off any horrible shots that come along.
2) "Practice With a Purpose"
Heavy sessions of 'machine-gunning' golf balls at the driving range probably isn't the best way to help you drive that handicap down. When it comes to practice, you need to have a plan to target the weakest areas of your game, while remembering to not wholly neglect those which work well.
Standing at the range - when you know you lost a bunch of shots around the green last time out - probably isn't a great strategy. When time (and restrictions) allow, try to practice at least once a week between rounds.
A practice schedule focusing on different areas of your game can really pay dividends in the long run. Better still, download our new App: CORE Golf available for iOS (13 onwards).
You'll start practising with a real purpose as it provides you with practice drills for all your game areas. It’s like having a golf coach in your pocket to take with you to the driving range.
3) "Set a Handicap Oriented Goal"
To really challenge yourself in 2021, set a challenging but realistic handicap goal for 2021. It's all well and good focusing on 'getting better', but if you stick a number in there, it will provide added motivation to practice and zone in on the areas of your game.
Without a number it's hard to track your progress and see just how close you are getting - imagine a driving range with no distances and no way to benchmark your shots...kind of pointless right?
4) "Increase Driving Distance...by X Yards"
At a professional level, Golfers are getting stronger, faster and, as a result, longer. Now, we're not suggesting you start downing 6 protein shakes before lunch, but you could start looking at other ways to squeeze extra distance out of your driver.
If you're a high-handicapper spraying the ball left and right, the chances are you have more significant and achievable gains ahead of you in 2021. Particularly, if you can grind to tame your wild miss (slice/hook etc).
For better players who are comfortable hitting the big stick, it might just take a few tweaks to your current swing to unlock more distance.
Danny Maude has a few great tips for golfers to hit their driver farther, regardless of age or ability. He covers clubface control, impact position and how to generate clubhead speed.
5) "Get Some Lessons In"
There are innumerable examples of when it would make sense to get a steer from a golf pro. Perhaps you're just starting out in the game and want to get the fundamentals down. Or, maybe your progression is stalling and you need help hitting your next handicap goal. Whatever it is, meeting with your local pro could be a viable way to improve your game.
It's possible time or money might be a barrier but, if that's not the case, take the Golden Bear's advice...
"Don’t be too proud to take lessons. I’m not".
6) "Improve Course Management"
As amateur golfers, this is one part of the game where can all improve, and it's a New Year's resolution that comes up at Hole19 HQ every single year.
It's hard to calculate the number of shots can be saved by displaying better course management. If we can think a good game then the chances are we'll play better golf and, ultimately, get that handicap moving south.
There are many ways you can improve: preview the course before you play, avoid the short-side, factor in weather conditions, accept your limitations... you'll find all these, and more, in our 10 Simple Course Management Tips to Shoot Lower Scores.
7) "Improve the Mental Game"
You can learn to use your mind as a powerful '15th club', rather than an ankle weight that holds more emotional golfers back. As well as downloading the free Hole19 golf app, one of the best ways to start shooting lower scores is to sharpen your mental golf game.
Check out our piece on Tips to Master the Mental Game and you'll be a stress-free Zen master on the links in no time.
8) "Fuel Correctly Pre and Mid-Round"
Back-nine fatigue can be as destructive to your golf game as any debilitating golf affliction: the yips, the shanks... whatever. If you fail to fuel correctly, you'll feel some level of drop-off as you close out the round and will, annoyingly, make the odd blunder.
To sustain a good round, you need to sustain your energy levels, and it all starts in your pre-round preparation. Stick to whole-wheat based foods, such as oatmeal, pasta and toast. Pair with lean proteins, like chicken and eggs and remember your fruits and green veggies.
Don't forget your fluids. Dehydration can compromise your muscle performance and affect concentration.