The most common New Year's resolutions revolve around health, like weight loss or kicking the smoking habit. But for avid golfers, it's all about the game. “This is the year I put it all together,” you say every New Year's Eve, only to continue to struggle on the links. Before you know it, another year has come and gone and your golf game is still stuck in neutral.
But not next year. You are ready to get serious about improving your golf game and there's no better time to get started than the New Year. Make a New Year's resolution, or several if needed, to work on your swing, your mental game and even your sportsmanship. Here are five New Year's resolutions for golfers looking to make some major strides in 2016:
* Driving Range: OK, so you don't have the time or money to play golf more often and your family may disown you if you spend any more weekends on the links. But maybe instead of investing half a day on the golf course you can spare an hour or two at the local driving range and practice green. Pick a target and try hitting it close consistently, starting with your short game and working your way up to your driver. That way you are working on your swing first and gradually adding power to it. For chipping and putting, spend time working on various distances and angles. You know you strength and weaknesses, so spend more time trying to plug the holes in your game. If you can find time to hit the range a couple of times a week you will see a dramatic improvement in your overall game.
* Golf Etiquette: Here's one we can all work on, and believe it or not, it might even improve your game. Those who lose their cool on the course by throwing clubs or cursing up a storm undermined their own mental game, which can have adverse effects on your physical game. It also makes you a less appealing playing partner as your negativity can carry over to others. Work on controlling your temper, even after the most frustrating shots. In many cases, this will keep your round from going downhill when things go bad, and you might even make a few more friends on the links.
* Play More, Watch Less: There's nothing like a lazy Sunday in the recliner watching the pros of the PGA Tour battle it out in the final round for the title. But as amazing as it is to watch guys peppering the green from 250 yards out, it's not helping your game out. Rather than wasting a sunny day watching and wishing, record on the final round on your DVR and spend the day focusing on your own swing. That way you can watch it later and fast forward through the commercials, and rewind and pause any points that might be helpful to you game. If nothing else at least you will get in some exercise walking 18 holes instead of sitting on the sidelines.
* Practice Putting: This is one activity you can do almost anywhere and anytime of day. Ask Santa for a practice green and putting machine that will allow you to work on the most critical area when it comes to taking strokes off your handicap. Putting is almost all eye-hand coordination, which means it can be improved through repetition and visualization. Slowly increase your distance as your muscle memory hones in on a perfect putting stroke. If you can sneak in a couple of sessions a week during your lunch break or while relaxing in your man cave, you will see vast improvement in your putter.
* Reward Yourself: Of course, the best way to improve your game is by playing, something that may be easier said than done during the winter months. The best cure for the wintertime golf blues is a package trip to Myrtle Beach where you can play in milder temperatures and on award-winning golf courses. With more than 80 courses to choose from, you can put together a dream package to Myrtle Beach's top layouts for a lot less than you might think. What a perfect way to reward yourself for working on your game, and to test out your new skills in a golf paradise.
Best of luck with your New Year’s resolutions and do your best to stick to them. In this case, the reward of a golf trip to Myrtle Beach is well worth the sacrifice.