Is this going to be another same old, same old golf year? You know, you play golf, you shoot the same scores, and at the end of it you wish you could have been better?
I’ve recently had a lot of discussions with both amateur and professionals about the topic. It seems many golfers are a little overwhelmed. With the advent of so many media channels, be it traditional or social, the amount of information they have coming into them about golf is almost too much.
Amateurs tells me and the pros agree, often the average golfer does not know where to start.
I’m not here to tell you the answer to that; I just want you to start. Simple as that.
You remember when you decided to take up running? You had so many questions – What shoes do I buy? What training schedule should I follow? Do I change my diet?
Those thoughts may have all come to mind but in reality the most important thing was putting your feet on the pavement and taking that first stride. It’s basic but it’s the most important thing.
Now if you are already a golfer then you’ve already hit that first shot, so where does the journey to “better golf” really begin?
First off, it takes a decision. A willingness and a commitment to get better.
Wearing my PGA of Canada hat for a minute, I see plenty of golfers going through the motions of “getting better” but it is often just that.
A saying attributed to famed UCLA basketball coaching legend John Wooden is “Don’t mistake activity with achievement.”
Treading water is not swimming.
More than a year ago, I watched closely as a young golfer I knew made a true commitment to improvement and he achieved some amazing results.
He did it through a commitment to change – to finding out what was wrong and how to get better. And not by tackling things all at once, but by breaking down all aspects of his game from ball striking to equipment and finding a defined way forward.
Yes, you may not have the time to put into your game that a 17 year-old has but if you truly want to improve your golf in 2016 you can still learn from them.
It starts with a first step – a commitment to just one thing.
Make it your putting; your equipment; your fitness.
Pick one and make make a plan. Better yet, get some guidance for that plan from an expert. They can put you on the proper path much faster than you trying to wander around the wilderness looking for solutions.
If you want to get better at golf this year, and that sounds like a lot of fun to me, then take that first stride.
Whether you succeed or fail, at least by the end of the year you can say you gave it some real effort.
That’s a big step forward in itself.
Scott MacLeod is the long-time Associate Publisher for Flagstick Golf Magazine and Ontario Golf News. He has worked in the golf industry for more than 25 years. A PGA of Canada Candidate for Membership, he is a graduate of the Recreation Management Program at Loyalist College and Graduate Studies Program in Golf Operations at the Golf Management Institute of Canada/Wilfrid Laurier University.