New Year Resolutions for Golfers

Phillip Ellis for GCM SPORTS
Posted 12/29/17

Making a New Year resolution is a tradition which is most common in the Western Hemisphere. Top choices usually involve physical improvement by eating healthy, losing weight, exercising...

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New Year Resolutions for Golfers

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DAPHNE, Ala. — Making a New Year resolution is a tradition which is most common in the Western Hemisphere. Top choices usually involve physical improvement by eating healthy, losing weight, exercising, drinking less, and quitting smoking.

The range of resolutions can also include: Think positive, laughing more frequently, and learning a new language, musical instrument, or skill. Reducing stress, taking a trip giving to charity are also favorite choices among a million and one others. Unfortunately, like campaign promises they fade into history too fast.

New Year resolutions have been around a long time. According to Wikipedia, the ancient Babylonians made promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus, for whom the month of January is named.

In the Medieval era, the knights took the “peacock vow" at the end of the Christmas season each year to re-affirm their commitment to chivalry. At Watch-Night services, many Christians prepare for the year ahead by praying and making these resolutions.

There are other religious parallels to this tradition. During Judaism's New Year, Rosh Hashanah, through the High Holidays and culminating in Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), one is to reflect upon one's wrongdoings over the year and both seek and offer forgiveness. People may act similarly during the Catholic fasting period of Lent, Though the motive behind this holiday is more of sacrifice than of responsibility; in fact, the practice of New Year resolutions partially came from the Lenten sacrifices. The concept, regardless of creed, is to reflect upon self-improvement annually.

These are five golf resolutions courtesy of Golf Monthly to help in your decision making.

1) Become a member of a golf club. It will save you money on fees and you get a chance to meet new people.

2) Plan a golf trip. Round up a few old buddies and perhaps a new one you just made at your new club and take a real golf adventure.

3) Take at least one lesson to improve your greatest weakness. Focus on the area of your game that needs the most improvement.

4) Make a hole in one. It’s your year.

5) Lower your score. Work on strategy and decision making to bring down your handicap.

Finally, here are a few tips learned from years spent playing and writing about golf.

1) Practice more, you’ll thank me later.

2) Play more; it is its own reward.

3) Watch your language on the links. Most courses are in residential neighborhoods full of impressionable kids. Also, bad language promotes negative thinking.

4) Stop cheating. Give up foot wedges, mulligans, and creative scoring. You’ll play better in the long run, and feel more confident about your game.

5) Dress better. Golf is a game for ladies and gentleman; try to look and act like one on the links. Tuck your shirt tail in, leave the blue jeans in the closet, and turn your hat brim forward. This is golf, not baseball.

Phillip Ellis is a local golfer, Publisher of Golf Today Magazine 1999-2017, author, Golf n’ Grits The Misadventures of Orville and Calvin Clyde, 2009 and the upcoming “Desi Quina Murder Mysteries.