In many aspects, 2020 was a year to forget. But on a brighter note, it also brought more rounds of golf for a lot of people. Whether you just picked up clubs for the first time or found yourself playing more just to keep your sanity, here’s 10 ways to make 2021 an even better year for golf:
1. Lower your handicap
If you live in fear of the question “what’s your handicap?” knowing that you’ll have to admit you’re a 20+ (or, even worse, “I don’t know”), you have 2 options: own that you suck, or actually work on improving your game. Whether it means spending more time on the range or getting new sticks that fit your game, there’s plenty of ways to stop making excuses and get better.
If you fall into the dreaded “I don’t know” category, your path starts here (with a free 60-day trial).
2. Improve your game
This doesn’t just mean spending more time on the course or whacking endless amounts of balls on the range with no purpose. Whether that means hiring a coach or finding some tips on the internet, don’t just practice, practice right.
3. Cross courses of your bucket list
With no shortage of incredible courses to play in Southern California alone, it may seem like a daunting task to hit every course on your dream list. So stop dreaming and start making it happen, or else the list will only keep getting longer.
(Pro tip: SCGA members get members-only deals on premier and exclusive courses throughout the year.)
4. Take a buddy golf trip
We’re all looking forward to the day we can leave this madness in the rearview and actually travel again. Once that happens, you should get the gang together to explore new places and take on some of the world’s top courses. Depending on what’s possible, consider taking a road trip to a top golf destination or playing some historic tracks overseas.
5. Get competitive
It may be fun to just whack the ball around on a Saturday morning, but you’re missing out if you don’t tap into the competitive side of the sport. Whether you’re ready to test yourself against the best or want to get started with some casual team competition, do yourself a favor and find an outlet for your competitive spirit.
6. Stop cheating
Breakfast balls, gimmies, mulligans, the ol’ foot wedge. We’ve all found ways to give ourselves an (illegal) advantage, but in the end, you’re only cheating yourself. Familiarize yourself with the updated rules, keep your scores legit, post your scores, and update your handicap. Try a little legitimacy this year, you’ll enjoy it.
7. Give something back to the game you love
Every golfer got their start by an experienced player taking them under their wing and showing them how to play the game the right way. Now it’s time for you to pay that positive influence forward to someone else. You can get involved with a local youth golf organization, or just start by taking someone to the course for the first time.
8. Treat yo self
You’ll spend the holiday season boosting spirits by giving to others, then it’s time to boost your game. Grab that new set of sticks you’ve had your eye on or just sneak in an extra round at your favorite course. You deserve it.
9. Join a club
You’ll be surprised how many of these resolutions you can check off just by joining a club. If you’ve been thinking of becoming a country club member or just looking for a group to play the local muni, you’ll find a new group of golf friends, great competition, more excuses to get out and play, and an all-around improvement to your golf experience.
When the year wraps up, you won’t be thinking back on the great hours you logged at the office. Whatever other resolutions you make, the most important is to make sure you spend more time doing the things you love.
Kevin is a born and raised Southern California golfer. His golf highlights include occasionally breaking 90, losing an entire dozen balls in one round, and sinking a 20 foot putt on camera on the first take. Kevin is a member of Tiny Putters Golf and his current Handicap Index is none of your business.