With the new year approaching, it’s time to start thinking of some resolutions. Now as honorable as it is to resolve to improve one’s character or health, we’re not really about that. We are who we are, and we’d much rather gain 10 yards off the tee than lose 10 pounds. So with that in mind, here are some suggestions to help take your game to the next level in 2018. You can thank us later.
Always be a hero
Don’t punch out unless you drove it into a porta-potty and the only way out is the door. Hit it through a 3-foot gap in the trees. Try to hit a 40-yard slice 3 feet off the ground. Take 3-wood from 300 yards out of the bunker. If you play like we do, the reward is far greater than the risk. Walking up to the green knowing that you just pulled off a shot that Phil Mickelson would think twice about is an extremely satisfying feeling.
Learn how to putt
Stop reading David Ledbetter’s tips in Golf magazine about how to hit the 3-yard baby draw or spin it back out of the pine straw, and make an effort to learn how to putt. In our experience, putting well is the most satisfying part of the game. Walking off the course feeling like you made everything you looked at makes it feel like it was all worthwhile, even if they were all for bogeys and doubles.
Pull the pin from everywhere
This way, the one chip you make out of every 1,000 you take will look less lucky and more badass. And this isn’t just limited to chips. Bunker shots, half wedges, and even drivers work. Feel free to send your playing partner up to the green to tend the pin while you thread it through the trees from 220 out.
Raise the putter early and often
Keep your head down, relax your grip, rock your shoulders, then raise the putter to the heavens. As a rule of thumb, the earlier the putter raise, the better. If you’re really feeling it, you can crouch down a la The Golden Bear at Augusta. If you’re lucky, it will draw more attention to you, and less to your ball that just missed 2 feet low.
Embrace driver off the deck
Intimidating as it may be, the driver off the deck is an absolute must to have in your bag. 260 carry, uphill, into a stiff breeze? Let the big dog take you home. And when you tell people you went driver-driver to the green, you are under no obligation to tell them that the first one barely cleared the ladies tees.
Don’t keep score
Unless you make a birdie of course. Birdies are to be written down and circled in bold.
Never hit a provisional
Any golfer will tell you that confidence is key. Well, that especially holds true after you double cross your tee shot into the tree ridden fescue. What does it say about your confidence when you tee up another one “just in case”? While you’re at it, you may as well lay up on your 20-foot putt just in case you blow it past. Put on your big boy pants, get a line on it, and look for the damn ball. At least now you can hold your head high on the walk back to the tee.
Swear at least once per round
Unless you’re shooting 10 under every time you go out, there is surely at least one shot where your frustration should all come out. There is nothing wrong with this. Bottling up the anger will only make it worse. If you miss a 3-footer, you damn well better be dropping some F-bombs that can be heard by the group on the next green. Serenity now! Serenity now!
Don’t play in the rain
We’d rather not tee it up unless we can comfortably wear shorts and a Sunday Red polo. Even though you can see this sock tan from outer space if and when we frequent the beach, it will still remain strict policy. Life is too short to be uncomfortable on the golf course. Not to mention the fact that you probably aren’t doing the golf course any good by hacking 6 inch deep divots and traipsing all over the drenched greens. Respect the course, man.
Don’t warm up on the driving range
Instead, warm up with a couple of beers. Maybe bring them to the practice green and hit some one-handed putts. We started doing this a couple of seasons ago and based on our unofficial stats, the percentage of keeping our first tee shot in play has substantially improved.