9 realistic golf resolutions you need to set for yourself in 2020

January 2, 2020

A new decade is upon us, which means the next phase of your golf career is just beginning. We’ve already covered why 2020 is shaping up to be a banner year in the pros, so it’s officially time to get to the golfer who really matters: you! And while 130 mph swing speed may not be on the horizon, there’s plenty you can control to make this your best year yet. Wait a minute, I think we’ve stumbled on something:

1. Control what you can control!

Let’s make that our first golf resolution of the new year. Here are eight other realistic (!) resolutions for your golf game in 2020.

2. Get to the course early!

We’re not recommending any Bryson-level range sessions nor Tiger’s five-hour pre-round prep, but it wouldn’t hurt to kick the habit of rolling into the parking lot while the rest of your group is lined up on the tee, glaring in your direction (my playing partners are nodding in unison). How ‘bout allowing 20 minutes to hit a few balls, loosen up a little and talk some putting-green smack? This is a big personal goal for the new year.

3. Make those short putts!

We all know the temptation of swiping away a three-footer, but try to hole your shorties in 2020. Under pressure, there’s no such thing as an easy putt — if you make ‘em when they don’t matter, they’ll be easier to make when they do matter.

4. Plan a golf trip!

Keep in mind that not every golf trip requires five days at Bandon Dunes or a weeklong Irish odyssey. The best part about a golf trip is looking forward to said trip; it’s valuable to have something on your calendar that gets you excited. You already know that we’d highly recommend a trip to any of our Top 100 Resorts, but a golf trip can just as easily mean a 36-hour getaway to play two courses you’ve had your eye on just an hour from home. Tailor your trip to your budget, your availability and your preferred company — adventure is out there for everyone!

5. If something works, write it down.

Sometimes the simplest swing thought can get you in the groove, but we know that never lasts forever. Still, when you find a trigger move or a specific feeling that works, write it down! Start a list on your phone. That way, if you’re ever feeling lost you can run through a checklist of stuff that’s worked in the past.

6. Get a lesson.

A great complement to said list! Nothing has to be seriously wrong for you to benefit from a little instruction from a trusted source. Think of it like seeing the doctor for your annual check-up, but more fun.

7. Leave your phone in your bag.

There are plenty of reasons to have your phone out while you play: scorekeeping apps, background music, checking GOLF.com. But if you can, try leaving your phone in your bag. Part of the joy of the game can be in unplugging; you might be surprised how much fun you have — and how well you play.

8. Walk more.

Golf is great exercise — as long as you get out of the cart. I’m not here to tell you to go buggie-free in 2020, but walking 18 holes can help you with those other New Year’s resolutions: getting in shape, shedding a few pounds, etc.

9. Play more!

The whole reason we like to play golf is that, well, we like to play. This doesn’t mean you need to spend 11 hours every Saturday at the country club — it means you should make time for some extra golf here and there. An emergency nine. A few holes at dusk. Maybe even snag the first tee time Sunday morning and get 18 in before brunch. If you’re intentional about it, you can sneak in some bonus holes in 2020 and have some fun while you’re at it.

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