Each year, usually after I’ve senselessly spent enormous gobs of money that I don’t have, and consumed no fewer than 10 pounds of artery-clogging food that my heart doesn’t need (all for the selfish sake of honoring the yuletide spirit), I let out a loud belch, grab a notepad and pen, and scurry off to my favorite fart-filtering recliner by the fireplace. Duke, my little 2-yr-old Yorkshire Terrier that has grown accustomed to hopping up in my lap during these lazy states of existence with the sole purpose of reminding me that he truly is the only friend that I really have, senses a different mood this evening, a serious mood… and decides to occupy the nearest corner of an adjacent couch a few feet away. A few crackles of the wood burning in the fireplace, in harmony with the gentle background noise of some sort of silly season rerun airing on the Golf Channel, remind me of why this little corner of my humble abode has become my sanctuary over the years, the place where I can contemplate the meaning of golf life in between a few occasional releases of putrid flatulence.
Let there be no doubts whatsoever…. I am indeed your typical, run-of-the-mill procrastinator who has never wasted an opportunity to aspire to some sort of greatness, so it’s not like I need the traditional turning of the calendar to motivate me to do something that I’ve not already been contemplating for some time, but never quite got around to doing. But since the opportunity has once again bestowed itself upon me to think big – why the hell not.
And with that – I now present to you my 10 Golfing Resolutions for 2012.
10. Make a better effort to keep all of my big-ticket golf purchases out of sight and mind in the coming year.
I’ve been married to her for 22 years, and have never seen her panties all bunched like they were when she came home early from work back in the summer (while I was out on the course playing golf , which in and of itself didn’t exactly help the situation). The panty bunching ensued with the surprising revelation of three boxes from UPS resting next to the front door, all with postage stickers revealing that they were items bought from an online golf store. Inside of those three boxes were a new PING driver, a new set of TaylorMade irons, and a new TaylorMade golf bag. I won’t reveal the contents of the one-sided discussion that took place that evening when I got home, only to say that both the UPS and FedEx guys who maintain my delivery route have been instructed by yours truly to utilize a more discreet drop-off area (behind the house) for future deliveries.
9. Play as much golf as humanly possible.
Just shy of 125 rounds played in 2011, it was definitely an off year for me. I know that I’m not going to get much sympathy here, but that’s nowhere near the standard I was hoping to achieve. I must figure out a way to play more golf in 2012, and hopefully without the need of a divorce lawyer.
8. Purchase as much golf equipment as my garage can hold.
The golf industry is going through some tough times currently, and I’ve tried convincing my wife (unsuccessfully) that it needs that one guy that can step up and make a difference. See resolution #10.
7. Utilize a wider variety of perfectly acceptable excuses for playing poorly.
This one will require some serious creativity on my part, because when you play as often as I play, and suck as much as I sometimes suck while playing – you’re only gonna get so many miles out of the old bum hip excuse.
6. Improve my sand play.
Nothing in golf sparks more fear in me than finding the ol’ kitty litter. I absolutely loathe bunker shots, which oddly enough is also the biggest reason why I suck at them most of the time. I hear a lot of guys bragging about how far they can hit a golf ball, but none of them can hit a sand wedge further than me, from a green-side bunker.
5. Curb the on-course potty mouth.
I’ll never forget the only time in my life that I ever heard my father use the “F” word, as he was fighting a rusty bolt with an old pair of pliers under the kitchen sink. Those of us in the family refer to it as the year of the Great Flood, as a waterline burst in the process and created utter chaos. I found it quite comical, for sure, and later on in life it would remind me that there are indeed moments in life where “dang it” just doesn’t quite capture the enormous degree of disgust that we’ve just encountered. All of this said…. I must make it a point to be more mindful of my color commentary this upcoming season on the golf course. If my mother wouldn’t approve of it, then I probably shouldn’t say it. Hopefully she’s not reading this.
4. Improve my own pace of play.
Nothing in golf is more frustrating than waiting on a group ahead, which quite often makes honoring resolution #5 extremely difficult sometimes. But I also acknowledge that while I’m not the slowest player on the planet, I’m not exactly Seabiscuit either. As the late, great Michael Jackson once said, I’m starting with the man in the mirror…. my goal this upcoming season is to be a good example to those that I play with, starting with me and my own actions. I don’t have to spend 5 painstaking minutes trying to account for every possible variable in play to execute an acceptable golf shot.
3. Better recognize those who make my golf experience more enjoyable.
We take entirely too much for granted sometimes, including those who we just assume will be there on the tee with us every weekend. Last year I experienced the sudden, tragic loss of a couple of old golfing buddies that I’d played with over the years, but hadn’t seen in quite a while prior to their deaths. It made me think back to our last rounds together, and how I would’ve better treasured that time with them had I known that it would be the last time I would ever have the opportunity to enjoy their friendship. This game has blessed me with some of the greatest friendships I’ve ever had, and I need to take that into account a lot more often than I do.
2. Play more courses.
All good things must eventually come to an end, as they say in show business. 2012 marks the first season in a long time that I’m not committed to a private golf club, meaning that I can get out and play the field a bit. I will indeed miss the pristine course conditions and 4-hr rounds or less, but I’m looking forward to the freedom and variety that awaits me on the public golf front, for a fraction of the cost I might add.
1. Shoot lower scores this season.
The putter was a coldhearted ***** last season, betraying my trust like never before. You know things have hit rockbottom when you’re contemplating a longer putter. Well, back in the fall I broke down and tried the long putter for all of 2 rounds, until it dawned on me that I looked like an even bigger dumbass after missing 2 footers with a broom. Nah, I’ll go back to missing short ones with a conventional putter in 2012, thank you. And I’ll be working on finding that reliable putting stroke that made me an extremely happy golfer for a good number of years. The key, for me, in posting good golf scores has always been in putting well. Hopefully 2012 gets me back on the right track… I’ll certainly be devoting more time to the practice green this season.
Happy New Years, and may each of you enjoy a great 2012 golf season!