As I hit my last few golf balls of the year at Chilworth this afternoon – on the rather busy driving range, the waterlogged course being closed – I naturally got to thinking about the new upcoming year and what I would like to see for it golf-wise. So, for what it’s worth, here are my four goals for 2014 (I shall make a point of checking back here in 12 months’ time to see how close I get to achieving them!).
1. To play better golf. Seems rather banal and self-evident, but it has always got to be the primary goal of any golfer, I suppose. And how to achieve that? Well, much as I have been trying to do (with partial and unreliable success) since the beginning of October, i.e. picking up a golf club most days, whether in the back garden, at the range or with a quick 9 holes at the club. And getting out with the seniors on a Tuesday morning for a spot of friendly competition. And how to measure it? The golfer’s standard yardstick is his handicap, so I suppose I would like to bring that down to 20, which would reflect how I play on my better days. Seems an appropriate target. The other measure is of course the scorecard, so my ambition in that respect would be to able to say ‘Shoots in the 80s’ with some degree of regularity. Next …..
2. To play some new courses. Half the fun of golf is in the surroundings you find yourself in, so ringing a few changes now and then in that respect would be nice. I enjoyed, for example, my first outings this year at Hamptworth (above) and Botley Park (below), not to mention Dibden and the brilliant Remedy Oak, so adding a few new names to the list would be nice. South Winchester is already penciled in for next season (see no 4 below) but Hampshire alone offers a wealth of opportunities to walk down unfamiliar fairways. Lots to do then.
3. To feel in control of all my clubs. As any good golfer is, I imagine. Pity I’m not a good golfer yet, just an ordinary one. But I do feel happy playing my Callaway FT irons, and – despite the usual vagaries – the Scotty Cameron feels just fine on the greens. The 3 and 5 woods (recently acquired X Hots) are still something of a work in progress, but we’re getting there, both off the tee and from the fairway. So a little to do there still. The 3 and 4 hybrids are maybe the part of my bag that I feel I need to improve with most. I picked up a friend’s 22° hybrid the other day and I have to say it did feel much more ‘right’ in my hands than my own clubs. Oops. Do I need to think about trying replacements or will determination and practice suffice? We shall see in the course of 2014.
4. To peak for the Viking Pyke. Which is of course, for any golfer with a connection with the staff room at King Edward VI School Southampton, the key competition in the golfing calendar, taking place each year at the end of August or the start of September. The 2014 event takes place on 28th August at South Winchester. If you are unaware of its importance (and you probably are), have a look here. ‘Nuff said.
So there we have it. 2014 is sorted, target-wise. Let’s see whether 12 months is enough time to hit those targets! Happy new year.