Donal Crawley – A Challenge for 2008

I know that we don’t all make “resolutions” at year’s end or, if we do, we rarely stick to them past January 10th. But I am going to challenge you to seven simple, yet practical, resolutions
that will help your game for 2008.
1: Keep it simple
Whatever method, system or theory you employ with your game, keep it simple. The brain can only handle a couple of swing thoughts at a time. The swing only takes 1.2 seconds, so you have to keep those thoughts as modest and uncomplicated as possible, getting right to the point of what must be accomplished.
2: Set a golf goal
If you are a bottom line person, set a numbers goal. That might mean a low score mentality: “I’m going to break a 100, 90, 80 this year.” Set a realistic one, not a distant dream. For most amateur weekend golfers, aiming at improving five strokes per round would be an attainable goal.
3: Be more consistent
Let’s understand what consistency is. Hitting every shot perfect is perfection, not consistency. To be a more consistent golfer, you have to practice and play on a consistent basis. How about one practice session during the week and one round every weekend? Improving your mechanics will produce more good shots and fewer poor ones, as you build a more consistent, repetitive swing action.
4: Build a routine
If you build a repetitive, unswerving, recurring routine for hitting a golf ball, you will help yourself achieve resolution #3. Building a routine simply means you are following a set of pre-shot steps.
Visualizing the shot can mean no more than seeing, in your mind’s eye, a shot airborne and going forward. Only at the top “Tiger” level are we seeing a high fade falling two yards softly to the right at the end of a 220-yard high, screaming 5-iron. That is Tiger, not you. Where you are concerned, aim the club face before you take your stance. Keep your posture tall and athletic. Plug in your one simple
swing thought.
5: Evaluate your game
Break the game into four areas: driving, fairway play, short approach shots and putting. Which needs the most help? Often, people complain about their score yet never work on their putting, that facet of play which contributes to 30-40 percent of the game.
Rate each area by your own standards (being objectively fair) and find time to work on your weaknesses this year, striving to establish a more balanced game.
6: Get some help
Take a lesson. Very few good golfers are self-taught. To improve, you need another pair of eyes to help you see what is real, not just what you feel.
Make sure this “help” is from a qualified professional and not the buddy who shoots 100+ and with whom you play every Saturday morning. You know, the friend who tries to explain what he saw the pros doing the other day watching them compete on TV.Not going to happen.
7: Be committed
Not to an asylum for the golf obsessed, but be committed to every shot. Remember, you have a 50/50 chance over every shot. You could either hit it or miss it. It could be good or bad. Take a chance and infuse a positive, committed attitude over every shot. Don’t labor over it; just be more confident than
you have been in the past. Practice will help that along.
Select one of these seven resolutions, or all of them, and put them into practice as the year unfolds. You may be looking forward to your most successful golf season ever in 2008. Most of all enjoy the
beauty of this game.