New year, new you, right? We all want to eat better, swear less, and exercise more. The gyms will be full of us for the next few weeks. And I hope it continues, but it won’t will it? Sadly, resolutions are made to be broken. But I’m going to take the pressure off and offer up some golf resolutions for 2020, some that I could listen to as well.
Keep your temper in check Golf is a game, a hard one. And while you’re not getting paid to play it, I know it still matters. Nothing ruins a day off more than playing poorly and trudging around the course with a scowl on for 4 hours. But quit throwing clubs and screaming 4-letter words so loudly that the clubhouse can hear you from the 6th fairway. You’re making it uncomfortable for your playing partners, and unlike football or basketball, it’s hard to play angry.
Take less mulligans You’ll learn more about your game and you’ll grow as a player the more times you face adversity on the course. Playing your way out of a tough situation will help your psyche and your confidence. O.B. off the tee? Take your medicine and play 3 from the tee and overcome. This will no doubt improve your course management skills as well.
Play the ball down A lot of leagues will adopt the local rule of allowing you to play the ball up, or roll the ball to a nicer lie, in the fairway. But a lot of players, regardless of course conditions, will do it everywhere; especially during a casual round. Those casual rounds are where you should practice playing out of the bad lies the most. That way you don’t freak out in a tournament or on league night when you are faced with a horrible lie and can’t touch it. You’ll be confident and have a better chance of executing.
Practice short game I know, I know……you barely have time to play once a week. Just try to dedicate 30-45 minutes a week and hit the practice green. After work on a Tuesday or early Sunday morning. Bring the kids; they’ll think it’s a cooler version of putt-putt. In 30 minutes on the range you may only hit 30-40 golf shots, but you can hit twice or three times as many putts and chips in that same timeframe on the green. Every course has one and they’re free. Any more excuses?
Take at least one lesson Make it a point to take a lesson from a highly recognized instructor or professional, especially if you’ve never taken one. Everyone needs to work on something and the information you take from it will be valuable moving forward. An extra set of knowledgeable eyes, and seeing your swing on video, is worth whatever the rate is for the session.
TaylorMade SIM Driver
With the announcement and release info of Callaway’s brand new Mavrik driver coming out a few weeks ago, the ball was in TaylorMade’s court. They have answered with the SIM driver line for 2020. The SIM has hit the USGA conforming list just in time, so players can put it into play this week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii. Going back to the blue and grey color scheme, the models feature a large piece on the sole that appears to deliver some type of aerodynamic and center of gravity properties.
All three SIM models feature the brand’s trademark design traits, like Speed Injection which delivers incredible ball speeds, and Twist Face technology which makes it exceptionally forgiving. All three also contain the adjustable hosel, to allow the player to dial in their ideal loft and launch conditions. The standard SIM contains a single moveable weight rack close to the face, to allow the player to make it either draw or fade bias. The MAX and MAX D do not have the moveable weight. The MAX appears to have the largest footprint of the three, and also boast the highest MOI. The MAX D features a fixed weight bad in the heel to make it even more draw bias, and be the perfect model for the player who battles a slice. The SIM line, along with fairway woods, will be available at retail after the PGA Show, which is the third week in January.
Wilson Staff Launch Pad Irons
Hollow body irons are all the rage right now in the equipment game, and that design is now finding its way into full sets – not just driving irons. The all-new Launch Pad irons from Wilson feature hollow-body construction with a super-thin face, which delivers exceptionally high ball speeds. The sole width progressively changes throughout the set, so you get a wide sole and low center-of-gravity in the long irons to promote high launch. The sole width in the short irons is more narrow and traditional. Wilson boasts that this leads to more consistency throughout the set and ideal launch conditions with each club. The Launch Pad irons “launch” on January 13th and are available now for preorder on GolfHQ.com.
Sentry Tournament of Champions Preview/Picks
With the holidays behind us and the dawn of a new year, the 2019/2020 season resumes this week at Kapalua in Hawaii. Although, the old-school in me can’t help but feel like this is the real start of the new season, even though the PGA Tour now exists in a wrap-around. The field is simple, win an official PGA Tour event in 2019 and you’re in. There are 15 players making their first appearance this week in the winners-only event, and Chez Reavie is returning for the first time since 2008. That’s 11 years between wins.
Again, we’re throwing darts when it comes to picking winners out on tour. But it’s especially difficult after a break when you’re not sure who’s doing what because you haven’t seen anyone play since the President’s Cup. I faired pretty well with my picks in 2019, so if you paid attention, hopefully you won some coin in fantasy. At 7500 yards you’d think Kapalua is a bomber’s paradise, but with the elevation changes it plays shorter than that. And the guys usually go pretty low. There have been five 62’s shot since 2003, and Xander Schauffele did it last year in the final round to beat Gary Woodland by one. Winner Justin Thomas I’m predicting a huge 2020 for JT, so might as well get it started early. Will Contend Patrick Cantlay A young gun with a bevy of talent that should still be riding high from a successful President’s Cup performance under the eye of his idol Tiger Woods. Sleeper J.T. Poston Tough to find a sleeper in a field of winners but J.T. is not yet a household name. He played well with partner Jason Kokrak a couple weeks ago in finishing runner-up at Greg Norman’s QBE Shootout.
Enjoy the game and each other,
Written by Seth Zipay, Head Golf Professional
Design and Published by Craig Walton