As we bid farewell to the 2014 season and look ahead to 2015, your friends at Single Golfer in Cart have a few wishes for the upcoming year in golf.
-Christmas is a great time for new clubs to find their way into one’s hands (and if I’m honest the new Titleist 915 woods look pretty good), and certainly, this means you’ll want to get to a driving range and get in a few wallops before taking them out on the course for the first time. So when you do go to the driving range, be respectful of those around you. If you’re a natural Chatty Charlie or Chatty Cathy, maybe don’t plop yourself next to people who are hitting balls quietly. Find a quiet end of the range and have at it.
-To that point, unless your last name is Haney, Pelz, or Harmon (and you’re a PGA Professional) avoid giving lessons to random strangers based on something you saw on The Golf Channel. Michael Breed looks and acts like a guy who teaches golf between doing meth; he’s also a licenced PGA Professional. You’re not.
-My wish list would be incomplete without wishing for an early start to spring and a fall that allows courses to stay open and enjoy a fruitful year.
-If you’ve decided to take up the game, welcome to this wonderful game, and might I say you have great taste in golf websites! While learning the mechanics of the game is important, so is key fundamentals like pace of play and etiquette. Read up on these things. You can find cheap books (and even e-books) on golf etiquette. You’ll play better, have more fun, and make a ton of friends.
-I’d like to see local courses start enforcing a true time par relative to the day of week and time of day, and actually enforce it by speaking to groups. Helping people play faster helps the game as a whole.
-I’d like Fox Sports to decide if they’re serious about golf or not. Their initial foray into golf was a complete disaster, and the next time it’ll be at the US Open on a course that has never hosted a professional tournament.
-I’d like to see courses enforce a 2-minute time limit on lost balls, and a rule that if you carry one of those ball retrievers I can kick you in the raisins if you deploy it.
-Given the success that the NHL has had with the Winter Classic and outdoor games in general, I’d like to see the PGA Tour have an event that sets up to finish at night (they did this with the late 90’s/early 2000’s exhibition matches). I’ve played at courses that are lit for night play- it’s a different element. Spare me the sanctity of “oh, we can’t do that”…because that’s complete bullshit. Nobody is using a gutta percha ball anymore (hell nobody uses a balata ball anymore), and nobody uses persimmon woods. I’m not saying have a major do this…pick an event (Dallas or Phoenix come to mind), and have ’em finish at night under the lights.
-I’d like to see the USGA adopt bifurcation with respect to wedge grooves and the long putters. No other sport forces amateurs to play by the same rules as professionals.
-I hope that the final rounds of the four majors of the men’s tours all have excitement and drama, and it’d be nice to see Phil Mickelson finally win a US Open.
-Similar for the vastly-underrated LPGA Tour; I’d love to see Christina Kim win a major and Michelle Wie find a second major. Seeing both on the Solheim Cup would make for a must-watch event.
-I’d like to see the Howard County courses pull their collective heads out of where they don’t belong, and embrace who they are. The county needs them. Looking at you, Timbers at Troy and Waverly Woods.
-I’d like to play several courses I haven’t played before…maybe I can finally get my way up to Bulle Rock.
-I’d like to have at least one round at 75 or lower.
-I’d like to make a hole in one.
-I’d like everyone to have their best year ever, and enjoy every round.
My new favourite music video featuring Paul Rubens (Pee Wee Herman) as a race car driver: