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What's your golf New Year's resolution? Here are ours

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Ah, New Years. The time when all the horrible stuff you did the year before magically disappears, and you can proceed with a fresh slate. No more reliving all those three-putt bogeys, those snap hooks out of bounds and those shanked wedges -- you know, the really awful stuff. Why, what were you thinking?

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Anyway, we asked readers on Twitter and Facebook along with some Golf Digest editors what their golf New Year's resolution is. Here are some of the results:


Golf Digest Editors

Make more putts inside 10 ft. I'll do this by hitting more putts on the carpet at work. Hopefully my boss won't mind. . .

--Luke Kerr-Dineen, Assistant Editor


To stay in the moment. Too often, I dwell on mistakes I made on the last hole (or even a few holes ago), so I'm going to work hard on focusing on the current situation. This hole; this shot; this moment.

--Ashley Mayo, Editor, Audience Engagement


Beat a Golf Digest editor in stroke play in 2014. It hasn't (come close) to happening yet to this 25-handicap. But it's a new year, with new goals. Nothing personal, y'all. Let's go!

--Stephen Hennessey, Assistant Editor


Hit more draws with the driver. Shouldn't be too hard to do considering I managed all of three in 2013. . .

--Alex Myers, Associate Editor


Sneak in more two- and three-hole rounds. One way to play more in general is to take advantage of that occasional free hour before dark. It's a great way to practice, and an even better way to clear your head.

--Sam Weinman, Web Editor



1. Setup alignment sticks every time I practice.
2. Stop giving myself 3-footers.
3. Win something that matters.
4. Make the bag boys at Pound Ridge GC feel like princes.

--Max Adler, Staff Writer



Facebook


Richard Spencer Churchill: To swing slower on my backswing.

Chris Bourquin: To check my ego at the door and make course management No. 1. Less poor decision making; more playing the odds.

Jason White: My resolution isn't about my swing, or breaking a score barrier, it's to simply let go and just have fun when I play. That's what it's all about anyways!

Don Trenary: To leave my "foot wedge" in my bag.

Dan Jacobs: Improve my core strength and flexibility.

Brad Sandifer: Hit a bucket of balls once a week. Walk more when I play. Find more golf buddies.

Eliza Lazar McNulty: To play St. Andrews with my husband for his 40th birthday!

Peter Bunevich: To never compound a small mistake and turn a bogey into an "other".

Al Schrand: To play within myself, meaning swing smooth and effortless! 300 yd drives aren't needed to shoot in the 70s.

Jeff Krauser: Walk 18 as much as possible.

Timothy Astleford: My resolution is to use course management more and not try to be a hero.

Dennis Hinkel: To work on my short game more frequently. Twice as much as I work on banging the driver at the driving range.


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From everybody at Golf Digest: Have a safe and happy New Year!
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News & Tours

Will this be the year Dustin Johnson really breaks out?

By Alex Myers

The most talented. The best athlete. The longest hitter. Dustin Johnson has been called a lot of things on the PGA Tour. But is he finally ready to seriously join the conversation of who is the best player?

Related: Photo's of Dustin Johnson and Paulina Gretzky's magical 2013

It appeared Johnson was on his way last year when he won the tour's opener at Kapalua, but injuries and inconsistent play kept him from winning again in the 2013 season. A win at the WGC-HSBC Champions in November to start his 2013-14 season, however, has him returning to Hawaii with as much fanfare as ever.

"I think it's going to be a really big year for Dustin," NBC's Mark Rolfing said during a Monday conference call.

But how big?

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By today's standards, Johnson has never failed to have a big year since turning pro. Counting his recent WGC win, he's won in each of his first seven seasons, something last achieved by Tiger Woods, and only Phil Mickelson's wins in 10 consecutive years is a better current streak on the PGA Tour. Johnson's eight total wins in those seven years, though, has left everyone expecting more.

I think it's neat that he's won seven years in a row, but he's the kind of player that should have a breakout year somewhere at some time," Johnny Miller said. "But he's got to do it with clutch putting and consistent putting, not just occasional three or four weeks a year where he gets a little hotter on the putting."

For a guy with so much potential, there are still plenty of glaring flaws. While Miller identified putting as the aspect of Johnson's game that has held him back most, Rolfing pointed toward his course management and Frank Nobilo highlighted Johnson's less-than-stellar stats from inside 100 yards.  

"That's one area he can really tighten, because he has this pre-shot routine, when you hit pitch shots with such a strong grip and you let that club hobble off the ground when you take it back, he has a big swing for a short shot," Nobilo said. "When you hit into greens like Augusta and greens like Hoylake that are really hard as well as Pinehurst, the next shot is going to be difficult for him, and that really is his Achilles heel."

Those firm greens could prove to be a major obstacle to Johnson winning a first major, but like Miller, Nobilo sees Johnson's ability to collect trophies -- even if not in bunches -- and not just big paychecks as a sign he has what it takes to be truly elite.

"Winning is so important in this game, and he keeps doing it," said Nobilo, who pegged Johnson, along with Matt Kuchar and Hunter Mahan as the three guys most likely to break through in a major in 2014.

Related: Who is the best golfer without a major?

Rolfing said Johnson, who is eying a spot on the 2014 U.S. Ryder Cup team after not qualifying for last year's Presidents Cup, will alter his schedule in the new year to try to play to his strength of being a momentum player. Johnson plans to play five weeks in a row beginning with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, an event he's won twice.

"I think the five-week stretch there right at the end of February is going to say a lot about what Dustin's year is going to be like," Rolfing said. "And I think it's going to be a great one."

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News & Tours

Miller: '[Tiger] needs to get off the schneid at Augusta'

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(Getty Images photo)

By John Strege

A new year begets an old topic, Tiger Woods' pursuit of Jack Nicklaus, and it begins, as it always does, with Augusta National and the Masters. The question is whether it ends there, too.

"If he wants to get off the schneid, he needs to get off the schneid at the Masters," NBC's Johnny Miller said during a conference call with reporters on Monday, alluding to Woods' streak without winning a major, now at five years. "What he does at Augusta is really important. If he were to win at Augusta, I'd almost bet you he'd win another major this year. Maybe he'd win two majors. But if he doesn't win at Augusta, I think the odds of him winning another one are not that great. I wouldn't bet against him, but he's just a different player than he was when he was younger

"It's almost a second career he's going after. He's knocking on the door, but the stuff he's doing on the weekend, I'm sure he's very concerned. Even last year he was so great on Thursday and Friday and then on the weekend he's not closing out the deal. He needs to do it in the majors. Like at Olympic [in 2012], he could have won that Open, and in the old days he probably would have won it."

Woods, who turned 38 on Monday, is at 14 majors and holding, four shy of Nicklaus' record, and with each passing year pressure to which he never seemed to succumb ("his choke-factor was off the charts," Miller said) might now be taking a toll.

"In the majors he seems to be a little bit prone to getting nervous," Miller said. "You never would say that about Tiger, but he wants it so badly. He had that desire and dream when he was young, and he looked like he was a shoo-in to get 18, 19, 20 majors, and now after five years, he's like, dang, those are hard to get."


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Celebrity

Justin Timberlake golfs on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, almost loses to a 9-year-old girl

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

Who says there's no good golf to watch in December? A battle of the ages just went down on, of all places, The Ellen DeGeneres Show.


Promoting his much-praised album the "20/20 Experience," Justin Timberlake took on 9-year-old Sky Sudberry, one of the stars of Netflix's new documentary "The Short Game." After a quick interview with Ellen, Sudberry pulls her driver, which she says she normally hits about 180 yards (!!), and rips a couple shots just right of the middle target. But it was Timberlake who, after three "practice shots," punched a knockdown 5-iron into the target first. He celebrated by grabbing his heart and exhaling in relief.


Timberlake may have technically won, but we don't care. It was a moral victory for Sky.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

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News & Tours

Hindu statesman latest to condemn Muirfield

By John Strege

Many surely believe that a dis- should be affixed to Honourable in the matter of Muirfield Golf Club's Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers for its exclusion of women. But what must qualify as the oddest condemnation of the club's membership policy was that put forth by Rajan Zed, an Indian-American who identifies himself as a Hindu statesman.

"Hindus have asked Scotland's Muirfield, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, to open membership to women also," a news release on Zed's website stated. "Zed...pointed out that instead of being proud of its traditions, intransigent Muirfield should be ashamed and embarrassed of its exclusionist policy of barring women members."

Zed, a Reno resident who in 2007 was asked by Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to give the opening prayer in the U.S. Senate, called for the Royal & Ancient to remove Muirfield from the British Open rota until it admits women members. Phil Mickelson won the Open at Muirfield last summer.

Zed cited text from the ancient Manusmriti in support of his position: "Where women are revered, there the gods are pleased; where they are not, no rite will yield any fruit."

Zed's website notes that he is "an acclaimed Indo-American and Hindu statesman who has taken up Hindu, interfaith, religion, environment, Roma and other causes all over the world." Other causes now include golf.


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Style

Style Inspiration: The Turtleneck

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style-turtleneck-thomson.jpgBy Alex Holmes


It's time to bring back the turtleneck. We've seen tons of style icons like Miles Davis, Marlon Brando and Steve McQueen sport the turtle on stage and screen, but don't forget that many men of the links were known to rock the roll neck, as well. Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw (pictured above) and Peter Thompson (right), to name a few, all kept neck and nave warm in turtleneck sweaters.

The golf mock had its moment but, the full-nelson's been off the scene for quite some time. The T-neck has a storied style heritage on and off the course and it's time to reintroduce the move into the modern menswear conversation. Check out three strong turtles in classic fall shades and stick your neck out in style.

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From left: Reiss, $150, reiss.com; John Smedley, $230, johnsmedley.com; Uniqlo,$89.90, uniqlo.com

Players, Crenshaw,Thompson: Getty Images ... Read
News & Tours

Could 2014 be the year of driverless golf carts?

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

People might one day look back at 2013 as a seminal year in the golf-automotive world. Bubba's hovercraft burst onto the scenes in April, as did that Batmobile golf cart-thing, which in December sold on eBay for more than $17,000. One criminal even tried to use a golf cart as a getaway vehicle -- although that one didn't turn out so well.

But it's the brilliant minds over at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), in collaboration with the Future Urban Mobility Interdisciplinary Research Group (FM IRG), who could have closed the year with an invention worthy of starting a new one. It's a driverless golf cart, fit with laser sensors, computers and GPS satellites that together allow the cart to drive itself.


The idea stems from the car manufacturing industry, where engineers are testing cars that could one day do all the driving for you. Why? Because it helps cut down on commuting time and may, in some cases, actually be safer because computers can't experience emotions like fatigue or anger.

Could self-driving golf carts be a natural successor to driverless cars? They might. They might even precede them, according to one of the carts builders James Fu, because right now one of these carts requires a tolerance between 10 to 50 meters. That's space more suited to a rural environment -- a golf course, for example -- rather than a city.


We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, here's what could prove to be a glimpse into the future:





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News & Tours

Brandel Chamblee might not be as big a Tiger basher as you think, here's the proof

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

It's no secret that Brandel Chamblee has been one of Tiger Woods' most outspoken critics in recent years, questioning everything from the World No. 1's decision to leave instructor Butch Harmon to his integrity regarding the rules, a statement he later walked back.

But Chamblee isn't always critical of Woods. On Thursday he posted a number of tweets highlighting Tiger's accomplishments in 2013 and a few predictions, among them that Woods will win one major in 2014.

It seems that when it comes to Chamblee's criticism of Tiger Woods, there is, has been and will continue to be a gray area in his opinions. 

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News & Tours

How is LeBron James this bad at golf?

By Alex Myers

On the NBA's opening night in October, the world got a taste of what LeBron James playing golf looked like. On Christmas Day, we got a full helping. Call it a Christmas gift from Samsung.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

A new one-minute commercial with James and comedian Kevin Hart takes place entirely on the golf course. Hart does his best to help James, but the results are not pretty. See for yourself:

At the end of the ad, which racked up more than three million views on YouTube in its first day out, a laughing Hart says, "This ain't your sport. This is golf. But it's fine, we're trying something new!" Yes, basketball remains King James' specialty, as he showed again on Christmas with a pair of breathtaking dunks during the Miami Heat's 101-95 win over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2013

But don't worry, Lebron. Golf is one of those activities you don't have to be good at -- or even semi-decent at -- to enjoy. Just ask your friend, Charles Barkley.

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News & Tours

Ian Poulter live-tweeted his Christmas Day festivities, showed off his sweet new onesie

By Luke Kerr-Dineen

What does Christmas Day for a PGA Tour player looks like? Thanks to Ian Poulter and his healthy appetite for the spotlight, we don't have to wonder anymore. Poulter took to Twitter on Christmas Day and live-tweeted events, ugly sweaters and all.

Looks like the Poulter family is giving the Donalds a run for their money.


What to get "someone who has everything?" (except a stroke play victory in the United States. . .) Simple: a sweet Superman onesie. 


And as if it wasn't sweet enough already, he added some socks and sandals to his new getup.


The order of things is very important: Wake up, wear Superman onesie, then champagne.


And then food, obviously.


Scott Piercy chimed-in at one point because it appears his wife got him the same Superman onesie. Could this be first style trend of 2014?


And finally, what better way to sign off Christmas Day 2013 with an awesome family selfie. 


Another good Christmas in the books!

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