New Season
April 21, 2017

13 vows for the new golf season (that you have no chance of keeping)

After a particularly brutal start to the spring, the weather has subsided, bringing many golfers out for the first time this season. With this dawn comes a sense of hope. From promising to play more to cutting down on three-putts, hackers enter with a list of aspirations to ensure this year is "the year."

But, like New Year’s resolutions or political promises, they’re pledges that mostly go unfulfilled. Here are 13 common vows golfers make for the new season...that you have no chance of keeping.

United Leasing Championship - Round Two

United Leasing Championship - Round Two

NEWBURGH, IN - MAY 01: Players are seen on the putting green at sunrise prior to the start of the second round of the United Leasing Championship held at Victoria National Golf Club on May 1, 2015 in Newburgh, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)

Photo by: Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen

Vow: Spend more time on the practice green

Rationale: You spend more than 40 percent of your strokes with the putter, with 60 percent of shots coming from 100 yards and in. Accuracy and distance are crucial off the tee and in approach, but if you can't get it done on the dance floors, it's all for naught. It's time to get your butt over to the practice green to get right with your putter.

Likely outcome: The driving range, she is a mistress we cannot quit.



Vow: Instead of buying a new driver, put that money towards lessons

Rationale: Man, $500 is a lot of cabbage for a club, one whose selling point is only six more yards off the tee. Meeting with the local pro for a holistic improvement to your game is a better use of funds.

Likely outcome: "Dude, I get six more yards with this club! Totally worth the investment."

Enjoying road trip.

Enjoying road trip.

Rear view of young happy people enjoying road trip in their convertible and raising their arms up

Photo by: g-stockstudio


Vow: Travel to that off-the-beaten-path course you’ve always wanted to visit

Rationale: Golf already requires a significant time allotment; most players can't afford to add three hours of travel to the proceedings. However, everyone has one day-trip destination in mind, an adventure fueled by the road-trip prospect with your buddies. Time to cross that item off the bucket list.

Likely outcome: Something that is always talked about in the winter, mentioned off-handedly in the spring, and unfulfilled come fall.

MasterCard Classic

MasterCard Classic

HUIXQUILUCAN, MEXICO - MARCH 12: LPGA players and caddies ride in golf carts down the ninth fairway during the final round of the MasterCard Classic on March 12, 2006 at Bosque Real Country Club in Huixquilucan, Mexico. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Photo by: Scott Halleran

Scott Halleran

Vow: Walk over ride

Rationale: Put an end to this American sloth. A golf course was meant to be traversed on foot, not by cart. Lose some weight in the process, get a better feel for the course's terrain and become one with nature.

Likely outcome: Well, you need to keep that six-pack cold, and you're not carrying a cooler around. Speaking of which...

__Defining characteristics:__ Unable to fathom a round of golf without a steady stream of adult beverages. Idea of restraint is to hold off drinking ... until the second hole. __Favorite expression:__ "A few beers will loosen up that swing!"

Vow: Cut back on on-course drinking

Rationale: Okay, a drink or two on the course or in the clubhouse is fine, but a host of golfers get carried away with the libations. Finding moderation is key for a more enjoyable experience, and it might even lower your score.

Likely outcome: "**** me, that's four bogeys in a row. I need a few brewskis to put these flames out."



ST ANDREWS, SCOTLAND - JULY 20: Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa reacts after missing a par putt on the 17th hole during the play off of the 144th Open Championship at The Old Course on July 20, 2015 in St Andrews, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Photo by: R&A via Getty Images

R&A via Getty Images

Vow: Putt everything out

Rationale: Not that you should emulate Suzann Pettersen, but we've become a tad too liberal towards gimme putts. Want a true gauge of your talent? Make sure every hole ends with the ball in the cup instead of scooping it up within five feet of the pin.

Likely outcome: Your beautiful sand shot is canceled by lipping out a two-footer. Following a profanity-laced tirade, your partner says, "It's okay, I gave it to you,"thus waving goodbye to this commitment.



English golfer Luke Donald chips onto the 3rd green during the first round of the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England, on May 23, 2013. AFP PHOTO/GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Photo by: GLYN KIRK


Vow: Learn how to bump-n-run around the green

Rationale: Sure, Phil Mickelson makes the flop shot look pretty damn cool. But for many amateurs, the bump-n-run is the easier -- and many ways, more effective -- route in getting around the green without incident.

Likely outcome: The bump-n-run takes time to perfect on the practice green; as we established above, that ain't happening.

137th Open Championship - Round Two

137th Open Championship - Round Two

SOUTHPORT, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 18: Colin Montgomerie of Scotland looks for his ball in the rough on the 6th during the second round of the 137th Open Championship on July 18, 2008 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Photo by: Stuart Franklin

Stuart Franklin

Vow: Play the ball down

Rationale: Winter rules are often applied throughout the calendar. No more fluffing it up in the rough or moving the ball from a divot.

Likely outcome: No way in hell you're playing a ball from a fairway divot.

Woman Hitting a Man Over the Head With a Golf Club

Woman Hitting a Man Over the Head With a Golf Club

Woman Hitting a Man Over the Head With a Golf Club

Photo by: Unspecified


Vow: Teach your significant other how to play

Rationale: What better gift than sharing the sport you hold so dear?

Likely outcome: After the first, “Why is this taking so long? It’s too hot out. There should be water coolers on every hole. Shouldn’t your ball be in the fairway? I thought you were good at th…” tirade, you decide it’s healthy for the relationship to have separate interests and pursuits.

Golf - 2005 Mastercard Masters, Huntingdale. Adam Scott hits out of the trees o

Golf - 2005 Mastercard Masters, Huntingdale. Adam Scott hits out of the trees o

(AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT) Golf - 2005 Mastercard Masters, Huntingdale. Adam Scott hits out of the trees on the fifth hole on 8th December, 2005. THE AGE SPORT Picture by SEBASTIAN COSTANZO. (Photo by Fairfax Media/Fairfax Media via Getty Images)

Photo by: The AGE


Vow: Take your medicine instead of always attempting the hero shot

Rationale: Following a poor drive into the trees, punch the ball back into the fairway. This gives a chance at par, with the realization that a likely bogey isn't the end of the world compared to the double or worse that could happen by trying something ridiculous from the woods.

Likely outcome: "You know, I think I see a window 60 yards ahead. I got this."

2016 DAP Championship - Final Round

2016 DAP Championship - Final Round

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 11: Bryson DeChambeau holds up the championship trophy after winning the Tour 2016 DAP Championship at the Canterbury Golf Club on September 11, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Photo by: Gregory Shamus

Gregory Shamus

Vow: Challenge for your club’s championship

Rationale: You’ve belonged to your club for a number of years. You know the layout as well as anyone and posted your share of impressive rounds. Time to up the practice time, eliminate the mental blunders, and build a full-proof course management plan to grab that sweet “Club Champ” reserved parking spot.

Likely outcome: You lose 6 & 5 in the first round to the 15-handicapper who breaks 80.

African businessman playing golf

African businessman playing golf

Photo by: Dave & Les Jacobs

Dave & Les Jacobs

Vow: Play more after work

Rationale: Golf is not just for the weekends. Once a week, leave the office early to get nine holes in before heading home, or try to get in a few twilight holes following dinner.

Likely outcome: Your premature exit is negated by getting stuck behind an after-work league, and you have a nasty habit of falling asleep on the couch after supper.

Frustrated golfer

Frustrated golfer

Photo by: Kelly Redinger

Kelly Redinger

Vow: Quit letting your score dictate enjoyment

Rationale: This is a game, dammit, a recreation. You know, fun? So what if you played poorly. That you get to tee it up and take part in this wonderful sport is a joy in itself.

Likely outcome: You break your wedge in the parking lot after ending on a triple and promise never to play again.

Luckily, as we just illustrated, you’re not particularly good at keeping your vows.

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