Golf ball on red tee

Happy New Year, Lake Martin!

I hope everyone enjoyed the blessings of the holiday season. As families gather, the conversations usually turn to stories from the past. We reminisce about wonderful memories and share the grief when tragedy has struck. All of this creates loving bonds, provides comfort and creates confidence as we move forward in life.

I always tell people, “We learn from our past, we plan for our future, but we must live for today.”

With this in mind, let’s take a moment to plan for our 2022 year ahead.

Resolution formation is almost a tradition when it comes to bringing in the New Year. People tend to self-reflect at the end of the calendar year. From this is born a personal desire to begin the year with a new focus. Some seek better health habits by changing their diets, quitting tobacco products, starting to exercise regularly or making better use of their earned income through savings or investment programs. A greater focus on faith or current love relationships is also a good way to enter the year ahead.

To our Lake magazine golf readership, let me recommend a few golfing resolutions for the 2022 season ahead. Most golfers that play on a regular basis have a good understanding of their own games. Often during instruction, I give my students specific yardages and ask them what club they would use to deliver that distance. Most have a club in mind, but I soon discover that they often need an adjustment in their thinking. Most amateur golfers pick the club that, if struck properly, would get them the exact yardage for the shot. Unfortunately, most amateur golfers miss-hit slightly, thus coming up short of the distance desired.

This season, resolve to add an extra club for each shot.  For example, if you normally would hit an 8-iron, choose to hit a 7-iron instead. You will begin to see a better pattern of success and will only occasionally be putting or chipping from behind the hole. In the winter months, the ball won’t compress and travel as far as it does in warmer weather, so resolve to add two clubs to your normal shot until spring delivers warm temperatures.

I also recommend golfers make an honest assessment of their games from the previous year. Set some golf goals to seek improvement on the areas that you admit need advancement following this self-reflection.

We winterized our games in the November issue of Lake magazine, but resolve to start the season by visiting with your local PGA professional. We are trained and have spent our careers helping others improve their golfing abilities. Together, we can develop some real golf goals and provide action plans to achieve those goals.

If you commit to the action plan with a real practice program, your game will improve. Keep a club in your hand year-round and benefit from better golfing experiences. Make a resolution for better golf and watch it happen in 2022. 

As the great Gary Player once said, “You must work very hard to become a natural golfer. It’s a funny thing; the more I practice the luckier I get.”

Praying that you and those you care about are blessed in the year ahead.       

Rob "Gabby" Witherington is the PGA professional at Stillwaters Golf Club in Dadeville. Contact him by email at robwitherington@gmail.com.