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Game Improvement: New Year, New You? Sharing Our Resolutions



A timeless golfer gift renewed this Christmas. (MATT GAJTKA/PGN)

Golfers are a resolute lot in the first place.

Who hasn’t left the course or the range resolving to do better the next time — and in specific, sometimes colorful terms?

The quest for self-improvement is at the very heart of our sport, so we at PGN thought we’d start 2021 with what you resolve to do with your golf game over the next 12 months.

We’ll start with … me.

My resolution is simple. I have this well-meaning but ill-advised tendency to tinker with my grip relentlessly. Depending on how I feel on a given day, I’ll do anything from twist my hands a quarter-inch one way or the other, to fiddle with the placement of my individual fingers.

The only consistent thing about my grip is that it’s been interlock for two decades. Otherwise, everything else is up for grabs. No, Vijay, I haven’t tried cross-handed yet. (Don’t give me any ideas!)

But this year will be different. Inspired by my self-gift of Ben Hogan’s classic ‘Five Lessons‘ book, particularly the first chapter on the grip, I vow to pick a hand placement and stick with it this year.

As I was regularly told by my grandpa — who, come to think of it, reminded me of Hogan in many ways — the grip is the most important fundamental. Why? Because it’s the only place your body comes in contact with the club.

Makes a lot of sense, eh? More to the point: How can you hope to make a consistent swing without a consistent grip? Time to stop the constant switcheroos.

Just, you know, give me a couple of weeks to settle on one. Then I’ll be good to go. I promise.

As for the Pittsburgh Sports Now family …

PGN Photographer Mike Darnay: “Break 85 and make multiple birdies in a round.”
PGN Reporter Zac Weiss: “Be consistent with my long game. Putting more work into that will allow me to score lower and reach my long-term goals faster.”
PSN Reporter Alan Saunders: “Play different courses. I always stay so close to home. Need to see the world, so to speak.”
Pittsburgh Soccer Now Owner John Krysinsky: “I say this every year, but play more!”

Zac would also like to add that he wants to cover multiple professional events in 2021.

“It honestly doesn’t matter which tour,” he said, “but hopefully when and if COVID protocols advance, it would open up more media opportunities.”

Here’s hoping, Zac!

OK, enough from us. What did you have to say via Twitter?

@markds11: “Single-digit handicap.”
@pittsportsfan2: “To hit over 50% of greens in regulation.”
@rege_ryan: “Use the 3-wood off the tee more. OB shots killed me this year.”
@DocB227: “This past year was my first year playing. So I’m working on consistency and having my wrists in the correct position on my backswing.”
@mookiex44: “Hitting a draw with a driver.”
@Chris_Z13: “To get to a single-digit handicap.”
@mikevi29: “Grip it and rip it.”
@scottyc0147: “My first hole-in-one. 48 years of golf and no such luck.”
@seanr19: “To play golf more than once in 2021.”
@donaldpayers: “Stop!”
@JamesCortese6: “To suck less.”
@JoeMetzinger: “To get to 150 rounds. Had 135, 130, 128 and 123 the past four years. Weather’s been the culprit.”
@MAMalarkeyTT: “My 2020 resolution was to get down to single digits, which I did. This year it will be to get it to a 5 and shoot no higher than 83.”
David Brown on Facebook: “Make the putt.”

And lastly, a rare 2020 appreciation tweet that makes us long for warm, sunny days and white, fluffy clouds …

What’s your 2021 golf resolution? The comments are open below!

Most importantly: Let’s meet up in 12 months.

A 15-year veteran of sports media, Matt Gajtka (GITE-kah) is the founding editor of PGN. Matt is a lifelong golfer with a passion for all aspects of the sport, from technique to courses to competition. His experience ranges from reporting on Pittsburgh's major-league beats, to broadcasting a variety of sports, to public relations, multimedia production and social media.

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