Please bring me
Consistency - I have had some really good rounds going this year in competitive rounds and then the wheels, axle or whole suspension has fallen off. I can throw bad holes in from nowhere. It usually stems from a bad drive, usually unplayable or lost. I need to be able to keep the good rounds going for the full eighteen in order to hit more buffer zones and ideally get those important small cuts to just whittle away at the handicap
Trust - I have worked hard in 2013 with my teaching professional Rhys ap Iolo. The swing still has flaws and will never be technically perfect but I have go the club moving into some good positions, especially from this time a year ago. I work hard at the range every time we strip another layer away and add something good. Why oh why don't I trust the hard work I put in on the range when I feel grass beneath my shoes. I can play with total freedom on my own just knocking a couple of balls around on a Summer evening but can't seem to find the trust factor when playing for real. Some days are better than others and IT IS coming. I just need it to be there to rely on every time.
A Working Short Game - How many times have I moaned that a lack of any sort of short game, aligned to consistency and trust, has made it so hard to grind out those good scores even when the ball striking hasn't always been ideal. I had a lesson with Rhys back in early 2013 and changed set up and path. It worked but a lack of practice, lack of attention to detail and old habits creeping back fogged the brain. I had a refresher with a fresh pair of eyes at Pachesham Golf Centre the other week which just brought the basics back into focus. I've had a head full of chocolate frogs all season, flitting between techniques, trying different things to find anything to work and generally spent the year with way too much going on over the ball. I have the basics now. The onus is on me to get the short game firing for the start of the new season.
Single Figures In 2014 - If you can bring everything else Santa, can I trouble you for enough cuts to get me back towards single figures. I was close at the start of the year and write to you now bordering on the brink of a 12 handicap. I am working hard and a little bit of help from the holy trinity, consistency, trust and a short game will lead me to the promised land. I know in my heart I'm good enough. Rhys tells me I'm good enough. I am good enough.
Enjoyment - Despite everything that has gone before in 2013 and contrary to popular belief I have had a great time playing this season. Even the bad days have been a learning experience, I've played with some great company and on a number of wonderful courses. Can you fix it please Santa to let me play more courses, enjoy games with friends old and new and continue to enjoy my golf even if the little white ball doesn't always want to go where I need it to
|We all know Santa is a golfer. Hopefully he'll bring some presents to get Homer's Odyssey to it's golfing nirvana|
Lee Westwood - If good guys can be winners then surely no one would begrudge Lee that elusive first major. He has been consistent and so close so often and surely it's a matter of time. Getting back with Billy Foster on the bag has to be a good thing and I would love to see him seal the deal. He is a great driver of the ball, so important at this level, capable of hitting irons from the gods but I hope his short game and undeniable putting woes can be sorted. How much of this is now in his golfing psyche and not just a lack of ability is the big question. Come on Santa, have a rummage in your grotto for a spare major for Mr Westwood.
Rory McIlroy - A sublime golfing talent and great to see him back and winning but where has his head been? Poorly managed and advised (in my opinion) he has been in the press more for his private life than his on course exploits. Can you fix it Santa for 2014 to be the year Rory gets back to doing what he does best. If Westwood can't win a major can you make sure Rory adds to his list. He has it all. He just needs to be allowed to get on and show what he can do.
Greenkeepers - I know it's a big ask Santa but can you give green keepers across the country a break. Can you give them some decent weather this winter, not the snowmageddon we had last year. More importantly though can you give club members the grace to appreciate the hard work, often in difficult conditions, to tight budgetary constraints, and enjoy the fruits of their labours without nit-picking or moaning like crazy. That three putt was because your putting is lousy, not because the greens are a ******* disgrace.
Manufacturers - Can you continue to bring out good quality gear that help us golfing mortals enjoy the game. Can you make golf more accessible but please don't bring model after model out on a seemingly monthly basis (Taylormade and Callaway, I'm looking at you!). I love to see your innovation and I love trying the new gear that you bring out so please keep them coming. Santa can you give me a sneak preview of what everyone has planned, just to whet my golfing juices!
Golfers - Santa, this is a big one as well but I know you'll find room in the sleigh. Can you arrange for golfers across the country to have the golfing game they wish for in 2014. If they are new to the game, may they fall in love with it completely. If they are old hands can they have fun, play well and achieve whatever golfing goals they set themselves. Most importantly though, can you give them the grace to accept defeat and the humility to greet success in equal measures and enjoy a year of golf in good health and good spirits.
Of course, it's just a bit of wishful thinking and fun. Whatever you want from your golfing game, your Christmas gifts and 2014 I hope you have been good golfing boys and girls and that Santa comes to you in a few weeks time with everything you wish for.