Steve Carroll: No sooner will we have unwrapped the presents – Santa better bring me a new set of irons – and we’ll be on to 2017 and the promise of a new year out on the fairways and greens.
Time to put behind us all those missed putts, shanks, pulls and look forward, with optimism, about what the next 12 months will bring.
What will be your golfing New Year’s resolution?
I have a simple aim. I want to get down to single figures. This isn’t the sort of lofty ambition that usually surrounds a resolution. I don’t want to stop drinking, or lose 60 pounds (unless it’s in a pro shop).
My handicap is 11 dead and I know that one round of nett 64 will be enough to get me down to that cherished 9.4.
Now, admittedly, that’s a gross 75 and I’ve never managed anything better than 81 off the whites.
But even if I .1 the very next week, just to have spent 7 days in such distinguished company will be enough.
So what do you want from 2017?
James Broadhurst: My New Year’s resolution is to finally get a handicap.
At the moment I’m just guessing and say 28, which leaves me open to being called a bandit whenever I manage to hit the ball down the fairway off the tee or get the ball in the hole without three putting.
Mark Townsend: Lose a stone (having just eaten a steak bake from a well-known high street food outlet), not break my Chipper, not have to resort to using a trolley (see first point) and to play the correct shot whatever the outcome (see second point).
SC: That’s a substantial wish list. What are the prospects for success?
MT: 1 and 4 fail.
Tom Lenton: Play both Trump courses in Scotland. Play more top 100 courses in the UK.
Have more regular golf lessons to shorten my arm swing (this has been the aim for the last six years). Have a shallower downswing.
James Savage: My New Year’s resolution is to strengthen my quads and hamstrings to protect my dodgy knee.
Reduce the amount of information I consume on how to play better golf. Get a couple of simple drills from my pro then actually practice them rather than taking a new swing thought on to the course every time I play.
Resist the urge to change equipment so frequently.
Play in some competitions and get my handicap down to 12 by the end of the year.
Tom Irwin: Move to a company where people have better New Year’s resolutions.
SC: I can’t wait to hear yours. They are sure to be spectacular…
TI: 1) Play more golf with Dan Murphy, I love Dan.
2) Attend at least one work dinner where I can remember the last 3 hours.
MT: I remember every last second; as do the whole of the Argyll Arms public house and the passengers on Coach D on the 1903 to Leeds.
Dan Murphy: To stop thinking I can lower my score by an average of three shots a round by discovering the optimum combination of lofted fairway woods, hybrids, crossovers and long-to-mid irons.
SC: What is your current line up?
TL: Where will you save three shots?
MT: I’ve said this for the past nine years so thought we weren’t allowed. I’m now on 19 and 25˚ hybrids, which is a new one even for me.
TI: 3) help Dan with his top end gapping, anything to help Dan.
DM: 3 wood, 3 Crossover, 4 Crossover, 5 iron.
Since this time last year the following clubs have all been utilised at various points: 5 wood, 3 iron, 4 iron, 18˚ hybrid, 20˚ hybrid, 23˚ hybrid (cranked to 24˚).
SC: That’s almost a full set.
TL: If you hit it for me from outside 100 and I hit it for you from inside 100, who’d be the better golfer?
DM: We’d be the same golfer?