Do people still do New Year’s resolutions?
Alex Perry: I can’t be dealing with all that ‘New Year, new me’ nonsense.
Mark Townsend: I must get fitter, I must address my long-standing back problem, I must lose weight, I must find an on-course snack that doesn’t involve a Mars bar, I must rehydrate more often, I must read more Rotella, I must turn off my inner chimp, I must stop walking with my head down, I must stop taking Diclofenac…
Alex Perry: I guess you can.
Mark Townsend: I must leave my phone in the car, I must learn how to chip, I must get a rangefinder, I must stop lagging every putt, I must find a pre-shot routine, I must find some comfortable spiked shoes, I must hit the shot required for the situation, I must find some more interesting playing partners…
Alex Perry: Are you done?
Mark Townsend: I suppose those aren’t really beginning-of-year resolutions, they are things I think about at some point in every single round of golf I play, without fail.
Alex Perry: Did you not find any interesting playing partners this year?
Mark Townsend: Just more varied rather than interesting, which I loved when playing at weekends and in competitions. Sadly the last of which came in October 2014. Most of my time on a golf course is now spent 60 per cent on my own and 40 per cent with similarly mentally fragile and unhinged individuals.
Alex Perry: You are welcome.
Joe Urquhart: I’ll say it, I want to lower my handicap just like everyone else.
Alex Perry: Surely that’s just a constant though, rather than a target to set yourself to achieve before Tiger turns 43.
James Savage: I want to lower my handicap by cutting out double-bogeys or worse. I usually make enough pars to play better than my handicap but still throw in the odd big number. But as you say, that’s not really a New Year’s resolution it’s just a constant challenge to myself which didn’t change or come about on January 1.
Joe Urquhart: Well last year I just wanted to get an official handicap for the first time in my like and play in some club competitions.
Alex Perry: And did you?
Joe Urquhart: Yes. Although very badly and I embarrassed myself at Captain’s Day.
Alex Perry: Go on…
Joe Urquhart: I lost my first tee shot into the trees right after turning up a tad hungover. I wasn’t aware there was going to be 40-odd people stood by the tee and I’m going to say it’s the most nervous I’ve been stood over a golf ball.
Alex Perry: Why do you care what they think? You’re probably a better player than two-thirds of them. It’s not like you were teeing off in front of the world’s top 10.
Joe Urquhart: Golf is played between the ears and my mind is a fragile place… I thought I was going to cry. I even had a photo taken it was all too much.
Alex Perry: I once sliced a drive OB in front of former rugby player Matt Dawson and he said something so unfunny that I can’t even remember it, but the six or seven people with him guffawed like it was an Edinburgh Fringe contender.
Mark Townsend: Doesn’t sound like ‘Daws’ to say something unfunny. I think you can remember what he said and, if you were to write it down or say it out loud, it might speed up the healing process.
Alex Perry: I can’t. I just can’t.
James Savage: My actual New Year’s resolution is to play golf once with Dan Murphy in 2018. Think our last round was early 2016.
Alex Perry: He will have the same resolution with me this year after I beat him 5&4 in the NCG Summer Match Play.
Dan Murphy: I can’t abide New Year’s resolutions. Sorry. If you are going to do something different, then great. Keep it to yourself, crack on with it and tell us when you’ve done it. Good luck to you. Oh, and you can start at any time of the year, not just now.
Alex Perry: See?