New Year's Resolutions
The “Texas WedgeHog” -- Rootin’ Out The Truth

Well, it’s that time again, to set out to make a list of all the things you’re going to do differently this year to make a difference in your life. There’s something about the turn of the calendar that gives us the idea that we can “start anew” . . . and why can’t we, really?

First of all, I have to sound off about this “new decade” talk. The same thing happened at the end of 1999, when the “new millennium” was the big deal. I have to go with the logic that the decade still has one year left in it. After all, if you are going to count to ten, you don’t start with “0” and stop at “9”, do you? You start with “1”, and when you get to “10”, you’re done. So the first year of the new decade is still a year away, because we haven’t gotten through 2010 yet.

I think the reason that we are in such a hurry is because we’ve become a society of immediate gratification. We borrow and buy, rather than save then buy. We want it now, and I mean RIGHT NOW!!! Maybe a little patience would do us all a bit of good. And that leads me to my one, single, solitary New Year’s Resolution.

I’m going to be more patient with everything in my life.

Wouldn’t that make life just a whole lot easier and more relaxed? Never be impatient. Never be in a hurry. Take life as it comes and deal with it, rather than rush, rush, rush. Give people you encounter just an extra moment or two of your time, attention and consideration. Take that small extra moment to say “thank you” or “please”, rather than expect others to do what you want, on your schedule.

But this is a golf column, so think of what that attitude could do for your enjoyment of the game, not to mention your scoring. If you took a more relaxed approach to the game, your tension would probably decrease, your grip pressure lighter, your muscle tension less severe . . . so you probably will execute better swings.

What if you accepted that you are going to hit “x” number of shots per round that are going to be way below your expectations, but each one gives you a chance to try and pull off a great recovery. And what if you give yourself a generous helping of “attaboys”, and “waytogos” when you do really crank a drive, or nail an iron shot, or stick an approach or put a chip or pitch in the leather, or drain a putt . . . of any length. What could that do for your self esteem and attitude?

So, my New Year’s Resolution is to cut myself some slack on the golf course. So what if I don’t hit every shot great? So what if I occasionally flare a drive, or chunk an approach, or skull a wedge shot or miss a short putt? So what???? My life is still great. I still get to make my living doing what I love – designing and building great wedges and writing about all things golf. I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and my score the next time I play isn’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things, is it?

Think that attitude would help you, too?


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[ comments ]
ucfhf says:
I want to focus more on the positives in my round than on the negatives. I'm hoping the instruction that I've been getting will make it so I have more options to be positive about.
1/8/10
 
lcgolfer64 says:
Terry
Nice article.
I play rounds with some younger friends on a regular basis (early 20's and early 30's, I'll be 45 this year.) They sometimes let a bad drive, approach or putt get the best of them, let loose the expletives and get all worked up. My approach was to say, " Could be worse, we could be working.” Or I’d joke and say, “Qualifying for the ‘Open tomorrow? No worries then. ” They'd laugh it off and calm down after that.

I.E. - my score entered on 9/20/2009. I wanted to have a great round. I kept thinking c'mon it’s your birthday, play better - stressed out. Well not to be. I completely blew-up up score wise. I came back the following weeks with much better scores.

While I don't consider myself even a 'good golfer' I think that mentally letting go of the bad shots, slowing down my tempo helps my consistency overall. I golf to get away from the stress and grind of the work day. By cutting myself some slack, I think I play better. I know I enjoy it more!
1/8/10
 
activesense says:
Yet again, another great post.
I am 100% with the calendar measurement of the new decade/millenium.
As a newbie golfer, still looking to groove some consistancy, I can vouch for not setting your expectations too high. Targets should be stretching but achievable. In my list for the 2010 season are simple, measurable and attainable targets such as GIR above 20%, making 30% of my par putts and making my first birdie.
To set targets too high is counter-productive and you will probably get frustrated and cease to enjoy the glorious game. I would love to get an Ace or break 80, but to measure the success of my game by these requirements will just leave me disappointed.
It is true that slowing down helps you enjoy the game/life more. Take a moment to smell the flowers. Take your foot off the gas pedal and drive 5 below the limit once in a while and watch the other people hurrying past you, missing the true meaning of life.
1/8/10
 
Mekat says:
Sorry Wedge Guy - I see your 'logic' on the decade issue as il-logic - because we are dealing with time, not objects.
If a length of time like a decade starts with 1 then babies must be born aged 1, turning 2 the next year, and the end of their first DECADE of life is on what ordinarily be their 9th birthday. But that is totally illogical as people celebrate when baby turns one year old at the END of the first year, not at the start. If this baby (like a decade) was born at midnight (00:00 - time starts at 0) on January 1 2000, this person would not have been 1 until Jan 1 2001.... Yes we count 1, 2, 3 etc. but we what we are counting are COMPLETED actions or actual objects.

Your concept would meant a 50 year old would still be in their 40s... while the 50 year old may like that idea of still being in their 40s, try telling a 20 year old that they are still a teenager...
1/8/10
 
Mekat says:
I will go further:
It appears to me that your view of a decade is akin to how we see days in a month… For example, today is the 9th of January – or 9 Jan – it doesn’t say how many days in January there have been, just which day in order it is… Just as you say this is the 10th year of the decade (and therefore the century) today would in your concept the 9th of January 2010th… in that there have not BEEN 9 days in January, nor (in your opinion) have there BEEN 10 years in the 21st century
1/8/10
 
activesense says:
The current system of counting years uses the birth of Jesus as a base point. The accuracy of this date is subject to many arguements, but the origin of the AD calendar is set none the less. The first year of this calendar was year 1 AD and the first decade concluded after 10 years had elapsed at the end of 10 AD. (count it out on your fingers if you need to). The 2nd decade therefor commenced the very second that the clock ticked beyond midnight and ventured into the year 11.
1/8/10
 
activesense says:
So.... continuing this through the first 1000 and the subsequent 1000 years means that the true millenia commenced in the years 1001 and 2001 just as the first millenium began in 1 AD. Sorry that this fact distorts the simplicity of nice round numbers such as 1000 or 2000, which the media love to jump on, and the fact that we switch from writing 1999 to 2000; the date begins with a whole new number (Woohoo) but anyone with but an ounce of mathematical knowledge, or even those with 10 fingers (remember to start counting at finger 1 and not finger 0) submit to this.
1/8/10
 
activesense says:
If you trust wikipedia and it's definitions then take a look at the link here en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_zero which somewhat proves the non-existance of the year zero.
Sorry to digress so wildly in a golf oriented post, it wont happen again.
1/8/10
 
Bryan K says:
I'm totally with you on the decade thing. In fact, it's in my list of most annoying things to have to put up with.

To answer Mekat: years are tracked differently than ages. We don't say a person is one year old until that person has completed his first year just as we don't say that a person is 50 years old until he has completed his 50th year. Age is based upon the completion of a year.

The counting of decades is different, though, because we count each year of a decade while we are still in it. This is the year 2010, which means it is the tenth year of the decade. The decade won't be complete until the end of 2010, which is when the decade will officially turn ten years old.

Putting it simply...a decade ends on its tenth birthday.
1/9/10
 
Mekat says:
So this is in reality the 2010th year AD?
1/9/10
 
lcgolfer64 says:
As you can see when it gets into the minus -10 and -20's up this way, we (included myself here guys, -14 here today) have a lot of time on out hands. Still a good posts, and a good article Terry
1/9/10
 
nickp says:
I started golf to relieve stress and hope to continue that trend the more serious I get into it.
1/9/10
 
Banker85 says:
very interesting points but i have to side with wedge guy...

Back to the golf. Patience is a must, i want to be able to make sure i am paying attention to setup before each shot. And i want to be less of a perfectionist so i am not as hard on myself as i have been in the past.
1/9/10
 
onedollarwed says:
The decade began when 2000 began and thus ended already. There are wonderful reason why either argument works, but popular demand ended the last century/ millenium when the digits clicked to 2000. It was now tens years ago.
The history of religious fanaticism, 1000 year apocalyptic predictions, etc. is illuminating. (I will find that book I'm thinking of...). There are more truths about time including centuries old calendar corrections, leap year adjustments, and all of that. So if it really bugs you that time measurement isn't perfectly logical then you really have some huge problems to overcome. The decade issue isn't really that big a deal.
1/10/10
 
Matt F says:
Banker85 said "And i want to be less of a perfectionist so i am not as hard on myself as i have been in the past." I have to agree with you there. I tend to be the same and have to realise that even the pro's fluff shots and I'm not good enough to be angry with myself.

Matt
1/10/10
 
Bryan K says:
onedollarwed: The problem is...time measurement IS perfectly logical. Do we have arguments about whether or not we are in the 21st Century? It's the exact same concept.

As my college albegra professor used to say on this very issue...it's in issue that's not up for debate. When I tell someone that the decade doesn't end until the end of this year, I'm not proposing a discussion. I'm making a correction.
1/11/10
 
knh555 says:
Last year, my seven year-old son started playing. He'd have some great shots and lots of duds. He never sees any of them that way though and only talks about the great shots on the way home. Not to mention he gets thoroughly excited when he lands it in the sand and "gets" to hit out of it.

It's done wonders for my game too, as I'm much more attuned to how much fun he is having and not so much on how well or how poorly I'm playing.
1/11/10
 
onedollarwed says:
@bjohn... I'm simply citing the fact that the last century, millenium, and decade all ended when 2000 began, due to polpular consensus, not logic. Your college algebra professor clearly was out of his/her depth on the matter - after all caledars and their history have little to do with algebra.
The number of month in a year, days in months, etc. are quite illogical wouldn't you say? When and why to start counting or measuring time in order to make calendars is a fascinating tour of history, cosmology, religion, reason, science, psychology, etc. (as any quick googling wil tell) ...and I'm not arguing for or against when the new century began. There are only a few options on this matter: the last century ended early and had 99 years, It ended early and 2000 was a year not included in any century, or you can be in the minority who celebrated the end of the millennium alone and year later at the "correct" time. Perhaps by the end of the next century public opinion will change. What was the Roman numeral for 0?
1/11/10
 
onedollarwed says:
I'm enjoying golf more than ever - partly because of finding oobgolf and the wedgeguy. Thank you all.
These past couple of years it has been easier to think about what I'm doing on the coure - though I do limit the amount of thinking until after the round. It's still a game of athletic moves after all.
These days it's much easier to try things I've read about and not worry too much about it messing me up. Unless you're betting is there anything to fear about golf?
1/11/10
 
Mekat says:
I believe the very concept and symbol for zero was in Indian mathematics at around the 6th century AD and not fully incorporated into western mathematics until the 12th or 13th century AD - before that, there was no symbol for zero and was often just a blank space.... No year zero??? no zero!!
1/12/10
 
Bryan K says:
onedollarwed: I would hardly think that "consensus" would be an accurate guide to tell us what is correct and what is not. There was a time when the "consensus" was that the Earth was flat and that the sun rotated around the earth. That didn't change any facts. The "consensus" still seems to be that Christopher Columbus was a great explorer and a great guy, but that doesn't change the fact that he was ultimately a slave trader who practiced in genocide.

The consensus just might be that the last century ended after the year 1999, but the great thing about mathematics in general (geometry, algebra, calculus, etc) is that there are no exceptions to the rules. I hardly think that my algebra professor was out of his league. If you'd like, I can even write you up a proof on the issue.

The fact that the majority of society wants to recognize the wrong year as the official end of the century/decade is simply a sign that the quality of education in society is lacking.
1/12/10
 
Bryan K says:
Another interesting little tidbit...this survey on about.com, which has accumulated about 3500 votes thus far, sheds some doubt as to what the actual consensus on when the end of the decade was: tinyurl.com/ycczj53

A total of 69% of the survey takers think the end of the decade happens on December 31, 2010. So it seems that even if we are to take consensus into consideration, the decade doesn't end until the end of 2010.
1/12/10
 
onedollarwed says:
This year, I will not be annoyed by posts. Bjohn, please don't get upset aabout the "decade thing." It's not worth it. I'd hope by exploring the nature of time measurement and commmemorations It would ease the problem. You don't have to worry about it because it's not your fault that consensus and logic don't always agree - I think that's why they're different words. You must admit that your professor was quite wrong in asserting the "issue is not up for debate." If you know anything about the topic - it is high debatable. Time to stop trusting others and investigate on your own. And thank you Mekat for that piece of the puzzle. The issue of how to count to ten is easy. When to place the end of a millennium is more interesting. The millennium could have ended at a different time than any year/ decade or century. It has more to do with vernacular projections of "1000 years cicles" of the rule of Christ or Satan. Like with golf we need to be better listners and learners.
1/13/10
 
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