New Year, New Perspective, Same Great Game

I’m not really a New Years resolution type of guy. The concept of waiting until January 1st to instill positive change in one’s life is a weird one to me. Why can’t we set our minds on doing something positive on March 17th? Or October 21st?

Having said that, there is something mentally refreshing about the ol’ Gregorian odometer turning over. The start of a new year creates the perception of a clean slate from which to renew our ambitions. As golfers, we need all the help we can get keeping our minds free of unnecessary clutter, and the start of a new year is a good excuse to clean house.

I’ve been publicly setting goals on this site for quite a few years now. Most of these goals are related to the “Road to Scratch” – the overall target of becoming a scratch golfer. Deep down, this is still my ultimate goal. I’m a competitive person and enjoy being challenged and experiencing pressure, so a drive to improve and throw myself into uncomfortable situations, no matter what level my game is at, will never go away.

What I have come to appreciate is that golf can be enjoyed in many different ways beyond just trying to shoot a number. Not only does golf mean different things to different people, golf can mean different things to the same person depending on the day.

A glorious 9-hole three-club challenge type afternoon

My process related goals geared toward improvement in the past have taught me a lot over the years. They have helped me gain a deeper understanding of what motivates me. I have learned what level of commitment it takes to improve or, what level of commitment is not enough to improve. While I have not reached every goal set out in the past, every one has been worthwhile for what it taught me about myself.

My 2019 goals are very simple, and purely mindset focused. Golf is mental, after all. Without control over our mind, we’re at the mercy of every influence around us. For me, it’s all about mindset to get the most out of every experience (and keeping my body in one piece, but that’s a different story).

With that in mind, I have two goals for 2019:

To not give a f**k about things I can’t control. There are a lot of things we can’t control on the golf course — how other people behave, the weather, the pin placements, and even the golf ball once it leaves the club face, to name only a few.

To embrace every round of golf for what it is that day. For the many different ways and reasons I enjoy this game, it would be naive to think that every time I pull my clubs out should be another step towards becoming a scratch golfer. Sometimes I want to take photographs while I play and pay particularly close attention to the architecture of a new course. Sometimes it’s a social affair. Sometimes it’s about going out for nine holes and messing around with different shots.

These goals are perhaps overly simplistic, or not measurable enough, but it feels like keeping these things in the forefront of my mind will serve me well.

Golf is more than scoring and competing. It’s more than golf course architecture, amenities, and conditions. It’s more than who you’re playing with. It’s more than beers at the turn and birdie shots. It’s more than evening nines and experimenting with different shots. It’s more than getting outside for four hours to get some exercise.

It can be, and is, about all those things, or whatever you want it to be that day.

Happy New Year.


Golf is mental 2019 goals

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13 thoughts on “New Year, New Perspective, Same Great Game

  1. Happy New Year, Josh
    I love the shift to new process ‘resolutions’. Please accept my best wishes to you and Beth and I hope 2019 will be your best ever! Thanks for your friendship and the inspiration your blog continues to provide!
    Cheers, Mike

    1. Thank you, Mike! Happy new year to you and the fam as well. Hope 2019 is one of your best on and off the course.

      Cheers my friend

    1. Thanks, Christopher! Great to hear you’re motivated to set some goals this season. Hope they serve you well. Happy new year!


  2. Josh,

    Playing in the moment is absolutely essential to like playing golf. That moment is not always about scoring low, but enjoying the time on the links. I applaud you movement towards a new mental attitude of not worrying about things out of your control. You will find that your game will reach new levels of greatness.

    I wish you and Beth an fantastic 2019. Happy New Year!

    Cheers Jim

    1. Thanks Jim! That is definitely what I hope results. All the best to you in 2019, on and off the course! Happy new year!


  3. Great article Josh! Your writing improves with each post. I can especially relate to these goals, as a PGA Pro I often give myself too much pressure wanting to always be at par or better, but with a busy family life, business, and other goals, its just not realistic. I’ve switched to this mentality in 2018 and enjoyed so many games for just being outside, working on specific shots, and truly enjoying the company of whomever I played with. As a result, I played some pretty good golf last year and can honestly say I just enjoyed myself every round. Wish you the same this year and still watering those seeds for a Vancouver golf trio together! Best to you and Beth!


    1. Hey Cyrus,

      Wow, I appreciate the kind words! And reassuring to hear that a similar mentality was successful for you in 2018 – that’s awesome! Wishing you continued success in 2019…and thanks for splashing some water on the Vancouver golf trip seed. I’d sure like to see it grow!


  4. Great perspective Josh. It will carry you a long way. You’ve heard me say it many times; when you were younger I know I did not golf enough to get real good. But I always “enjoyed the green grass, blue sky, and especially time with my son.” I wish you and Beth the best of everything in 2019!

    1. Hey Dad,

      Thank you! And you bet, that’s what it’s all about. Happy new year and here’s to some more golf games together this year!


  5. What an amazing goal and congratulations Josh! for such a beautiful short. i hope this year proves very successful to you. i know i am little bit late but i found your article now and HAPPY NEW YEAR to you.

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