By Paul Myers

The start of a new year is always an exciting time for a golfer. As the calendar rolls over from 2016 to 2017, you should consider taking a few moments to review the status of your game. What did you do well in 2016, and what would you like to improve? It is hard to find time to reflect on the state of your game, but the end of the year can prove to be just such an opportunity. Taking stock of your strengths and weaknesses at the end of each year will provide you with specific points that need to be addressed if you are going to play your best golf over the next twelve months.

As you think about how you played last year and how you would like to play in the year ahead, keep the following points in mind.

Putting is Always the Top Priority

Regardless of the current state of your game, your number one goal for 2017 should be simple – to make more putts. All golfers can benefit from making more putts, as this is the fastest way to shave strokes off of your score. Even if you are already a strong putter, there is no reason you can’t continue to work on refining your skills to continually improve your performance.

Address One Specific Swing Flaw

Many golfers start out a new year by deciding they are going to rebuild their entire golf swing. That kind of thinking is almost always a mistake, so don’t fall into that trap with your own game. Instead, take a look at your swing on video and pick out one specific flaw that you would like to eliminate. By thinking specifically rather than in general terms, you can get right to work and actually see some real progress. Once that first flaw is addressed and corrected successfully, you can then move on to picking out another area of your swing to adjust as necessary.

Plan a Schedule

Professional golfers start out the year by charting out the various tournaments that they are going to play throughout the season. While your schedule is not going to be filled with major championships and the like, you can still plan out a schedule to make sure you are able to play as much golf as possible. Hopefully, you will be able to build in a golf vacation of some kind along with your regularly scheduled rounds near home.

Set Your Equipment

It is usually a mistake to adjust your equipment excessively during the golf season. If you have a club or two that you would like to replace, consider doing so before you get too far into 2017. Starting with your new clubs as early as possible will help you to make the necessary adjustments in your game so that those clubs can serve you well round after round. Changing equipment is always an exciting opportunity, but make sure you temper your excitement with plenty of patience as you are adjusting to the new gear.