First published on the Golf Monthly website on Thursday 3rd January 2008
As time continues its inexorable journey and 2007 becomes 2008, Fergus takes stock and thinks about the coming year.
So 2007 is over. Bloody hell, it went by fast. I’ve read in a few places how time is relative and as you grow older each year represents a smaller fraction of your life. By the time you’re 80 a year must pass before you’ve had a chance to eat your breakfast.
We were staying with my in-laws on the west coast over the festive period and a distinct lack of golf freed up my brain to do some dangerous thinking on the uncompromising and unstoppable nature of time. I realised a couple of years ago the likelihood of me picking up a major title before the age of 30 has diminished considerably, if not vanished. If I’m brutally honest with myself, I’m not going to win one at all am I? Oh woe is me. I also realised that (if things go according to plan) one third of my life is now over. That means just two thirds left to do something meaningful.
As a first step towards making a contribution to humanity I made some New Year’s resolutions.
– I will be more tolerant of people. I will be kind and gracious to everyone, treating them as I would hope to be treated. (Except for slow golfers who refuse to let me play through, they’ll continue to receive short shrift.)
– With reference to the above, I will have more courage to speak my mind, particularly when confronted by a slow golfer. When I meet one in the clubhouse after a round and they say, “I hope we didn’t hold you up too much.” Rather than my usual clenched teeth response of, “Not at all, we were just enjoying the day.” I’ll say, “I’m afraid you did hold us up and your failure to let us through went a considerable way to spoiling what might otherwise have been an enjoyable round of golf. Please be more courteous in future.”
– I will behave in a more grown-up way, particularly when playing golf with people I know well. I always manage to keep my temper in check when I don’t know my playing partners. But if it’s old friends or family making up the fourball I seem to think I have carte blanche to act like a spoilt teenager. No more swearing, sulking, club throwing or other equipment damaging activities in 2008.
– I will endeavour to speak to, and maintain eye contact with people, even if I don’t like them. Actually, I will try to like everyone, (except discourteous slow golfers.)
– I will continue to speak to my playing partners when I’m enduring a run of poor holes.
– I will be more sporting in defeat. Next time Stewart holes a putt to beat me on the 18th I will congratulate him and shake his hand warmly.
– I will not decelerate on any chips. Commitment is the key and I’m committed to no more dunches in 2008.
– I will re-start betting on the golf. I keep hearing that spending money is good for the economy. I’ll try to do my bit.
– I will practice my putting rather than just complaining how bad it is.
I’ve noticed that most of my resolutions are golf related. So I need one final resolution to ensure I achieve my principal objective:
– To find a way that my golf can make a contribution to humanity.