“I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members.”
“I’ll have a bloody mary and a steak sandwich and a steak sandwich. Charge it to the Underhill account.”
Chevy Chase as Fletch, 1985
It’s been a very exciting week here at SportsChump Manor, more exciting than most. For you see, I am now, officially, fancy.
Don’t get me wrong, I was fancy beforehand but now… I am “country club” fancy.
I’ve never been a country club member. In 52 years, it never once occurred to me to even become one. I’ve always been much more Danny Noonan than Judge Smails. However, my usual gaggle of golfers and I had been looking into local golf memberships. When a local, rather ritzy club made us an offer we couldn’t refuse, we signed on the dotted line. Suddenly, I felt like Max Fischer, wanting to join every extracurricular this private club had to offer. There would be so much extra room for activities! (And yes, that was four solid movie references from four different decades in just one paragraph. Name them all and win a prize.)
While I’m making this investment for myself to have a little relaxation in my “golden years,” it’s not all fun and games. I have set specific goals that I am marking down right here, on this date, sealing them in a virtual time machine to look back upon one year later and see how many of them I have achieved.
Goal #1: I will work out 100 times in the next calendar year
This goal should not be a problem. My new golf and country club has a state-of-the-art facility at my beck and call. According to the records of my former YMCA, where I once had a membership until I “fancied up,” as recently as two years ago, I logged 116 different visits/workouts in a single year. 100 should be a piece of cake.
Goal #2: I will lose ten pounds
I’m not obese. I’m perhaps 15 pounds overweight. I’m currently tilting the wheel at about 195. My ideal weight, in my mind, is about 185, so that’s what I’m shooting for. A doctor told me a few years ago, right after I stepped on the scale in her office, that at my height (5’10 ½”), I should be weighing about 180. When I got off the scale, it read 184. She told me I could stand to lose a few pounds. I found a new doctor.
Goal #3: Cut my golf handicap in half
This is a lofty goal but still, I believe, attainable. I’m right around a bogey golfer, which probably puts me around an 18 handicap. Cutting that in half gets my handicap to single digits. If I play the amount of golf I plan to this year, getting that number down should be within reach. Which obviously goes hand in hand with…
Goal #4: Increase range time
My golf “coach” and I have this ongoing joke about the driving range. As in, he’ll ask me when we’re going to hit the range to which I’ll reply, “what is this ‘range’ word you speak of?” It never gets old, to me at least. I also understand that just going to the range to swing a club or two isn’t going to magically cut my handicap in half. Form, technique and consistency will be key in shaving off those strokes. I get this. My club has unlimited range balls. If you’re looking for me over the next calendar year, that might a good place to start. Either there or at the bar nearby.
Goal #5: Shoot a round in the 70s from the white tees
I forget my lowest ever score. It was either 82 or 84. Whichever it was, even after shooting that number, I recall going over the round and finding room for improvement. A round in the 70s, well, I feel I have it in me. These next 365 days will tell.
Goal #6: Shoot a round in the 80s from the blue tees
I’ve probably already done this but this course I’ve just joined is testy. Narrow fairways, plenty of trouble and lengthy (6,428 yards) from the blues. The last time I played this course from the blues, I shot a cool 101. I still feel shooting in the 80s is an attainable goal. It’s just gonna take a lot of Goal #4.
Goal #7: Increase my Greens in Regulation %/Decrease my putting average
Nothing will send me into a tizzy more than bogeying a hole I should have just birdied. I get it, it happens. But narrowing down (or better yet eliminating) those three putts is going to make a lot of these golf-related goals attainable. I’m in the middle of a new putting stroke, with an old putter. I’m not blaming the equipment. My putting is a work in progress but I recognize that I’m not going to even sniff the seventies unless I can shave the number of putts I attempt per round. My current putting average over the last eight rounds is a close-to-embarrassing 1.97. Similarly, my greens in regulation % is 27. I recognize that these numbers are all related. Getting them down means everything goes down, including my score, which means an even happier day at SportsChump Manor.
Goal #8: Have fun
Look, I’m going to take this stuff seriously, obsessively even, but not to an unhealthy level. This was a gift from SportsChump, to SportsChump, to see if, after a full calendar year, I can trim off some of the fat from both my waistline and my golf game.
Wish me luck and if you’re ever around, for a round, hit me up. I know this great place.