This coming year I am going to get it right. My New Year’s resolutions are going to stick. Finally.

I know you have all heard this before from someone you know. Maybe even yourself.

Although studies show that more than 90 percent of people who resolve to change once the ball drops in New York City never do, that will not be me. Scout’s honor.

Why is this year going to be different? One reason: golf. I’m going to pass on the “no chocolate” promise, disavow the vow to organize my office, and just focus on this great game of ours.

Here are my five golf resolutions for 2016. What are yours?

  1. Play More, Period – In past years, life has always gotten in the way of this one. I always try to play at least once a month but for whatever reason, time has never been on my side. This coming year I will find the time to play at least 12 times. With the Rancho Bernardo Inn, Oaks North and Carmel Mountain Ranch only a few miles away and Twin Oaks and Woods Valley just a short drive, there really is no excuse to not play. I’d be silly not to, right?
  2. Take a Lesson – I love playing, but have little patience for practicing. Maybe you feel the same way. But I know if I want to improve, I should take a step back and get some valuable insight from a golf professional who actually knows the mechanics of golf a lot more than I do. PGA teaching pros such as John Mason at Encinitas Ranch, Lloyd Porter at Oaks North and Curtis Rowe at Temecula Creek Inn are industry veterans and I know (hope) they can fix my slice.
  3. Introduce Someone to the Game – I introduced a colleague to golf a few years back and it was so rewarding to watch her challenge herself to learn and improve. Golf needs more golfers. I want to see it grow, so I need to be responsible for talking it up, recruiting new players, and getting them out on the tee. The Intro2Golf program at Encinitas Ranch is a great vehicle for new golfers.
  4. Walk More, Ride Less – Golf is such a different game when the bag is strapped to your back and you’re walking (not driving) down the fairway. I don’t do this enough, but that’s going to change. Twin Oaks, the par-3 Reidy Creek and the executive Oaks North are all easily walkable JC Golf tracks.
  5. Be Open to a New Approach – People are changing and golf needs to change with it. The game itself doesn’t need to change, but our approach to it does. I think Blake Dodson, director of golf at Encinitas Ranch, summed it up best: “There are people out there playing who are streaming live media, watching the football game on their tablet, or playing music in their cart. That’s fun and it’s our job to provide an experience that is enjoyable for people. Golf needs to move toward a more fun and youthful energy and style.” Amen.

Marc Figueroa is a freelance writer who has been covering golf in San Diego for more than 20 years.