It’s a day of giving thanks—yes, to family, friends, and good health. But for golf too! As the professional game (in the US, at least) takes a rare respite, and recreational golfers raise their nails to feast on turkeys and pigskins, we asked our staff to consider one new golf discovery that will help them enjoy or appreciate the game more in 2022. Best wishes to you and thank you!
Old course, new sofa
This season, the golfer in me is grateful for…a sofa. Specifically, the pullout adjacent to the black wood paneling in the center of Shawn Zack’s (and my colleague’s) St. Andrews living room. 2022 was full of golf adventures that happened mostly by accident, and none better than the trip that brought me to Scotland in July. Sean, who spent the summer at St Andrews, brought the journey from fantasy to reality when he offered to host me on his withdrawal. I stayed for three glorious days of golf, pints and food, and quickly learned that a Scottish golf trip should be items 1, 2 and 3 on every golfer’s bucket list. Yes, I slept like shit, but looking back now, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. (Bonus thanks to CaddyDaddy Constrictor2 The suitcase, which safely ferried my clubs and a boatload of extra souvenirs across the Atlantic.) – James Colgan
I’ve always loved fall golf but my hands are getting colder. Then they become numb. And then it’s less fun to get out of the house, especially when you catch a fluffy one – yowzah! But now I’ve finally embraced the winter glove lifestyle. You can take them for real shots or shots if you want to, but on really cold days I wear them all the time. Happy hands make for a happy outing. – Dylan Dieter
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a pair of 3s
My wife recently started the game, and tier 3 courses have become our new venue. Fortunately, our home in Long Island, New York, is located near a couple of great options: Sumpwams Creek Golf Course and the Robert Moses Pitch and Putt. Spending more time on the course with a newbie helped me get back to basics. I was more focused on my short game than ever before and didn’t worry about getting results. Our rounds of peer 3 helped improve my wedge game and resulted in some of the most enjoyable golf this year. If you live on Long Island’s South Shore, play a Robert Moses spin through the dunes and jump in the ocean when you’re done. It’s a perfect summer afternoon. – Tim Riley
Talk about flex
One of the hardest realizations in midlife is that you won’t live forever, and that’s a buzzkill! – means you won’t play golf forever either. But at 55, new shoulder surgery, and loss of strength and flexibility, I’m hoping to hold out for as long as I can. A few months ago, I broke down and got the GolfForever Swing Trainer. You may have seen one. It’s a heavy stick, basically, and comes with bungee-like resistance bands that attach to your door frame (or other stable base), creating a simple yet sophisticated golf-specific training tool. There is also an app that allows you to customize your workout regimen. I’ve been at it for less than half a season, working from the comfort of my desk, and I’ve already noticed noticeable changes in the way I feel and move. Golf forever? unlikely. However, it is good to raise the bar high. – Josh Sens
Old dad clubs
In terms of my golf life, this year I’m grateful to my dad (and his decision to buy new clubs). Although he didn’t swing at any clubs until he reached adulthood, he got my brothers and I hooked on the game when we were barely even going. Equally important: He keeps giving me hands when he gets new irons, like he did this fall. – Kevin Cunningham
Fashion and function
I’ve always wanted street-chic looks and seemed to be everywhere: skinny jeans, a quarter-zip, and a puffer jacket. You see iterations of it everywhere in the fall, but I never felt comfortable trying it myself, mostly because I didn’t wear a jacket that felt right on me. That all changed this year, when I received a packable quilted jacket from Foray Golf in a beautiful Robin’s Egg blue. Not only does it feel light and airy, but it’s also warm—perfect for breezy Arizona mornings. I’ve worn it to school, on the soccer field, for the weekend, and on the golf course, too. It’s fun and functional – everything a girl could want. And for that, I am very grateful. – Jessica Marksbury
data and speed
The biggest help to my game this season has been applying a data-driven approach to improvement with the help of Arccos Golf to track my stats and understand which areas of my game need attention. With Arccos I discovered that of all things, my iron game needed some serious work and I made sure to focus more of my attention on practicing this part of my game. Another big key to improving this year has been speed training, which has got me significantly further off the tee and helped me get to more greens thanks to fewer clubs on those greens. Speed training is becoming more popular among golfers of all skill levels and by taking the time to get longer I have not only made the game a little easier, but also made it more fun. Ryan Barath
Love this loft
I have stubbornly refused to play the wedge my entire golf life simply because I thought I could hit every shot I needed with a 58-degree wedge. I could not. So this year, I’m thankful I finally decided to add a 60-degree or 62-degree wedge to the bag to help me around the greens, because I get a little help hitting those huge, cool-looking but ill-advised floppers is always fun. – Jack Hirsch
I used to think all wireless speakers were created equal—until I tried the Rokform G-Rok Wireless Golf Speaker. It’s light enough to hang on a bag while walking, which is a huge plus when I want some tunes, but it also features ridiculously strong magnets that keep it clipped to the stroller. And what about sound quality? I’d put it against anything else on the market. – Jonathan Wall
who is this guy?!
This year, I’m thankful for installing my first ever driver. At this time last year, I didn’t have a routine or consistency off a tee. But that all changed after a handful of lessons and a Fun and easy to install experience in Golftec. I made some major changes to my swing that my instructor explained easily. Even then, I needed a new driver with maximum forgiveness. Entry Callaway Rouge ST Maxthe one I love. Since then, I’ve resolved three strokes from my handicap, and I’m reaping the rewards of longer, straighter, more consistent driving. Connor Federico
The healing power of golf
This Thanksgiving, I’m giving thanks to golf. I know, I know, a guy who works for a golf publication being grateful for golf isn’t the most creative answer, but let me explain. This year has been difficult for me. I had lows like I’ve never experienced before, and many days weren’t easy. But through it all, I’ve been through this ridiculous game, and all the people I’ve met through it, have helped me keep moving forward. When the going got tough, golf was a great reminder of how lucky I really was. To enjoy a pint in Merion Or overlooking the vast Pacific Ocean from Monterey Peninsula To play a game of meager munis with my good friends, this year has offered many bright spots, many of whom have come to the golf course. Life isn’t always easy, but I’m filled with gratitude to know I have golf to help me get through it all. Milton exhaled