The Golf Digest Hot List is Here!

photo of gloved golfer's hand putting a golf ball on a tee. The ball is the zero in superimposed text: 2021.
© Freebird7977, Bigstock.com

By DON WALTER

It’s here! It’s Here! For the truly addicted golfer, waiting for the current Golf Digest Hot List Issue to arrive in the newsstands or your mailbox every February conjures up memories of my favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story. The main character Ralphie runs home from school in a hurried frenzy to find his Annie Oakley decoder delivered by the postman. It’s quite the case of childhood exuberance… much like myself watching for my Golf Digest! I’m not alone in this craziness. I have had many a grown adult share their own Hot List stories.

The Hot List is made up of all the latest and greatest golf clubs, balls, and accessories for the upcoming season. The term “Kids in a candy store!” rings true. Picture upon picture of new drivers promising bomber drives. Irons boasting ultimate accuracy. Wedges and putters to lower your scores. Golf balls that roll truer and fly straighter. It’s all there!

Can you buy a golf game? Some say so, especially the writers from Golf Digest. If you ask my buddy who just loaded his bag with the latest and greatest, he will say the same. New technology is just that, new. It feels good, it looks good, it’s got to help, right?

Golf is such a mystery to us all. No one has ever mastered the game. New equipment could get us closer. But golf is so much more than equipment. Physical, mental, it’s all part of the game.

How about creating a Hot List of your own? It may include new equipment, but there are many ways to improve.

After the drool dries on my face and in the magazine, I come to the reality of the size of the loan I would need to replace my entire set of clubs with the latest and greatest.

Then I turn to the other parts of golf many of us tend to ignore. Maybe some of you have been following my writing and remember the stretching routine I suggested.

As I go around the sun once again, each year gets a little harder to jump out of the car straight from the office and dash to the first tee. I have stretching and exercise on my Hot List. I try my darnedest to find time to reach for my toes and find balance in my step.

I also think about golf a lot. I mean a lot … it’s part of the addiction. I think about the equipment, the physical, and the mental.

My Hot List also includes some time spent on the mental part of a game I just love. Remember the part about jumping out of the car and heading straight to the tee? That doesn’t help our mental game either.

I try and use words like “roll” instead of “putt.” I look around and see how beautiful the course is and remind myself how lucky I am to be there and to be able to share it with my friends and family. Positive thoughts will get you a long way to a better round on the course.

So, it feels great to learn about all the new Hot List equipment we may or may not need each year, but keep in mind the things we know will definitely help us enjoy golf more.

Feeling up to the game is so important. I can’t imagine if my physical being wouldn’t let me enjoy something I love.

I also realize I don’t need the torment I can create with negative thoughts on or off the course. Golf is hard, but it’s also our recreation—not work, not a job, just pure unadulterated fun.

Create your own Hot List, and I bet you’ll enjoy golf more and more. As for me, I’ll be watching every flake of snow melting off my home course, just waiting to feed my addiction. See you on the course … hopefully soon! MSN