“This is going to be my year.”

Over the last decade, this phrase has become somewhat of a running joke in my regular foursome. Heading out to play the first round of the season after the long winter, I’d make this sweeping declaration on the first tee box. Sometimes, it would be followed up with a drive striped right down the middle…and other times, well, maybe not so much. 

I credit my dad for getting me interested in golf as a kid. I was a member of my high school golf team and got to play some of the best courses in the state. My travels to various LPGA and PGA events as both a spectator and volunteer have taken me to many more.

For the past 18 years, I worked in an extremely demanding job which kept me busy and on the road during the majority of Wisconsin’s best-weather months and thus, prevented me from playing the sport I love as often as I’d like. Aside from the occasional bucket at the range, I would forgo practicing in favor of actually playing any spare moment that I had. Consequently, after seeing my scores improve with regular practice and play during my high school career, my game has been in homeostasis for the better part of two decades. In common parlance, I had become a “Hack”… not by choice, but by victim of circumstance. However, bogey or par, rain or shine, I was happy just to find time to get out on the course.  

And then last year… well, let’s just say it wasn’t anybody’s year. I unexpectedly lost my job and was suddenly faced with the task of figuring out the next step in my career. I ultimately decided to launch my own marketing and communications business. I have no doubt that my new endeavor will be just as demanding, if not more-so, than my previous one, but I’m elated because it’s something I can build from the ground up. I’ll be able to get out of it what I put in, with the ability to make my own hours and therefore, have more time for the things I enjoy, like golf. 

I’m also intentionally seeking work opportunities that marry my expertise with my passions. Thus, in addition to writing for Stick and Hack, one of the first clients for Caitlin Moyer Communications & Marketing has been the Wisconsin State Golf Association. I’m grateful to be working beside Executive Director Rob Jansen as the Associate Editor and first-ever female columnist for the WSGA’s Wisconsin Golfer magazine, a monthly digital publication that is sent to its members.

In discussing plans for that column, Rob and I tossed around ideas like columns on fitness (I’m a registered yoga teacher and soon-to-be certified personal training with a golf fitness specialization), to doing on-course interviews, writing profiles and more. However, one of the ideas that Rob suggested really struck a chord with me: He suggested that I compete in a WSGA event this year and document that journey.

Unless you count scrambles and Pro-Ams, I have not played in an official golf tournament since I was in high school, which was (*checks watch, gulps*) 20 years ago. My aforementioned practice and playing time have been inconsistent; hence, my game has also been consistently inconsistent. I don’t have an official handicap and I don’t think they allow generous gimmes like my foursome does, do they?

The idea was so frightening that I agreed to it. 

Now that I have time to dedicate to the game, I am making practice a priority, starting here in the offseason. I’ll be taking lessons at GolfTec, focusing my workouts on strength and flexibility, working on my mental approach and more in the months leading up to the event later this summer.

Each month, I’ll be giving my readers in Wisconsin a first-person view of what it’s like to train for, and compete in a real tournament.

And, when I told Adam Grubb about my goals for this year, he thought that the Stick and Hack community could also benefit from the things I learn along the way, so you, my new friends, will be along for the ride, too. 

I’m not sure what the research says on Hacks becoming Sticks over time or vice versa, or whether you’re simply born one way or the other (when they settle the “nature vs. nurture” debate, maybe we can revisit), but I’ll be interested to see the impact that dedicating more time to the game has on my approach to the sport. I kind of suspect that even with focus and improvement, I’ll always be a Hack at heart, but maybe I’ll get a little Stick-ier though this process. Time will tell!

But regardless if you’re a Hack or a Stick and whether you’re just starting out in the sport, thinking about getting more serious, or, like me, are returning to the sport with a renewed vigor after an extended absence, I hope I can provide some inspiration–or commiseration-along the way.

Yes indeed. It’s time to toss out those 2020 calendars and all of the baggage (er, garbage) that came with them because 2021 is going to be our year. 

Caitlin Moyer

Caitlin Moyer has been hacking and hoping since she was 10. Over the course of her career in the sports industry, she's had the chance to play the game with LPGA, MLB and NBA players, as well as NASCAR drivers and celebrities, but her favorite playing partner is her dad (even though he is a stick). Inventor and sole practitioner of the one-flap™ golf swing (patent pending).