2008 got off to a rather depressing start with the news that the Golf Channel UK has ceased broadcasting.

No more ?playing lessons from the pros?, no more ?Big Break?, and no more Stephanie Sparks (the original TP red). But probably saddest of all, no more Dave Pelz showing us the straight back/straight through P.I.L. (Pure In Line) putting stroke.

Now, as I?m sure you know, Dave isn?t the most engaging character to grace the small screen and it?s true that now he?s gone, insomniacs throughout the land are desperately trying to find another cure, but as the song says, ?I?d grown accustomed to his face?.

He was our short game conscience, the angel on our shoulder monotonaly guiding us through the drills necessary to facilitate improvement in this game we love so much. With more gadgets than James Bond, he showed us how location was no boundary to putting practise, with the bedroom, the hotel room and the office all providing ?greens? for him to ply his trade. And how I?ll miss Peter Perfect: Dave?s mechanical putting friend. He didn?t say much, but if your life depended on someone sinking a tricky three footer, he?s your Cyborg.

In short, Dave attempted to make us more responsible golfers and I?m sad to say I never truly took it to heart.

But now, as a new year begins, and I find myself in my late thirties?? very late thirties?. Alright I?m forty?.. one, it?s time I took a more responsible attitude to life, golf and especially my short game. With my second child due in April, golfing opportunities may well, so my wife informs me, be limited this year. But the odd hour?s practise might be allowed so it?s vital I use it constructively.

Some years ago, my step-father Paul (gastroenterologist and golf nut) gave me the Short Game and Putting Bibles written by the great Pelz himself. My New Years resolution is to put them to their proper use. If I can?t be bored watching him, then by God I?ll bore myself reading him. Yes, I may have to find my daughter something else to use as a flower press, but it?ll be worth it.

I?ll keep you up to date with my progress, or lack of it, throughout what promises to be an exciting year for us bloggers. Will Fergus Bisset win another Alliance? Will Bradley Dredge win for the third time on tour? And will Clive Agran finally get the recognition he deserves and make this year?s Ryder Cup team?

Only time will tell.

But to all (both) of you have a fantastic year?s golfing and as we say at the Stage ?may the wind always be behind your balls.?