Setting Goals for the Year

Setting goals for your game is a great way to motivate yourself, and help clarify the kind of work you need to put in to achieve them.

One of the reasons I always gravitated towards golf was because it had the most measurable results of any sport. Everyone knows exactly where they stand based on their score. Competitive junkies always find their way to golf at some point. Using this competitive drive is a great way to set goals for yourself so you can work on getting to that next level.

My main goal for 2014 was to get my handicap low enough so I could apply to play in the 2015 USGA qualifiers. I needed to get below a 1.4, so it made me look at what parts of my game I needed to improve in order to get there. For me it was improving my wedge game, and making more putts from under 10 feet.

It wasn’t a long list, but I knew that my short game was the key to getting closer to scratch golf. So I spent most of my time working with my wedges, which used to be a weakness of my game. By the end of the year, it had become one of my strengths, and I felt confident around the green instead of dreading those shots. I also was starting to hit more 8 footers for par (and sometimes birdie), and I got down to scratch by the end of the year! I felt very satisfied that I was actually able to achieve my goals, and that I would be able to apply to play in the US Open and USGA Amateur qualifiers.

This year I really want to focus on putting even more, so I’m going to make an effort to make this an area of big improvement. I also want to play in 5 competitive tournaments, and not shoot over 80 in any of them. Again, it’s not a long list but it’s something to keep me focused, and working towards a goal.

So think about a few parts of your game that could use improvement on the golf course. Do you want to hit more fairways? Start working on a bump and run shot? Lower your handicap by 3-5 strokes? It doesn’t have to be a complicated list, but pick 3-4 specific goals and really try to work on achieving them. I have found that if I am aimlessly working on random parts of my game without a plan then I’m not really improving as a player. I think you’ll be happy with the results if you stick with it.

Other articles you might like:

How I had my biggest breakthrough

The great golfing villain

How to conquer the awkward wedge shot

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