Road To Scratch Update: Setting Goals for the 2015 Golf Season

Setting goals is an important step in achieving anything beyond ordinary. Most people know in the back of their mind what they want to achieve, but that doesn’t constitute goal setting.

It’s important to write goals down, and break them down into smaller short-term components to pave the pathways to your bigger, longer term goals. I’ve taken the plunge by spewing my goals out on my blog for the world to see. And why not?

My long term goal is to become a scratch or better golfer. To achieve that, I need to evaluate my game and make shorter term goals that will pave the way to that achievement.

Setting goals as a golfer can be tricky. I prefer my short term goals to be process orientated rather than results orientated due to the fickle nature of golf and the many factors that can affect short term results.

This year I’ve purposely delayed my goal setting until I’ve had several rounds under my belt. I wanted to get out there with no real expectations and establish a baseline for where I’m at and where I’d like to improve.

After several rounds this spring and a bit of practice, I’ve observed a lot about my game and have come up with relevant goals for the season to help me achieve my long term goals.

My season goals are:

1) Have fun on the course, no matter what. Golf is a tough game that won’t always go our way. Embrace the challenge and have fun with it. Having fun on the course isn’t hard for me, but it’s always a good reminder on the tough days. If you can’t have fun, what’s the point?

2) Spend 75% of my available practice time at the short game area and build a more dependable short game. I’ve been working on my pitching and chipping and learning how to utilize the bounce of a wedge with good results on the practice green. The next step is to take those good results to the course by building confidence through continued practice. I will also work to build more confidence and consistency in my sand game.

3) Acceptance. This might seem vague, but acceptance is a powerful mental tool on the golf course. I’ve noticed early on this season that my mind started focusing on score and results coming down the stretch and I’d force the issue. Or I’d start to feel ripped off and frustrated because it felt like I was playing better than my score. Golf doesn’t owe me anything. Focusing on my process and fully accepting the results will help keep me relaxed and out of my own way.

4) Maintain good fundamentals. After a bottom hand grip tweak near the end of our three-month winter road trip that has squared me up at address, put me in more comfortable positions, and helped shallow out my attack angle, my ball striking is as good as it has ever been at the beginning of a season. I’ve also been focusing on some very simple things such as good tempo and good shoulder turn. With the help of my instructor, and of course some practice, I will work on maintaining my core fundamentals throughout the season without over-thinking the swing.

5) Maintain and improve fitness throughout the season. I started out last season with reasonably good fitness and let it deteriorate as a busy summer wore on. This resulted in a lot more fatigue and a few injuries. This year, my wife and I are committed to sticking with our fitness routine by doing early morning workouts even on busy work or golf days. This will mostly include kettlebell workouts, jogging, and lots of stretching.

There you have it, my five main areas of focus for 2015. I am not concerned with my handicap at this point or where it will be at the end of the season.

I trust that if I stick to my process, take care of my body, build a more dependable short game, maintain good fundamentals and improve how I think on the course that the results will take care of themselves.

The beauty of it is that no matter the results, if you manage to have fun, you always come out ahead.

What do your goals consist of this season?

Happy golfing!


10 thoughts on “Road To Scratch Update: Setting Goals for the 2015 Golf Season

  1. Josh

    Sounds like an awesome plan! I particularly like the aspect of better fitness to meet you goals of being a scratch golfer. I have made similar goals and they have helped me lower my handicap to lowest ever last year.

    This year, I will follow the same plan, but also focus on the mental aspect of golf and nutrition. Good luck on executing your plan and I will be sending you positive support every step of the way.


    1. Thanks Jim! Great to hear that your fitness regime is helping you lower your handicap. I’m excited about my fitness plan this season.

      I really appreciate the positive comment, the support is mutual!


  2. Josh, love your effort driven approach. Seems correct in every manner and the results will definitely take care of themselves. Looking forward to your progress updates. Good luck! Brian

    1. Hi Brian,

      Thanks a lot. I’m excited for the new approach and the things I’m working on. Should be a fun season! How has your game been lately?


      1. Josh, my driving and short game have been solid my iron play has been poor. I have a theory of the case which will need to be tested this weekend. Thanks for asking! Brian

  3. Aloha Josh,

    A man with a plan — and I think a good one. Most golfers would do well to print this out and tape it to their walls.

    I particularly like that you listed “Having Fun” first. More people should write about golf being fun. Having fun as the objective is good for golfers — and good for the game.

    As for my own goals – well they are not as detailed as yours. I want to play golf with, and get to know, over a hundred different people this year.

    But then, I am a social golfer.

    A Hui Hou,

    1. Aloha Wayne,

      That’s a great goal my friend. You’ve got to keep it fun. Meeting and playing with new people is great for the soul. I always enjoy reading your stories.


  4. Good points all! Short game focus especially. If you do the math it constitutes more than 60% of your game. The old adage it doesn’t count until it goes in really rings true. By simply working in a reliable short game which for me is 100 yards and in means at least saving 4-5 strokes per round. Just saying 🙂

Let Us Know What You Think