I recently wrote an article for Offcourse Golf — Goal Setting for Golfers 101 — which kicked me into high gear to set goals for the 2016 season.
Approaching a new golf season is the best. We’re all full of optimism and think to ourselves “THIS IS THE YEAR”. The year that everything comes together. I can’t think of a single golf season where I didn’t feel that way headed into it. Optimism is a great start, but it’s tough for optimism alone to turn another average season into a great season.
For a lot of years I thought everything would sort itself out and all I needed was optimism. It took me a while to see the value in setting goals and having a plan. Goal setting has encouraged me to learn more about myself, my golf swing (with the help of an instructor), network with more like-minded people, and has further motivated me to improve. Progress doesn’t always show up on the scorecard immediately, and that’s okay. There will be ups-and-downs, but that’s part of the fun.
Like most things, the more you set goals, the better you get at it. I’ve learned a lot from my past goals — what motivated me, what produced results, what didn’t, and what I’d like to change. So here we go.
End of season goal: Reduce my handicap index from 5.1 to 2.5 or less before the end of September. A handicap will always ebb and flow, but hitting 2.5 or less would mark a new low for me (previous low was 3.3). This would be good progress towards the big picture goal of being a scratch golfer.
My handicap won’t be on the forefront of my mind throughout the season or when I’m playing. It’s a source of inspiration to sculpt out short-term process goals which will help me improve.
With the official start of Alberta golf season typically in April sometime, there is still some off-season time to get ready for the season.
Pre-season process goals:
- Continue with strength, stability, and speed workouts from DM Golf Performance every second day, along with daily stretching, muscle rolling, and corrective exercises.
- Start practicing twice per week beginning in March.
- See my instructor, Fred Teno, for a lesson by mid-March.
- Re-read Dr. Bob Rotella’s book “Putting Out of Your Mind” before the end of March – I had my best stretch of putting last season (particularly from short range) right after reading this book, without changing anything but my thought process.
Golf season process goals:
Summer can be a busy time. Between getting rounds in, making a living, traveling, and trying to maintain a social life, it doesn’t always feel like there’s time left to practice and stay fit. However, when there’s a will, there’s a way.
- Strength, stability and speed workouts a minimum of twice per week, and continue with daily stretching, muscle rolling, and corrective exercises.
- At least two short game practice sessions per week — they don’t need to be long, grueling sessions. Quality over quantity.
- At least one long game practice session per week (warming up before a round doesn’t count) — similar to the short game, a focus on quality practice with a purpose.
- Play in at least 4 competitive events — this can include club events such as Club Championships and match play events which don’t implement handicap strokes.
- Read at least one more book on the mental game.
- Track statistics from every round using the Offcourse app to monitor where I need to improve the most, and adjust practice sessions accordingly.
There you have it. I’ve spewed my goals onto my blog for everybody to see. I can’t promise results, but I can promise a relentless pursuit.
What are your goals for the 2016 season?