Depending on where you reside in this world, for many (myself included), winter has already arrived and that means we are getting closer to 2019. Some golfers may use this time as an “off-season” while others may find themselves lucky enough to golf year-round. Unfortunately, I am not one of those lucky ones....I could only wish.
Being that many people can golf year-round, they may not have an off-season, at the same time may still find it useful to set goals. For the purpose of this article, let’s go with the assumption that you do indeed have some sort of time off between playing seasons.
During the off-season, it’s not always obvious what goals you would like to achieve for next season, which is why I have decided to share some useful tips on how to identify and set them. So, let’s begin!
Reflect on The Previous Season: What went right vs what went wrong
One way to set goals in golf is to look back on the previous year, and identify what went right….or in some cases what went wrong. Was there an area in your game you struggled in and would like to improve? A potential goal could be found in this area.
Let’s use my game as an example.
One area I struggled in this past season were my wedge shots from about 50-60 yards out, whether it was coming up short or flying the ball over the green, distance control seemed to be an issue from this range. For whatever reason, touch and feel for my wedges was off all year, this was frustrating because I do see myself as a good wedge player. However, I am glad that I have been able to identify an area that needs improvement.
The first thing I advise you to do is to look back on this past season. To make things simple, just ask yourself what is holding your game back?
Identify the Strengths in Your Game
I just talked about areas in your game that might be holding you back, now let’s talk about the areas that don’t.
Many golfers will spend a lot of time practicing areas in their game they wish to improve, but that shouldn’t come at the cost of neglecting your strengths. I am a firm believer in only getting better, that includes getting better in the areas you already excel in.
As an example, say you are accurate with your driver, keep working on that part while you improve others. Once you start your round, you want to know that the driver is still an area you can count on throughout the round. What you don’t want is to one day arrive at the first tee only to find out the driver which once was a strength, is now a weakness.
Be smart, set aside some time to continue to work on those strengths. Whether it is the driver, putter, heck even punch-out shots, make time for those areas.
Be as Specific as Possible
Everyone needs a plan, and in golf it’s no different. To get better, one needs a plan that will guide them in order to get to the next level.
Ask yourself, how often will you play? How often will you practice? What area in your game will you practice? How will you know if your improving?
All these questions are important to ask yourself. Let’s say one day I arrive at the course and tell myself that I want to become a better putter, that’s great and all but there needs to be a specific plan in place. This could mean setting a goal of converting 80% of putts inside of 8-feet next year. In order to achieve this, I will spend an hour each day, four times a week, practicing putts within 8-feet.
No, I don’t expect you to bring out the measuring tape and measure each putt, however having that mentality of knowing what exact part in your game you want to improve is a great start to setting a goal for next season.
For many golfers, when the season is over they just put their clubs back into the garage and forget about them throughout winter. What many don’t do is reflect on their season and figure out what went right and what went wrong. No one wants their game to stall, to prevent this from happening I suggest having some goals in mind that you would like to set for next season and have a specific plan in place that will allow you to achieve them.
Anyways, I have said everything that I needed to say, now go set goals and achieve them!
As of right now, do you have any goals in mind that you plan on attempting to achieve for next season? I invite you to share them in the comment section below!