Or are you like 99% of us who view our game as “never where it should be”.
We golfers are very hard on ourselves, which is why most of us get frustrated when we aren’t progressing fast enough, if at all. Every year we work hard at our games and expect to see positive results. What’s wrong with that?
Well, working hard isn’t the same as working smart. Practicing hard isn’t the same as practicing with a purpose. And expecting great results year after year without a smart, focused and purposeful game plan is well…crazy.
So this year, instead of practicing insanity (doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result), how about putting in place a 5 step plan to achieving your best golf season ever!
Step 1: Make SMART (Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timey) goals for 2014.
Improving your handicap is a SMART way to measure progress. But be careful not to be overly optimistic about what you can achieve. If you are a 20-handicapper, don’t set your goal to be a 15. Dropping 5 points is a big ask for anyone and sets you up for failure. Start with 18 and if by mid-year you’ve achieved that goal, then reward yourself and set a new SMART goal for the second half.
Step 2: Make sure you have all the tools you need to achieve your goal
I’m not suggesting buying all new equipment, but make sure your clubs are suitable for YOUR game. If you haven’t already, go get a proper fitting (and that includes your golf ball).
New grips or shafts may be all you need. Adding a hybrid may be a better choice for you than that 64 degree wedge you bought so you could practice your “Philly Flop”.
In terms of course management, make sure you have a comprehensive golf GPS app to help you navigate the golf course, choose the right club for each shot and give you the feedback you need at the end of your round to help you track your progress.
Step 3: Get proper instruction with a good swing and mental coach
At the beginning of every golf season, Jack Nicklaus used to meet with his long-time coach, Jack Grout, to evaluate his fundamentals (posture, stance, head, grip, ball position, etc.) and tweak as needed. It’s amazing how often the fundamentals get broken the more we play.
So get a professional swing doctor to give your game a checkup regularly – Do not try and heal thyself! Hey, if it was good enough for the Golden Bear, it’s good enough for all of us.
And don’t forget to work on those 5 inches between your ears. There are lots of good books out there to help get your “other head” in the game.
VISION54 founders, Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, have a great series of books including The Game Before the Game and Every Shot Must have a Purpose that can help.
Dr. Bob Rotella is another popular mental coach with Golf Is a Game of Confidence and Golf is Not a Game of Perfect.
Step 4: Get Tracking
It is imperative that you really understand your strengths and weakness so you can plan how to turn those weaknesses into strengths, take strokes off your game and lower your handicap. And to do that you need to Get Tracking!
Golf is a game of inches and that applies to your progress as well. So be patient. You can’t fix everything all at once so use a comprehensive golf GPS app to help improve your course management and score, one stroke at a time.
With the Striker Golf GPS app you can track all kinds of golf statistics beyond shots per hole, such as: putts, chips, hazards, sand shots and drives (hit, left, right, short, etc.) which will really help you focus on what needs the most attention in your next practice session.
Step 5: Practice with a Purpose
We all know that practice make permanent, not perfect. So whacking at balls on the range without a plan and purpose for every practice session may actually be doing you more harm than good.
If you’ve been implementing steps 1 through 4, you have your SMART goals defined, the right equipment, the right coaching and all the data you need from Striker to help you plan your practice so what becomes permanent is a lot closer to perfect.
Repeat Steps 1 through 5
…until you’ve reached your goal. Then celebrate by rewarding yourself, tell us how you did by commenting below, choose a new SMART goal and start the next step in your journey to better golf.
Wishing you all a very happy and prosperous new golf year!
Your friends at Striker