The end of the season is a great time to assess how your game has gone this year and what elements of your game have been encouraging and what elements need a little bit of ‘fine tuning’. The beginning of the season is a wonderful time to assess where you want to be at the end of the season.
Golfers who are serious about improving will review their ‘stats’ at the end of the year and look at where they need to make improvements to help them shot lower and more consistent scores. It is a constant cycle of reviewing and renewing what you want to achieve.
Some good questions to ask at the end of the season:
- Have you given your full commitment to your practice regime this year?
- What part of your game has let you down this last year?
- What part of your game has been a strong this season?
- What shot has served you with the biggest challenge this year?
- Have I improved/ stayed still or gone backwards with my game?
After answering the series of questions, it is now time to set some goals.
When I work we golfers, we look to establish the following 4 goals:
- Process Goals
- Performance Goals
- Outcome Goals
- S.M.A.R.T Goals
Dr Bob Rotella Mindset Coach for many professional golfers states that “Process goals are the “to-do lists” of players striving for excellence”.He adds,“It is an intention to do certain things, often repeatedly, that will lead to the realisation of your dreams.”
Process goals are recorded as what you do each day/week to strive for excellence. Examples include:
- Practice my short game (20 yds in) twice a week
- Practice holing 7 out of 10 6 foot putts 3 times a week
- Listen to golf mindset audio programme once a week
Start by writing down some ‘Process goals’ that will help you to take action towards achieving your ultimate goal.
Performance goals specify a specific standard to be achieved. Performance goals are about your personal standards and as such are unaffected by the performance of others and so totally under the control of the individual.
- By April 2017 I will hit 60% of fairways
- By April 2017 I will hit at least 50% GIRS
- By April 2017 I will add 15 yards to my driving distance
- By December 2017 I will have a handicap of ???
What will you do out on the course to strive for excellence?
An outcome goal is a goal that isn’t under your control. They are consigned under the big picture. When you are facing a 4 foot downhill right to left putt for par, your outcome goal should be the last thing on your mind. Equally when you have scored 24 points in Stableford for the front nine, you outcome goal should not even be considered. Outcome goals are best analysed and reviewed away from the course.
- In 2017, I will win 3 club competitions
- In 2017, be the top player at my club
S.M.A.R.T goal setting brings a structure and a discipline to your goal setting. Writing SMART goals allows you to bring a focus to your game and practice. Goals that are well beyond your competency will soon leave you frustrated and can leave you overwhelmed.
The acronym S.M.A.R.T means:
Specific- Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Timed Frame
So the underlining thing to remember when writing your golf goals it to make sure they are specific and have no grey areas. That the goal can be measured and achievable. A goal that you are unable to measure or one that is too optimistic can leave you disgruntled and losing focus. Make sure the goal is realistic. If you are currently an 18 handicapper, winning the British open is a little unrealistic.
It is worth remembering to set a time frame around the goal to help keep you focused and motivated.
The off-season is a great time to write and review your goals.
I wish you a season of birdies and pars.