Let’s face it, while we’d all like to shoot lower scores, there’s a lot more going on in each round than simply posting a score. In fact, for most golfers, success can, and should, be measured in ways that aren’t score-centric. If you can set fun, achievable goals for yourself, you’ll not only get the improvement you want, but also keep a smile on your face throughout the year. Talk to your Coach about some goals that fit your improvement plans for 2012.
Set some “Fun” Goals
Most players should start with goals that are completely unrelated to scoring. Instead focus on the things that fuel your enjoyment of the game. While these goals may have some measurable features, the primary focus is to keep each round in perspective.
- One round, one ball: Set a goal to complete a round with the same ball your start with. It doesn’t matter if you shoot 72 or 102, just as long as you keep the same ball in play.
- Relax: You just might be taking things a little bit too seriously out there and making matters worse. Try to play a round where you’re more relaxed on the 18th green than on the first tee.
- Stay focused: It’s easy to get distracted during a round. One way to stay on track is to use a consistent pre-shot routine. Instead of counting strokes, keep track of the number of shots that you took after following your routing. Consider every shot you take without the routine to be a stroke “over par”, regardless of your actual score.
Key Performance Metrics
A good approach is to reduce your overall score goal into smaller, game-specific goals. By focusing on a specific metric within your game, you can develop the scoring skills that help your overall performance. Some great examples of these are:
- Fairways hit: Many golfers sacrifice accuracy in search of a 300-yard drive. All too often, this results in a difficult second shot and reduced scoring opportunities. By emphasizing this metric, you’ll develop your course management, increase scoring opportunities and avoid penalties.
- Approach putt performance: Eliminating three-putts is easier said than done, so focus on hitting effective lag putts. On the PGA Tour, even the poorest putters average just under 3 feet remaining on their second putt (2’ 9” to be exact). Keep track of your average distance on 2nd putts and set a goal for improvement.
- Penalty strokes: Avoiding trouble is a big step towards better scores. You may find that your normal gameplay is too far on the risky side. Sure, you can carry that water to a tight pin, but odds are that bailing out to the fat part of the green will save you more strokes in the long run.
What about scoring?
Ultimately, all of the different goals you set for yourself will help you on the bottom line. It stands to reason that if you get into a consistent pre-shot routine, you’ll swing more consistently and hit more fairways. And, consequently if you hit more fairways and make better putts, you’ll see lower scores.
In the end, it boils down to setting up good goals that fit your game. With guidance from your GolfTEC Coach, you’ll be able to set and achieve reasonable performance goals.