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GOAL SETTING - How to set your golfing goals for this year!

There is no other sport where goal setting is more important. All the PGA / LPGA Tour players set goals for their season to keep them motivated and focused on what they want to achieve. For the everyday player there is no support crew or full time coach, you are all by yourself! It so important to have those goals infront of you to keep you motivated! Setting goals will help you stay focused and driven through the grind of practicing and let me tell you, when you hit your goals that you set out to achieve, there is NO BETTER FEELING!

The SMART acronym is always a great strategy for reaching any objective. SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and anchored within a Time Frame. When looking at creating a series of goals, I will always work with the SMART acronym to achieve the correct balance of goals.

CASE STUDY: Justin Thomas

Justin Thomas is someone that shares his goals for each season, this is a great insight as to what he is looking at and how he records them. The process is simple, use Notes on your phone!

One of the keys to goal setting is keeping the goals observable and to be able to edit them on the run. The phone is perfect for this!

The detail Justin Thomas goes to is someone who is trying to become world number one. High detail, in depth stats and knowing his KPI's to achieve elite status.

For most players, keeping it simple is easier to follow and act upon. Justin is just a nice example as one of the best players in the world, he uses a method so simple like notes on their phone and I encourage you to copy the exact same method.

What goals should you set?

No matter the player, you need to set short, medium and long term goals.

Think of the goal setting process like climbing a mountain. Your ultimate goal may be the summit (long-term goal); but to reach the summit, you need to break the climb into segments (Medium-term goals) and divide those segments into individual steps (short-term goals).

Short Term Goals

I like short term goals to be obtainable every round you play. You want to stand on the 1st tee and be able to hit one of your goals. Some great short term goal examples:

Elite Players:

- Bogey Free Round

- No three putts

Break 90 Players:

- Keep the same ball in a round

- Score every hole (stableford)

Break 100 players:

- Under 36 putts for a round

- Shoot 40 points (stableford)

Medium Term Goals

These goals should be key indicators that relate to your overall goal. It may be a quarterly task and can relate to your routine of practice, the progress of your stats or average stableford score. Every 3/4 months you can review your medium term goals to evaluate and adjust accordingly.

Elite Players:

- Train three times per week

- Swing speed 105mph+

Break 90 Players:

- Train twice per week

- Shape the ball both ways on command

Break 100 players:

- Train once per week

- Stick to practice plan

long term goals

Long term goals is the final destination and achievable at the end of the season. This is where you can be adventurous with your goals whilst still achievable

Elite Players:

- Win a tournament

- Achieve goal scoring average

Break 90 Players:

- Win a board event

- Get to single figures

Break 100 players:

- Break 100!

- Handicap in the teens'

Create a goal achievement strategy

once you have set your goals, the next stage is to create a goal achievement strategy (game plan). Based on the type of goals a player wants to achieve, how often they can train and other factors, it is up to the player and coach to work out a plan together. This is a critical part of my coaching! I will create a plan with my clients to create some goals and then plan our strategy. This usually includes how often we will catch up for our lessons, getting a commitment to practice and creating a training program. This ensures the foundation is set to reach their goals.

Goal Setting Example:

This is an example of a sheet I will work through with a player. . This does not take a lot of time but is vital to the success of the player. This is a player that ultimately wants to get to single figures and the short and medium term goals are checkpoints to reach on the way to that goal.

For the elite players I work with, we will also include mobility/stability goals that we want to target in our gym program and also do some tournament mapping to ensure they are totally prepared for the season. I will then get the player to enter this into their notes like Justin Thomas to be able to keep a close eye on it!

Training Program Example
(goal achievement strategy)

This is the players training program to follow each time he trains at X-Golf Mentone or any driving range in Melbourne. We are working on a 90 minute session with 100 golf balls.

The warm up includes some stretching and 10 or 20 50m wedge shots. Then moving into short/mid/long irons. There is some technical swing positions to focus on in between shots as well as a desired draw shape to monitor.

The player really needs to get off the tee better so there is a focus to hit a lot of full shots, other players might have more of a short game focus but it is all tailored to the players needs.

In summary, here is my 3 tips to goal setting. Following this format and creating a goal achievement strategy will give you the structure and motivation you need during practice and post round assessment to evaluate performance and keep improving the areas that will help you hit your goals.

The BEST thing to do is to book a lesson with me at X-Golf Mentone! Or by booking at online lesson on my website. Together we can evaluate your current game and put a plan in place to make this year the your personal best!

Wishing you many pars and birdies in the new year!

Jack Macleod

PGA Professional

X-Golf Mentone

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