Professionals make it look easy, but we all know golf is extremely difficult. Most amateurs want to get better, but USGA studies show handicaps are virtually the same now as they were 20 years ago. Do you want to improve, maybe start writing down more 70s, than 80s or 90s? I know I do, so I am creating a plan. You can follow my progress to improvement or start a plan for yourself. Now is the time for lower scores!
I teach students how to pass high stakes tests, so I have insights into building specific skills. The foundation to improvement in almost anything includes these 4 steps:
- Create a SMART Goal
- Build a Quality Plan
- Execute the Plan
- Assess our Execution and Edit Plan
Have you ever created a New Year’s Resolution and failed miserably? Me too. The reason is New Year’s resolutions aren’t SMART goals. Our first step is to create SMART goals to set ourselves up for lower scores. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time Bound. Without goals, we won’t be able to create a plan and will continue to do the same thing over and over with the same scores, which of course is the definition of insanity.
My long-term goal is to reach single-digits. For me, breaking 80 would be awesome, but I want to do it more than once. I want more 70s than 80s, so I want a single-digit handicap. However, the goal I will write down won’t be single-digits. As you see on the current handicap page (April 2016), my handicap is currently a 15.8. Dropping 6 strokes will take significant time, which allows too many opportunities for demotivation, setbacks, etc. I break all long-term goals into small pieces with shorter times, so you should as well. Meeting small goals creates motivation to continue the journey and create more short-term goals.
My SMART Goal is for my Handicap to drop to 14 by November 1st, 2016.
I can easily focus on 2 strokes this season. Specific goals are ones that you can understand exactly what the end result requires. I know exactly what a 14 handicap is, so my goal is specific. Measurable requires being able to determine whether the goal is satisfied. For better or worse, I will look at my handicap on November 1st and it will either be a 14 or not. Attainable is a goal that is difficult enough to motivate you to work hard but still achievable. Many people become demotivated if they can’t reach the goal. This is another reason to focus on the short term. Decreasing my handicap 2 strokes in 1 season doesn’t seem outrageous, and as my next post will illustrate, creating a plan to improve 2 strokes is straightforward. Relevant is whether the goal is important to the long-term goal, and decreasing strokes will help me achieve single-digits. Time-bound is straight forward. Create a deadline, which for me is this season.
Now it is your turn. Create a SMART goal for this golf season and leave it in the comments below. Don’t forget to sign up to get more tips and follow my journey to single-digits.