Golf Season: My Top Five Golf Targets for 2012

The dawn of a golf season brings with it all sorts of resolutions, but this year I’ve decided that now is a good time to take stock of my golf game and set myself some targets for the year. So what is a near 40-year-old, mid-handicap golfer expecting from himself this year?

1. Play golf more often

For me 2011 was not a vintage year in terms of playing and I was not out on the course anywhere near enough to bring my handicap down and indeed, my lack of activity is likely to result in it being pushed upwards somewhat considerably in the first few weeks of playing in 2012.

My first task has to be to address this inactivity and to get out onto the golf course more frequently, especially in the summer months. I also need to address my ‘fair-weather player’ mentality and play golf in conditions which in the past I have decided offer too much effort and too little comfort and enjoyment. It is only by achieving this first goal that I can really work towards any of the other goals I’ve set for myself in golf this year.


2. Find my rhythm to achieve consistency

I may not have played as much as I would have liked in 2011, but I have watched an inordinate amount of golf and one thing strikes me about watching the top players and that is their rhythm.

The best players have a metronomic regularity to their swing that is hypnotising and in stark contrast to my swing, which seems to change for almost every shot. So this year, I want to find that rhythm that works for me. It may mean hours on the range, it may mean changing how quickly I swing, but I feel I need to find this in order to achieve greater consistency in my game.


3. Measure rather than estimate club distances

Like many amateurs, I am often guilty of over-estimating how far I can hit a golf club. I can and have hit a 7-iron 160 to 170 yards, but often on a course, I stand over a shot of that distance and assume that I will do so again.

In truth, I would be better taking an easy 5-iron rather than trying to smash a 7-iron. So for greater consistency I am going to hit the range and measure as accurately as possible how far I hit each club and use these figures, rather than estimation, while out on the course.


Golf clubs in a Golf-bag


4. Continue to work hard at my short game

I pride myself on the fact that whenever I go to the range, I don’t spend my time smashing the entire basket of balls as far as possible with my driver.

I’ve always believed the key to lower golf scores isn’t adding 10 yards to your drive, but by knocking 10 yards off your approach shots into the flagstick. As such, I’m going to work had this year on my short game, which has been in something of a decline from 2009 in my view. A change of clubs hasn’t helped in that matter, but even so, there’s no excuse for not practising enough. I believe this will be key to achieving my final goal for the year.


5. To shoot at least one round of 80 or under in 2012

I have only ever shot below 80 twice (both 78) and both occurred many years ago. I have had several 81s, 82s and 83s (though strangely, no 80s) since.

My goal this year is to work on my game so that I can at least shoot 80 or under during this calendar year. At the moment, it is a pretty tough ask. My inactivity has seen me shooting fewer scores below 85 and far more around the 90 mark. I need to reverse this trend sharply in order to achieve this.


Do you set yourself golfing goals for the year?

If so, what are they? How will you achieve them?



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