Goal Setting Winter 2012 & 2013

Winter is creeping in on the city of Chicago and I am taking a look back on the goals I set for 2012. Sadly I didn’t accomplish a single goal this season. In 2011 I accomplished 4 out of the 11 I set. As I look at the goals I set this past year, I am upset that I didn’t accomplish any of them, but I am not completely at a loss. Over the winter I went through a swing overhaul and struggled with it for most of the season. The changes didn’t start to show meaningful results until the end portion of the season.

Below are the goals I set in 2012 for a point of reference.

Golf Goals 2012

  • Break 80 – Closest so far this summer is 87
  • Play a round with no 3 putts
  • Get up and down more than 50% of the time, including sand saves
  • Commit to playing the next shot at hand and not let myself focus on shooting a score (Subjective goal)
  • Never give up on a round

I am going to take a different approach to goal setting in 2013. I am going to set SMART goals. If you are unfamiliar with SMART goals, it stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

The first goal I am going to set for 2013 is that I am going to enter into a City of Chicago Public Golf tournament and I am going to break 80 in both rounds. This tournament takes place in August every year and it is only a two-day event. This goal is something I have wanted to do for a while and I am going to put it down here so I can’t back out.

In order to accomplish this first goal I am going to have to work much harder throughout the winter to increase my short game efficiency as well as maintain my full swing. I am going to do this, by chipping and putting every single morning until I play in the tournament. This goal is specific to my short game, measurable by checking off the days on whether I did it or not, attainable because I can easily chip and putt before work no matter the weather, relevant because my short game is the weakest aspect of my game and timely because there is a specific date that the tournament takes place on.

The second goal I am going to set is twice a month go to the outdoor driving range or the indoor simulators to work on my full swing. There is a new facility here in Chicago that has a room full of simulators and although it is pricey it is a great option when the outdoor range is just too cold to tolerate. The goal is specific to maintaining my full swing, measurable by checking off if I went twice a month or not, attainable because it is realistic to go twice a month, relevant because I need to maintain my full swing and timely because I will be able to do this twice a month until it gets warm enough to go play on the course.

Once it gets warmer and I survive the winter in Chicago I will reset my goals to be more specific to playing full rounds of golf, statistics and scoring. Right now, I want to make sure I have a plan in place that will help me improve over the winter months and not take a step back once I start playing again.

Please feel free to offer up any other suggestions for goals I should be setting or winter tune up tips.


3 Comments to “Goal Setting Winter 2012 & 2013”

  1. It’s clear that breaking 80 has some real significance for you but I would suggest that focusing on that as a goal or tournament score may be counterproductive. Look at your first and fourth points in your 2012. They contradict each other. If you need a metric to focus on, why not attempt to lower your handicap by X number of strokes? That way you can immerse in the process of getting better in all facets but not subject yourself to the daily frustration of not making a number. Treat it like dollar cost averaging in the stock market. Focus on the fundamentals and look to long term improvement. Then you don’t worry about the daily swings in momentum. Best of luck!

    • Thanks for the feedback Brian. I understand your point and think I will shift my focus to dropping my index to single digits. Do you think there is a way to better frame my goal for performing in the tournament instead of breaking 80? I would like to have some performance goal attached to playing in the tournament.

  2. Not sure how your tournament is played but goal yourself in comparison to the field, not by score. Win your flight, or top 10 overall, or make the cut. . .something of that nature. Don’t tie the outcome to a specific score because score varies on course difficulty, weather, etc. When I play a tournament, every time I have one goal and that’s to try my hardest on every shot. Then let the results speak for themselves. All you can give is your best and assuming you’ve put in the level of preparation you’re satisfied with, that should be enough.

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