5 Tips for Goal Setting in Golf

Spring is just around the corner and there’s no better time than the present to start thinking about what you want to achieve in the coming season. Before you sit down to figure out what aspect of your game needs work this season, here are a few tips for goal setting and maintenance.

There are three types of goals you want to consider for your golf game.

Outcome Goals. These are goals that you want to achieve over a certain period of time, like improving your stroke or putting average. These are the goals that will take the longest amount of time and require the most effort and practice.

Physical Goals. These are goals that require physical adjustment,  distance and accuracy, consistency, fitness, stamina, shot development and the like. You must first assess these physical skills and equipment, then make a list of aspects that need to be adjusted or worked on in order for you to attain your outcome goals.

Mental Goals. Mental goals are possibly the hardest to attain.  These are the mental skills you need to achieve to reach your physical and outcome goals.  Mental goals include focus, commitment, overcoming negative thoughts and learning how to talk to yourself about your game.


Set attainable goals. The most important thing about setting goals is that that they are attainable.  Pick a reasonable goal and work towards it.  Going from a 15 handicap to a 3 in six months, even a year, is unrealistic.

Use moderation. Don’t set too many goals at once.  Find only a few goals and toward those.  As goals are achieved, add new ones to the list.  Your list of goals should be ever changing.

Use numbers. Pick a goal and set a number to it.  Let’s say you want to reduce your rough shots or three-putts or bogeys in a round.  Set a number and try not to go over it.  Challenge yourself to do better.

Write them down. Because your goals will always be changing, it is important to write them down.  Read them often to keep yourself focused on what you’re trying to achieve.

Visualize.  There’s an old saying that goes, “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.” Imagine yourself having already reached your goals, playing better golf, not three-putting, consistently hitting amazing drives.  Seeing yourself reaching your goals is one of the most important steps to achieving them.  If you can’t see yourself doing something, you’ll never do it.



Filed under Ask the Experts, Tips and Instruction

2 responses to “5 Tips for Goal Setting in Golf

  1. Love your balanced approach to goal setting. Have learned myself that whatever your goals are, you must write them down and put them in a very public place to commit to them. It often helps to tell someone about your goals too.

    Great post, thanks!

    • I agree completely about posting your goals in a very public place. It’s so easy to get distracted and discouraged. When your goals are shared publicly, extra incentive is added (fear of public humiliation can be a great motivator) AND you get the added bonus of encouragement and support from your friends (and maybe even people you don’t even know, but who understand what you’re working towards). Glad you enjoyed the post!

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