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What Are Your 2023 Golf Goals?


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Like our 2008 , 2009 , 2010 , 2011 , 2012 , 2013 2014, 2015201620172018201920202021, and 2022 threads, here's the official thread for 2023!

The rules are the same as they've been:

  1. Post your personal golf-related goals for 2023. Be specific and thorough.
  2. Elaborate on how you'll go about achieving these goals. Details, people! :-)
  3. Post just once this year in this topic. So, make it a good post. (Though if you reach all of your goals, you should quote your post and revise them later in the year. Then you should set harder goals next year. 😄)
  4. Keep the replies to a minimum. This thread is mostly for the posting of goals. If you want to encourage more discussion of your goals, post a copy of them in your Member Swing thread. If you want to discuss someone else's goals in more depth than a few replies, quote them in their Member Swing topic.

If you're looking to recap your 2022 goals, that topic can be found right here.

Let's hear 'em!

Remember, please, that good goals should be SMART:

  • S - Specific
  • M - Measurable
  • A - Attainable
  • R - Relevant
  • T - Time-based

We have the "T" because we're limiting these to goals for 2023. The rest, well… make good choices.

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Erik J. Barzeski —  I knock a ball. It goes in a gopher hole. 🏌🏼‍♂️
Director of Instruction Golf Evolution • Owner, The Sand Trap .com • AuthorLowest Score Wins
Golf Digest "Best Young Teachers in America" 2016-17 & "Best in State" 2017-20 • WNY Section PGA Teacher of the Year 2019 :edel: :true_linkswear:

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Well, my 2023 goals aren't particularly ambitious, but here goes: 

More Golf (Simple, right?)

This year has been hit or miss, but I started playing with a weekly group locally, so next years goal is to play at least 3/4 weeks each month and to play at least 6/12 of the monthly tournaments here at my local course

In addition to playing more golf here at my home course, I'm going to try and play at least 5 new courses that I've never played before. New courses add new challenges, and I feel make us all better golfers,.

Lower My Handicap

Finally got a GHIN this year and now my mission is to lower it. Currently I'm at 21.9, and I feel 18 is easily attainable, so I will set that as my first goal. In order to do this, I'm planning to do the following: 

Practice more, including hitting the driving range 1x a week. 

Video range sessions for review, and potentially updating my 'MySwing' thread as I progress (or digress for that matter)

Take a few lessons to identify issues and find items to work on. 

I'm also going to start using GolfShot to help enable a more detailed post-round review. 


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"If you watch a game, it's fun. If you play it, it's recreation. If you work at it, it's golf."

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Play more golf by avoiding another surgery.

2017 Torn right meniscus, no surgery although I almost opted for it.  Fully recovered without it.

2019 Gall bladder removed in July, missed a few weeks

2020 No problems, played more golf during COVID year.

2021 Torn left meniscus 3 holes after my first ever eagle. Missed a lot of golf due to pain. No surgery, rarely feel a little pain now.

2022 January incisional/umbilical hernia repair from the gall bladder surgery. Did not really recover fully until April or May

2022 November inguinal hernia repair timed to heal up over the winter to minimize missed golf time. It was 10 days ago and I already feel pretty good, much easier than umbilical hernia recovery.

2023 ??? During inguinal hernia surgery the surgeon found an incisional hernia from my 36 year old appendectomy that could not be repaired laparoscopically while I was already put under.  My appendix ruptured while I was taking my AP History exam and I was in the hospital for 2.5 weeks fighting the infection and I missed the last 3 weeks of high school. I was sent home with an open incision that I had to flush with peroxide. No wonder I have a hernia there since the incision was never sutured closed, although it has never bothered me. I haven't met with the surgeon yet, but it sounds like they think I really need to get it fixed and that it will be an open surgery. Unless there is an opening in the schedule to get it done in December (because I have already hit out of pocket max) I hope I can delay it until next November. I anticipate that this will be the hardest recovery other than the appendectomy and 1998 back surgery.

Edited by The Flush

War Eagle!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Break par. Shot even par this past season. Spend more time at the range, short game area and putting green. More time with a club in my hands. Join a gym this winter and work on the body a little.


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Get my left hip replaced in January. Gym and physio to come back fitter, stronger and more flexible (which shouldn't be too difficult given my current level of fitness and flexibilty)

Drop handicap index to 14. Currently 19.8, but has been down to 18.5 this year. I'm convinced I have the game to do it and can put together long run of single figure handicap golf, but always have some bad blow up holes. So to achieve this:

  • Hydration and nutrition. Figure out what works to maintain concentration for 4 hours.
  • Reinforce my pre-shot routine. Every range shot to get full concentration.
  • Switch off between shots. 
  • Practice 50 yards and in wedge game at least once/week. I have a reasonable wedge game from 115yds - 55yds with swings fairly well calibrated at 5 yard intervals for those distances, but the shorter, more "feel" based shots are not good, and I can have upwards of 15-20 shots/round from that sort of distance including chips from a few yards off the green.
  • Get some alignment sticks!
  • 1 range session per week for driver and irons. Not possible at the moment if I want to be pain free enough to play at the weekend.
  • Do an iron gapping session when fit.

Play at least 5 new courses. Try and sneak a round in at Celtic Manor when I'm working in Wales next summer.

Enter some club strokeplay competitions. Playing competitive golf definitely seems to sharpen my game compared the the usual weekend 4-ball round. Played in 2 society days this year, winning one with 42 points and 3rd in another with 36 points. Neither round had a hole where I failed to take a point.

Break 80. Stretch goal this one, but I have rounds in the mid 90s this year and again I can see where a 79 could come from.


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I might take this a bit different this year. I am a big fan of Adam Grant. On a recent podcast, he interviewed someone who had a different opinions on goal setting. I am going to keep these goals, more as objectives to build better habits to build upon themselves. 

2023 Golf Off-Season


  1. Work on priority pieces 6/7 days of the week (set up reminders)
  2. Workout (strength, endurance and flexibility)

2023 Golf Season

  1. Go to driving range once a week for bulk swing work and short game work (set reminders)
  2. Work on priority piece at home 4/7 days of the week (set reminders)
  3. Workout (strength, endurance and flexibility)
  4. Play more actual golf and competitive golf

I know it might not be in the SMART method, but at this point I think I need to built better habits and processes. 

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Matt Dougherty, P.E.
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What's in My Bag
Driver; :pxg: 0311 Gen 5,  3-Wood: 
:titleist: 917h3 ,  Hybrid:  :titleist: 915 2-Hybrid,  Irons: Sub 70 TAIII Fordged
Wedges: :edel: (52, 56, 60),  Putter: :edel:,  Ball: :snell: MTB,  Shoe: :true_linkswear:,  Rangfinder: :leupold:
Bag: :ping:

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Moving into 2023 the goals will be: 

1.  Achieve an average of 7 GIR (currently just over 5).  

2.  Play at least 3 tournaments in 2023 (played first in 2022 - 4 man best ball).  

3.  Achieve a no-6's round from a min distance of 6,000 yds.  

4.  Achieve a no 3-putt round. 

5.  Walk one round (min 9 holes) per month.


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Ping G400 SFT 10deg  R flex
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Cleveland CBX wedges - 50, 54, 58 or 52, 58 (depending on my mood)
Odyssey Versa or White Steel #5
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Like @Chris BrooksI also get coached by Erik so I mention that as a back drop to this. 

  • I'm directly stealing this from @Chris BrooksImprove driver speed to a 105 average by August 1, 2023.  
    • I will use The SuperSpeed system as I already have it. 
    • Goal is 105 by August 1 2023, just like Mr. Brooks. 
    • I'm turning 52 this year. So I'm much younger than Chris. 😁 Even so, 105 average should be attainable. I average better than 102 right now. I too, will strive to get to 105. 
    • I'm also going to include a stretching program (which will be monitored by my 8 year old daughter) to help me get there.
    • The stretching should also help me as 2022 was the first season I can remember where I've had so many injuries. 
  • Improve strokes gained putting, with a focus on 0–10 foot putts (I did not steal this one from @Chris Brooks, it just so happens I need the same thing.) 
    • Current overall stokes gained are -2.5 putting, –2.56 on 0–10 feet. (I'm actually gaining strokes on 10-30 feet.) when measured vs a 5 HCP. It's actually pretty close to the same vs Scratch. 
    • The goal is getting to even SG vs a 5HCP. 
  • Improve my wedge play. 
    • I would say the one constant in 2022 was that my wedge play was bad. 
    • My stokes gained 50-100 yards against a 5HCP is -1.7
    • The goal again is to get to even SG vs a 5HCP.


I like what @saevel25 does with his habit goals. I would like to incorporate some of that into these goals. Especially the last 2 goals of improving short putting and improving my wedge play. As of right now I don't have a plan other than to go get a lesson on both of these areas week after next. When I return from that lesson I will update this thread and include my plan and/or my habit goals. 

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My bag is an ever-changing combination of clubs. 

A mix I am forever tinkering with. 

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I generally need to improve my ball striking, but don't we all :-) Per Arccos, ranked from most to least strokes lost per round:

  1. I need to improve my mid range iron game. I play at a low to mid single digit handicap level for approaches shorter than 125y or 175+y. But I lose 2.6 strokes a round on approach shots 125-175 yards.
  2. I lose too many drives (as in, penalty strokes), even though my non-penalty drives are often awesome.
  3. Improve on those damn 6-9 foot putts. I lose 1.4 strokes a round just on those!
  4. Improve on very short short game. I'm playing almost at scratch from 25-50 yards but lose 1.4 strokes per round on shots 0-25 yards.

In terms of what I'll actually do, I'll still spend most of my time trying to improve my ball striking. But I'll add in some sessions pitching from just off the green and need to get back on the putting green at all!

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I have had a chance to look at my Shot Scope Data from 2022. I have reread Lowest Score Wins and have torn into the book in the practice section, particularly the Separation Values to formulate a plan for next season that will work with my club distances. I did this because honestly 220+ approach shots are a non-sequitur for me. The bag is fine - I see no need to buy anything new for next year. 

SV4 - Driver (of course): I've improved here a lot this season. I've been on a launch monitor and it's all about is keeping up the good work; Approach Shots from 50 - 160 yds. - Acc'd to Shot Scope this is where the bulk of my approach shots fall, and acc'd to Strokes Gained this is where I did the worst. -8.42 vs. 0 HC. My goal is to pick up 2 strokes on my tee shots, and 3 strokes on my approach shots. This will mean target focused practice.

Trouble shots aren't a problem. I used to compound a bad situation by trying things I couldn't do. Last year, I made better decisions. Hitting a punch shot from under a tree with a 5W instead of "taking my medicine" and knocking it back out onto the fairway turned a DBs into a par sometimes. 

SV3 - Shots 25-50 yds: I got these quite often. They were the result of a poor 2nd shot on a par 4, and I need to make better decisions about them. Do I hit a wedge? Do I run it up with a hybrid? Bottom line is that I need to continue to practice these shots with my wedges. It's a bread and butter shot. If there's something in the way, I need to have confidence from a tight lie, or from rough with the ball sitting up or buried and have it settle inside 20' - the closer the better. Shots inside 25 yds: Again I end up here quite often, the result of a missed green - the nGIR. To pitch or chip. I'm better at the simple pitch than a chip. If this shot is 5 yds to the green, I might consider using a hybrid or 7W these days just because there's almost no chance of chunking it. Bunker Shots - There's really no place to practice bunker shots. Practice bunkers don't even come close to the conditions of the bunkers on the courses I play. The practice bunkers have too much sand in them and are too easy to get out. My current Strokes Gained for Short Game is - 3.87 vs. 0 HC. My goal is to pick up 2 strokes on my short game - 1 stroke in each of those areas.

My putting at the end of the season was -0.75 Strokes Gained vs. 0 HC which isn't bad. The low hanging fruit here is the 6 - 9 ft. putts. I only make 38% of these. If I make more 6 - 9 ft putts, I can make more pars and birdies. 

I turned 70 this year. I'm amazed I haven't lost distance. I know the day is coming. I'll be hitting the gym because I know strength training is the only way to postpone the inevitable. 

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Driver: Callaway Big Bertha w/ Fubuki Z50 R 44.5"
FW: Cobra BiO CELL 14.5 degree; 
Hybrids: Cobra BiO CELL 22.5 degree Project X R-flex
Irons: Cobra BiO CELL 5 - GW Project X R-Flex
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Putter: 48" Odyssey Dart

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Started back on the course/golfing late this last summer and having a blast.  Swing is slower, patience is better.

Goal 1:  Bogey golf from the whites.  Not ready for the senior tees yet (61).  I have set up virtual range time/lessons to get through our long winter here in Montana and work on my swing with a coach.

Goal 2:  Continue 2x week senior fun league.  Pretty lax on rules and it was my first invite late in the season this year.  As we have a scorekeeper and I keep my own as well I will be submitting my score for both the league and GHIN.  It’s only a $3 buy in for clubhouse goods but it’s a really fun course.  League is only nine holes but there’s always 2-3 of us that play the full course.

Goal 3:  Continue iron only practice on a short Par 3/4 course.  Super fun and need my approach (150+) and pitching to get tight as I don’t drive it long.

Goal 4:  Walk.  Always been a walker.  There are a few courses I play periodically that necessitate a cart but prefer footing it. 

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My game slipped a bit in 2022, have struggled in the long game most of the season.  Best rounds were 78s (whereas 2021 my best was 74 & 75 back to back).  With that background shared, here are my 2023 goals:

1. Get the long game back on track.

2. Shoot par or better over an 18 hole round (have done it over 9).

3. Win a mens club tournament (in my flight), preferably the club championship (placed 2nd gross in 2022).

I am working with a pro over the winter.  The plan is to meet every 1-2 weeks, and I will practice every day.  I’m hoping we can do the heavy lifting over these next 3 months, and come golf season continue to reinforce everything from the off-season with maybe some new smaller things throughout the season.  I’m also working on dropping some weight and getting my physical fitness back on track (have let myself slip the past 2 years).

Good luck to everyone on your goals!

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Keep swinging in a simulator in the winter to stay consistent. That's a big if being I plow snow for the town and can be called into work at any second

My last round last week outside, back 9 hit 5 of 9 GIR.   Amazing how much smoother a swing is when you're constantly playing.   Im still a 18ish handicap, short game betrays me from time to time.  Wish there was a better way in winter to improve the short game.  I have an indoor putting mat and chipping net with soft balls, works good for ball striking I guess

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1. Average 150+ ball speed and max over 155. I can hit 150 but am averaging high 140s. 

2. Handicap to high 3. I have fluctuated in the 4s and 5s this year but really want to have that be 3s and 4s. 

3. Average 10 greens a round. 

4. Scrambling at 50%. 

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The singular stand out goal for 2023 will be dedicated to driving

Primary goal: Through consistent, hopefully daily work I want to identify the right combination of hand/arm/torso match ups for my driver swing. A proper mix of dynamic feels that I can sustain and well, the picture to match. If I do it correctly, I want to be able to recall the feels and positions, mentally rehearse and execute before every driver swing. I would assume that it would translate to FIRs. 

If I do it right it will be a straight forward pre-shot routine. When all said and done it should take no more than 10 seconds and should not feel like I am breaking out check-the-box type of list that I am doing right now. I find it hard to sustain over an entire round if it takes too much mental energy to do it. 

I will head to Erie for a session on GEARS for a check hopefully before or around April.    

Secondary goal: Notch up at least 3 rounds of no-sixes. It is really an indicator of true progress IMO.

Fun goal: Bucket list trip. Finalizing a buddies trip to the Kohler courses in late July/early August. 

Stretch goal: Get down to sub-8 HCP. What fun is golf if you ain't reaching a bit, eh? 😊

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Vishal S.

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