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Recap 2005 Goals

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In January I'll start a "2006 Goals" thread, but for now, I want to ask everyone how well they met their 2005 goals.

My 2005 Goals were:

  • Play as frequently as possible.
  • Have a handicap index of less than 6
  • Average no more than 78
  • Improve my wedge game and to adopt the "Pelz" system for partial shots
  • Get an eagle

And here's how I did:
  • Play as frequently as possible. - I think I've only posted 40 rounds or so, but a lot of my play was nine-hole rounds and a lot of my play was practice rounds - hitting a few shots, etc. I typically kept score with the "first" ball, but since that kind of play is illegal (you can't hit practice shots), I couldn't post them for handicap purposes.
  • Have a handicap index of less than 6 - Started the season at about 8 and am now 4.5 or so. I spent most of the year at 5.5 or 5.1.
  • Average no more than 78 - My season-long average is 77.6. I rarely shot 80 or higher, but I didn't sneak down very low as often as I'd have liked.
  • Improve my wedge game and to adopt the "Pelz" system for partial shots - My wedge game was great in the beginning of the year when the course is empty and I could actually practice various distances, but until my course gets a short game practice area, I think I may perpetually tail off at the end of the season. It was improved, so I consider this successful, but not to the extent that I'd have liked. I need to be clearer next year and set up a % of the time to get up and down from 100 yards or fewer or something.
  • Get an eagle - I nearly holed a few wedges on par 4s, lipping one out and crashing one into the stick, but the only par 5s I reached were off the green so I never had a putt at it. So, didn't get an eagle.

How did you do?

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2005 is my second year of golf so I kept my goal(s) very simple.

Break 80

I've got an 81 in with 2 1/2 months left, so there's still hope. For 2006 I'll make some more goals for myself.

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I typically kept score with the "first" ball, but since that kind of play is illegal (you can't hit practice shots), I couldn't post them for handicap purposes.

Erik: I have a handicap question that is a bit off topic for this thread, but your above quote makes it timely.

One of my goals for 2006 is to finally (after eight seasons of playing golf) establish a USGA handicap. As I read all about how that process works (ESC; best 10 rounds out of 20; etc.), I basically assumed that every round I would play needs to count for handicap purposes. Your quote, however, brings that assumption into question. So....do you just decide before the round begins whether or not you are going to post? If good or bad things happen in mid-round, would you ever change your pre-round decision (doesn't seem kosher)? Would you routinely post or not post on a course you were playing for the first time? Just wondering what sort of considerations go into whether one posts or not. Thanks.

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I decide prior to the round, and I almost always practice when I'm playing by myself. Otherwise I'd catch up and be waiting for hours on end. Better to use that time to play more shots.

That's it. Back to the topic...

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When 2005 began, I really had no desire to play golf anymore. I used to love it, but it had gotten stale to me for some reason.

My goal for 2005 was to love playing the game of golf again.

I started working for The SandTrap in late-March and figured my handicap for the first time in my life. I am still playing golf this year, and I probably will into November and possibly December (weather permitting). As long as it's 45-50 degrees, I will try to play on weekends.

Also, I got one of my best friends involved in playing golf this year. He is addicted now and wants to play all the time. It's always fun to get a friend involved in the sport.

So my goal was much different than most people's, but it was a good one and the most important one I believe.

For 2006, however, I will have a whole new set of goals for myself. I have to think about those goals the next couple months.

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Only started playing in Febuary.

My target for the year was to break 100

This so far i have managed 3 times, so im more than happy.

Going to set myself some good targets for next year, and i will probably join my local course which IMO and a few others is very difficult. If i can play well here (102 my best) theni think it will but me in good shape to play lots of other courses well.

http://www.beaconparkgolf.com/ for anybody would would like a look :)

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This was my second season of playing golf as well.

My goal last year was to break 100 which I was able to accomplish after playing for 5 months.

My goals this year were to:

1) Break 90
2) Putt Better (Try to 2 putt or every hole)
3) Post consistent scores

1) I was able to break 90 two months into the season after taking a couple lessons which consisted of developing a new repeatable swing...lowest score so far has been an 84 and have broke 90 over ten times.

2) Realized my putting was horrible so I spent at least an hour a week practicing 3, 5, 10 footers, and some lag putting. Putting has improved tremendously but still need work. 3 putts occur less often and have not 4 putted once since June.

3) At the beginning of the season was scoring in the upper 90s on average but now have been posting scores in the upper 80s/ lower 90s. I have realized that my GIR % is really low even when i am in the fairway 70% of the time. I already know what my new goal is for the next year. I need to work on finding the green more often. My distance off the tee aint much usually around 230 so I'm always pulling out a longer iron for my approach.

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Great thread...I may make this a subject for a future Numbers Game column.

My goals going into this year were:
  1. Stroke average under 73
  2. Hit 62.5% fairways
  3. Hit 65% greens
  4. Average 29 or less putts per round
  5. Average 1.775 putts per GIR

My results:
  1. Stroke average under 73 - average was 73.03. Not too bad. It was way off early in the year and was under 73 if you take away the bad start.
  2. Hit 62.5% fairways - average was 60.4%. Again, no complaints. I hit the teeball straight but feel like I could hit it better though.
  3. Hit 65% greens - hit 57.9%. Probably the area I need the most improvement. Throughout the year it was getting better but I'm still well below the goal.
  4. Average 29 or less putts per round - averaged 29.71. I dropped about 1 putt per round from last year. This was probably my biggest focus this year...improving my putting. I still have some room to lower that number...
  5. Average 1.775 putts per GIR - averaged 1.796. Once I learned how hard it was to get this number down, I thought if I got under 1.8 I'd be happy...and I am. This stat combines putting and iron play as well because the closer you hit it, the better the chance you have of holing the putt.

My goals for next year are going to be about the same. I feel like I made some good strides toward these goals and that they were not impossible to attain. I think that I am going to add some non-quantifiable goals though. The first would be the tee ball. I want to get my launch angle higher and make contact a bit higher on the face. Sounds simple enough but I always let some old habits get my ballflight down off the tee. I also want to keep working on my swing and simplifying it. I feel that it is close and one more season of work should do it...

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My goals weren't so cut and dried as some others. This is my first year playing golf and I've wanted to score consistently in the 90's, hit my driver strait, learn how to hit an iron occasionally, and stop three-putting. Well, I've managed that from time to time.

Next year I want to be a high to mid-80's player. How?

*Put myself in reasonable positions off the tee.
*Crisp (not too fat) contact with irons... better ball striking.
*Improve around the greens: chipping and putting.

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My goals for next year are going to be about the same. I feel like I made some good strides toward these goals and that they were not impossible to attain. I think that I am going to add some non-quantifiable goals though. The first would be the tee ball. I want to get my launch angle higher and make contact a bit higher on the face. Sounds simple enough but I always let some old habits get my ballflight down off the tee. I also want to keep working on my swing and simplifying it. I feel that it is close and one more season of work should do it...

Dave, that launch monitor session will really help you get this straightened out. A higher ball flight (I'd guess you are right around or just under 9° right now with 3000 RPM will also help to reduce the effective amount of side spin and you won't have to worry about as much roll (into trouble), so you'll see a good jump in accuracy too. You'll be "longer" on soggier and windier days, too.

You may not even need a different club. As I noted in my article , your attack angle may surprise you. I'm not saying it's -5, but it may not be +1 or +2... It may be flat or -1 or maybe even -2. Unlikely, though, but don't rule it out.
Next year I want to be a high to mid-80's player. How?

I think you're selling yourself short here, Jeff. Your swing, to be quite honest, is really not that far off from being pretty good. Your regular shafts are hurting you more than you might imagine - swapping out for a stiff shaft, throughout your set, will help. I think you should aim for the low- to mid-80s. Set a high goal (or in this case, a "low" goal

) and strive to reach it... Kind of like picking a smaller target. A 10% miss on a tiny target (the flag, a stripe in the fairway) is not so bad, but a 10% miss if your target is "the fairway" or "the green" is bad. Better to set a difficult goal because if you don't reach it, you'll probably still have done better than if you did reach an easier goal.
*Put myself in reasonable positions off the tee.

I think that's good. I think you'll find yourself doing this more with the stiff shafts and a few of the ideas Dave and I gave you.

*Crisp (not too fat) contact with irons... better ball striking.

Yeah, okay. "Tempo" will help with both this and the above, as well as those same things Dave and I gave you. Keeps you from moving side to side so much.

*Improve around the greens: chipping and putting.

Even if this was your only real goal, you could shoot low 80s. And because of that, this goal needs to, in my opinion, be a priority of about 3x more than both of the others, but you need to expand it to include "anything inside of 100 yards."

Think of it this way... Imagine a guy who never hits a single fairway and never hits a single green, but gets up and down 50% of the time, whether he's punching out from the trees to 70 yards short of the green or whatever. In an 18-hole, par-72 round, that's 9 pars and 9 bogeys for an 81. If he gets the occasional birdie to offset the occasional failure to get up and down half the time, he's still at 81. That's about as "low-80s" as you can get. I'm confident that "inside of 100 yards" is both the easiest way for any nearly amateur to improve and also the one area of the game which an amateur has the best chance of getting nearly as good as a PGA Tour pro. There was a stretch of time over the summer where I'd have put my "50-100 yards" game against just about anyone, and I'm not really that good at other stuff. So, this is only advice and you're free to say "bah, whatever" and ignore it of course, but if I were you, Jeff, but knew what I know (as me, Erik), my list would look like this:
  • Putt everything with confidence and average 1.5 putts per hole
  • Get up and down from inside 50 yards 75% of the time
  • Get up and down from 50-100 yards 40% of the time
  • Manage my game, mentally and course strategy, as if I'm meeting the goals above (i.e. play safe out of trees, aim for the fat parts of greens, and scramble for pars when you get into trouble).
  • Hit 50% of the fairways (don't worry about distance - you've got plenty)
  • Make controlled iron swings aimed at the fat part of the greens
That would be my list if I were you. I was impressed with your swing, Jeff, but like some of the kids on my high school golf team with good swings, they just haven't developed the consistency yet and their short games (i.e. no fault of their "swing") and mental games were severely lacking. That's why kids with more heart and more consistency but really bad swings, fundamentally, beat them so consistently.

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Here are my goals for 2005:
1. keep hcp index below 5.0
2. play in at least 4 amateur events
3. qualify for at least 1 of them to the finals
4. hole in one
5. play one round under 70
6. win club championship
Recap:
1. success
2. success
3. success (however shot one of the worst rounds of the year in the finals!)
4. success
5. success
6. lost in final match 1 down...
Not a bad year combined with +/- 90 rounds

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I've read your feedback with interest and feel that you've presented some good ideas here. I feel I am closer to a repeatable motion. A couple of things stand out to me:

1. Tempo... This is very imporatant to me. I want to see my tempo improve about 300%. I think tempo alone will take care of a lot of my problems. 2. Confidence... I'm putting some things into practice that are really helping my confidence level. Proper and consistent spine angle is a big one. I think my ball striking is going to take a turn for the better with this alone. 3. Short game... Now that I've got the right spine angle, I'm on my way to more accuracy around the greens. I'm looking foreword to zeroing in on my target around and on the greens. I'm taking the goals you've suggested seriously. Shooting consistently in the low 80's would be a dream.
  • Putt everything with confidence and average 1.5 putts per hole
  • Get up and down from inside 50 yards 75% of the time
  • Get up and down from 50-100 yards 40% of the time
  • Manage my game, mentally and course strategy, as if I'm meeting the goals above (i.e. play safe out of trees, aim for the fat parts of greens, and scramble for pars when you get into trouble).
  • Hit 50% of the fairways (don't worry about distance - you've got plenty)
  • Make controlled iron swings aimed at the fat part of the greens

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