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Your 2009 Personal (Golf) Goals


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2008 was a great year for me golf wise. I got great clubs into the bag, and have played 45 rounds thus far. That said here is what I am hoping for in 2009:

Break 80 by the end of the year. I've shot 83 2 times this year. My avg is still 92.2 but I found the 80's back in October and have done well, getting there 4 more times this season.

Tighten up putting on back 9. For some reason my putting on the back nine usually goes down hill when I've tired a bit and I lose a ton of feel that I have on the front 9.

Improve up and down percentage (21% since I started keeping track, and it was much worse earlier in the season)

Improve on all shots that are not full swings (knock down shots, punch shots, pitches, chips and sand shots)

Play 52 rounds in 2009. Play Bethpage Black during annual Summer vacation to New York next August if I break 80 before than, play the Red if I haven't.

Have fun every time I play no mater if I shot 83 or 103.
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Broke 100 for the first time a week ago, though I haven't really put my time into Golf before, but now I'm really feeling the need to get better at it, and playing more, so with that in mind, in 2009 I'd like to:

Break 85. I really think that is attainable... when I play, I know I am a few dumb mistakes away from taking 10 strokes off my game.

Putting - I am naturally good at putting, for some reason. I usually read greens impeccably, and have very good touch. However, I probably add 6-7 strokes a round on putts that I miss by 3 inches or less.

Chipping - I've made so many dumb mistakes when making short chip or pitch shots that it makes me sick. Really dumb stuff, like just hitting the ball off the toe of the club and sending it off to the right, or hitting the ground before the ball and leaving the ball short of the green.

Eliminating my fade/slice on my irons.

Learn how to hit my dang hybrid. That thing gives me fits.

I don't think I'm expecting much.
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Sticking with my new fitness routine to improve strength, stamina and flexibility.

Getting a range finder and getting my iron distances nailed down and committed to memory. Doesn't do me a lot of good even to know how far I am from the pin, when I don't really know what club to pull from there anyway.

Get into a real practice routine instead of just hitting balls to no real end.

Start shooting in the 80s. I've made pars and birdies on SOME of the holes, therefor I'm physically capable of doing it on ALL of them. I can look back on a score and attribute 20-30 shots to poor form or stupidity. I've fixed a lot of the poor form (though far from all), so if I can get a handle on the stupid I feel the 80s are in reach.
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For 2009:
  • Break 90; play consistently below 100
  • Improve iron play -- better distance and accuracy, especially the long irons
  • Learn to hit a 3W
  • Practice:
    • Build and use indoor range (barn!)
    • driving, iron, pitching, chipping often -- daily?
    • putting, lots of putting
  • Improve physical fitness -- more workouts, more flexibility, less weight
  • Play at least twice a month
  • Play somewhere exotic/overseas (maybe)
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short game........... to get up and down at least 80% of the time.

I need to practice one hour each day on my short game, no buts about it. that means putting, chipping around the green and from 20, 30, 40, 50 yards off the green.
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Here are my goals:

1. Win at least two tournaments, including the Senior Men's Club Championship at my current club (I have been the runner-up two years in a row, and lost both times on the last hole in match play). In 1998, I won the Senior Mens Championship at a different club, and it would be neat to win at Holland Heights, where many people from the other club have gone. 2. Revive some of the golf tournaments that my part-time business runs. They are Open Tournaments, with divisions for men and women, boys and girls, broken down into age groups, and with gross and handicap divisions. In the scratch divisions, the Top Ten point earners are invited to a year end Championship. Our area has been called the "Golf Scramble Capital of the US" because of the many, many Captain and Crew tournaments, and many of us deplore the lack of scratch tournaments. Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, New York, have many good events, but we do not here in the Greater Mohawk Valley. Another event is the Mohawk Valley Challenge Cup, where the four Men's Club Champions from six eligible courses play a 45 hole, scratch Championship over 3 nine hole courses, and the final round at an 18 hole Championship course. It is a true "Tournament of Champions" since it is played over two consecutive weekends, and all the courses in the "rota" are different in layout, and difficulty. 3. Write some unique interviews and articles for my golf magazine. My favorite feature is named "Professor Golf". He is fictional, but his column consists of a letter written to him and his reply. To the fellow who buys the latest driver every year, and his handicap never goes down, The Professor advised him that the solution is "Big Sweat" (at the practice area) and not "High Tech". 4. Play golf with my son at least once this year, and whup him. He outdrives me by 60 yards, but I do not care. He carries the ball 285. In 1997, I kept track of our head to head matches, and we played 17 times. I won 9, lost 6, and we halved 2. So, that goes to show that you can "drive for show, but I putt for dough". When we "went at it" in 1997, we played a variety of courses, many of which were Championship courses, where his length off the tee was a real advantage for him!! 5. Take my 4 year old granddaughter to the driving range and putting greens more often than last year. The Ryleigh Girl loves golf. Last year, we probably practiced 15 times, but I want to go at least 3 times a week in 2009. 6. Add a couple of new rewards to the golf tournament we run in memory of my brother, Steve. He died as a result of a tragic accident in 1979, and we have held a Junior Tournament ever since. We started before the Mohawk Valley Junior Tour began, but we are a participating tournament in that Tour. The winner gets to keep a large permanent trophy for one year, with all the Champions' names inscribed on it. We give out Titleist golf balls, and golf shirts, and a $50 gift certificate for "Closest to the Pin" on a challenging par 3. We are well established, and junior golfers from Syracuse and Rochester have played in it. We limit the field to 80, and there is always a waiting list. 7. Actually, have fun playing, and on December 31 of 2009, look back at the year, and say "Not bad for an old guy".
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1.Practice - Set specific practice regimens and goals (develop fade/draw etc....)
2.Set and maintain pre-swing routines for all clubs/shots.
3.Try to hit 70% or more of all fairways.
4.Try to average PAR for all par 3 holes ( not hard in Nova Scotia, usually nothing longer than 180)
5.Try to get up and down 80% of time.
6.Try to break 80 and get an official Handicap from the NSGA.
7.Try to play more often and HAVE FUN (or what's the point)
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2009 GOALS

Handicap – Somewhere around 5 by end of the year

Ball striking – Key to lowering handicap by working on the following:
Consistency on center hits
Good trajectory
Dispersion (less of)
Short Game – Continue to practice because this is the best part of my game yet I need to continue to work hard and improve.

Tournaments – Compete in the following:
Club Championship / April 2009 (compete)
City Amateur medal & other local amateur events (experience)
FSGA State Amateur qualifier / June 2009 (experience)
FSGA Mid Senior / August 2009 (at Innisbrook) make cut to Sunday’s final round
FSGA Mid-Amateur qualifier / October 2009 (experience)
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1. Get handicap down to 12.0 (Ideally in 6 months time and them under 10 by the end of the year). I am currently 15.4 and started last year on 21.
2. Practice. I did very little this year and when I did I generally practiced the things I could already do well. My goal is to practice my shortgame and putting at least once a week.
3. Get my putts to under 30 per round. I averaged around 34 this year which is disgraceful for someone that misses so many greens in regulation
4. Hit more greens in regulation. I am around 25-30% at the moment but when playing well I have hit over 65%. I would like my average to be near 50% for this year.
5. Be more patient on the course. I allow myself to get worked up about being held up by slow play and it costs me numerous shots every round.
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