24 golf goals for the 2021 season — and how to accomplish them
Spring is here, which means the golf season is about to heat up. Even when you’re in a place where the weather is good enough to play year-round, it’s hard not to get excited when the season really starts to get going. And with that brings a new sense of optimism. So we asked members of our How To Hit Every Shot Facebook group (which you can join for free yourself right here) for their goals for this upcoming season.
Here’s a selection, along with some little bits of advice from me in-between…
1. Get to single digits
Being a single-digit golfer doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. It calls for the opposite of that, like doing the basic stuff well: Having a shot shape, knowing your miss, hitting the middle of greens, and not three-putting.
2. To break 90
You don’t need an extraordinary amount of time or effort to break 90. Above all else, the key is avoiding blow-up holes. That means playing it safe, and when you do hit bad shots, take your medicine. Don’t let that double bogey turn into a quad, or worse, multiple quads.
3. To break 80 consistently
Limiting disaster holes will get you far, but that alone probably won’t help you break 80 consistently. To do that, you need to have a mastery over the basics. That means not just limiting disaster shots, but also hitting fairways consistently, the middles of greens, along with getting up and down more often than not.
4. To become a scratch golfer
It’s not rocket science, but it will take hard work. GOLF Top 100 Teacher Kellie Stenzel has a great article breaking down all the skills you need right here.
5. To shoot under par
The number at the end of your scorecard is an effect, not a cause, so I never like getting too laser-focused on scores. The formula for breaking par isn’t markedly different from the formula for breaking 80 consistently, with two exceptions: you need to up your clubhead speed, and you need a much better short game.
6. To make a hole-in-one
Another dangerous goal to pin your hopes on. Ultimately it’s a numbers game, so if you really want a hole-in-one, look for courses with short par-3s, and play them often.
7. Playing pain free
Our own Josh Sens is going through something similar with his own game. He recommends a three-pronged approach, which you can read more about right here.
- Find a personalized program
- Exercise with good form
- Be pragmatic about your goals
8. To stop coming over the top
I like this goal! Here’s a tip from GOLF Top 100 Teacher Boyd Summerhays to help with that.
9. To shoot lower than my age
Another great goal! Look no further than Gary Player on this one, who credits his 60/40 rule for his longevity. In short: Eat well, and move more.
10. To get better at finding lost golf balls
Have you tried yellow golf balls? They help!
11. To hit my long-irons better
You could always try putting more hybrids in the bag. Outside of that, I’d follow Justin Thomas’ simple advice of focusing on your fundamentals, then staying grounded and stable throughout your swing.
12. To be more consistent
The key to consistency, in my humble opinion, is knowing what you are, and not trying to be something you’re not. If a GOLF.com reader asked me how they can become more consistent, I’d tell them exactly that, and also recommend getting a through-the-bag clubfitting with a great clubfitter, like our sister-company TrueSpec. It’ll help you understand the distances of all your clubs, and tweak them to match your specific swing.
13. Be better than last year
I like this goal. Take an honest look at your game, pick one or two areas you think can improve, and focus on those. Don’t go crazy trying to fix everything all at once, because all you’ll do is go crazy.
14. Swing as hard as Bryson
Unless you’re working out extensively and doing a proper swing training regimen with a fitness professional, please don’t do this.
15. To improve my flexibility
It’s not going to happen all at once. It requires lots of little efforts over time, and a program to help keep you on track.
16. To get up-and-down more
Maybe the best goal on this list! There’s a ton of tips to help you do just that right here, but above all else, remember the golden rule:
- Putt whenever you can.
- Chip when you can’t putt.
- Pitch only when you have to.
17. To make my first birdie
Don’t try to force it, and don’t try to fill it up too much in your mind. Stay in the moment, and it’ll come!
18. To forget the bad shots
It’s OK to get angry after a bad shot (within reason) but only if it helps you move on. The worst thing you can do after a bad shot is dwell on it, and let one bad shot turn into two.
19. Repair more pitchmarks
Remember the correct technique: Use the pitchmark repair tool around the perimeter of the pitchmark, and push towards the center, then tap it down. Don’t lift up from underneath it.
20. To lose fewer golf balls
Easier said than done, but it helps to know what your general shot shape is. And, even more crucially than that, what your miss is.
21. To play as well as I practice
The reason why you’re probably better on the range than on the course is because you’re not practicing the way you play. Work hard to make sure your range time mirrors what you do on the course.
22. To stop trying to be ‘perfect’
It’s a cliché because it’s true: Golf is a game of misses. Knowing your miss is more important than knowing your good shots.
23. Fewer 3-putts
Practice often, and don’t get too aggressive on your first putt!
24. To have more fun!
Amen! After all, there’s never been a better time to be a golfer.