Golf is one of those games, that when you begin to play it and take it seriously, it begins to take control of your everyday life. You start to think, eat, sleep, dream and breathe golf. The anticipation for the next game or even practice session makes your blood boil. Well, at least thats the case for me. Well, at least thats the case for me when I'm playing well.
This past season was a breakthrough for me. I played some of my best golf since I was a teenager. My handicap lowered as the season went on, and low and behold I began to enjoy the game, much the same as I did when I was a kid. As a kid and early teenageer I was able to spend countless hours on the course or practice facility. Obviously, we all don't have the time to practice and play everyday with other real life responsibilities, but away from the course mind training, strategizing, and preparation can truly pay dividends to our games. With that in mind, and 2011 upon us, I thought this was a great time to set some goals for the upcoming season, and begin to prepare myself for success and achievement.
Obviously, each and every golfer will have their own set of goals, but I'd just like to give you some thoughts for your own, as I prepare mine. First off, I read a book mid-summer 2010, which changed my mindset on the golf course. The book was Raymond Floyd's "The Elements of Scoring: A Master's Guide to the Art of Scoring Your Best When You're Not Playing Your Best". There are many great lessons in this book for all levels of players. The book definately helped me on the course, but I think more importantly the process of reading about golf, and self education is the real lesson here. I'm not a pro, but I have been around the golfing course in all facets since the early age of 7, I thought I knew it all. Wrong! Its nearly cliched now but 'golf is a game that is enjoyed by all ages'. I now realize that I was naive to think I could not continue to learn. That said, my first goal for the 2011 golf season is to continue to educate myself on all things golf away from the course. Writing this blog is one way, but through other internet resources
Secondly, last season I accomplished some of my goals, in making the Gordon Cup team. An inter-club event played annually at varying golf clubs in the Ottawa Valley. Not to mention, I played reasonably well, and as a Team we took home the trophy. With that in mind, I'd like to expand on my golf of the past season. Of course I'd like to make the team again, but this season I'd like to play in some of the final groupings. To me this means learning to play under pressure. One way I intend on following this through is to practice under pressure. To make games out of practice sessions that force me to concentrate. An example of this would be, making 20 3foot putts in a row, if I miss one you've got to start over. This can only go so far, but putting a little money on the line is always fun, and adds a little emphasis on each shot. I must say though, last season I taught myself a lot, playing under pressure down the stretch, but the first tee-jitters I was not able to over come. Hopefully, I can find something in the first goal that will help me achieve the second.
My final goal of the season is a general goal that most golfers strive to achieve. Mostly because it is measurable. I want to lower my handicap. I am currently a 7hcp, but I think somewhere between 4-6 would be attainable by the end of the season. Although, this is the ultimate season goa, I think by practicing, and accomplishing my first two goals, this one should follow along nicely.
So, hope any of you who have spent the time to read this, can find some sort of inspiration to set your own goals this season and begin the road to better golf along with me.