Goal Setting – Why do you play?

May 1, 2012 Jon Roy


As the buds emerge on the trees and the sound of mowers begins to echo around our homes, it’s a good time to take stock of your golf game and to prepare your golfing-self for the coming outdoor season.  Many golfers are building their own resolutions for the coming season (“I will hit balls 2 days a week”, “I will work on my putting every day” etc…) but what is often lacking in these resolutions is an underlying reason for changing any behaviors.

The first thing I would recommend is that you take some time to reflect on who you are as a golfer.  Sounds simple, but this is in fact the single most important action you can take if you are intent on developing as a golfer.

My suggestion would be that you create a journal that will guide your development over the coming months – it can be on your Ipad, or for those of us living in the recent past, just pick up a pad and small pen that you’ll carry with you in your golf bag.

Once you’ve got your journal set up, the first task will be to use the first page(s) to answer the following questions:

1) Why do I love playing golf?
2) What is my “Biography”?

Notes to 1) Take time to write meaningful things – don’t breeze through this all important question because if you aren’t very clear about why you play the game it becomes very difficult to enjoy the process of improving at golf.  Once you are clear about those aspects of the game that bring you enjoyment, then it becomes easier to ensure that you are taking actions which lead to happiness.  Very simple idea – but one that is oft overlooked in this game.

Notes to 2) Describe who you are as a golfer – i.e. “I am 37 years old and I play at ______, the best part of my game is _________ and I really love ________.   Write about characteristics that define you as a golfer and as a person too – i.e . “I enjoy socializing with others and spending time in natural settings…, I am a father and husband….etc.”

Once you’ve filled out the first few pages of your journal with the answers to these all important questions, you’re then ready to tackle the task of setting goals for the season which are specific to your game.  Once you’ve established the “why” and “who” of your game, then you are ready to work on those aspects of the game which will bring you the highest returns on your investment of time.  Effectively, through this exercise you will come to terms with your own self-image as a golfer, and in doing this you determine who you have become as well as who you want to be in the future.  And this creates the framework that will guide your development over the coming months and years…

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