Goal Setting for Golfers

Bad shots in Golf

Setting Good Goals in Golf

Should golfers engage in goal setting?

Yes! Having goals is important for golfers at any level of the game.

Setting goals is one of the most important components to success in golf and in life! Every great player sets goals covertly or overtly.

When Tiger Woods was a young boy, he set a goal to break all of Jack Nicklaus’ records, so he wrote down this dream.

Tiger reminded himself of his dream every night. Tiger may still make his dream become reality.

All champions in sports start with a dream. The greatest champions of all stay committed to that dream by setting and achieving key goals.

Part of staying committed to your dream is a relentless drive for success through setting, evaluating, and reformulating your goals.

In today’s high-tech world, you need to take a multi-disciplined approach to your golf improvement.

You can set many different goals in golf beyond just performance or scoring goals. Golfers can set practice goals, mental goals, and fitness goals as well.

Many golfers will create season-long or even longer-range goals in an attempt to accomplish their dreams but this plan often backfires.

Long-terms goals are great, but you need short-range targets to keep you on track and give you direction to your ultimate objective.

Short-term goals have a number of benefits:

  • Give you a sense of direction.
  • Help you see the progress made to your long-term goal.
  • Provide a sense of accomplishment and pride as you hit your short-term targets.
  • Boost your motivation.
  • Keep you focus on the task at hand.
  • Help you optimize your practice and training sessions.
  • Assist in enduring the rough times.
  • Give you feedback as to whether or not you are on course to your long-term objective.

How One LPGA Golfer Sets Goals

Shanshan Feng reached one of her long-range goals, the No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings, by winning the 2017 Blue Bay LPGA Tournament, her third title of the season.

In a post-tournament interview, Feng, who also won the bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, credited her success to the small accomplishments achieved along the way.

FENG: “I do tend to set up a long-term plan or objective for myself, but I also tend to do it step by step, from short term, medium term to long term, in a sense. For example, when I was 12. I set the goal to go to the LPGA. At 18, I actually entered the LPGA and realized that goal. Down the line, of course, four years later, I also won on the LPGA. That was also one of my objectives.”

These BIG accomplishments were gained through her dedication on those short-term goals. Each small accomplishment took Feng one step closer to where she ultimately wanted to go.

While long-range goals are important, you need to shoot for something in the near future and it’s those small accomplishments that lead to greater success.

How to Set Goals for Golfers

Part of your goal achievement program includes monitoring your playing and practice goals to help you stay committed to the dream and to keep you on the right track.

You can apply goal setting if you take a multi-disciplined approach to improving your golf game.

The first step is to decide what your goals will be. That is, what you need to work on in practice and competition to reach those goals. This is based on your current statistics and performance.

I think every player should set or evaluate his or her goals before the golf season, or during the off-season.

Your goals, however, should be directed at more than just lowering scoring average or handicap. To me, the main purpose of goals is to focus your attention and energy on what you what to accomplish and on the plan for achieving those goals.

Goals direct your attention and focus you on improvement.

I talk about four categories of goals (broken down by time line):

  1. long-term or dream
  2. intermediate
  3. short-term and
  4. immediate, or what I call process goals.

I’m sure you have read of heard about the first three. I’ve added the fourth because this helps you stay grounded in the present moment when performing. I will discuss each of these briefly and give a few examples.

Do not be afraid of setting goals for your game for fear of not reaching them because, the truth is, you may not…

I look at goals as an opportunity for you to strive for success instead of an opportunity not to accomplish something.

Goals should be tough to accomplish and it is the striving for the goals that is often more important than the product itself.

You never really “get there” in golf. As soon as a player reaches a milestone in his or her career, new and improved goals are set immediately.

The process of resetting goals is endless in the world of golf.

Related Golf Psychology Articles

Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Golf-Mental-Edge20-300.png

Do you suffer from fragile self-confidence after missed hitting shots or making mistakes, playing with strict or high expectations that undermine confidence, or the inability to play freely and relaxed on the course?

Successful golfers have learned how to perform with ultimate confidence in competition, so we’ve developed The Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0 Workbook and Audio program to help you do this! 

The Golfer’s Mental Edge 2.0 program includes the top 11 mental training sessions I do with my personal students to help them boost their mental game and improve consistency on the course!

Leave a Comment