For me, the Masters Tournament is a sign that the golf season is around the corner. Here in New Jersey, the weather is starting to warm up, so it will soon be time to tee up that first shot! I always find that this is an excellent time of the year to set your golf goals for coming season.
For many golfers, the first goal that tends to come to mind is to shoot a new low score. It is very important to note, that to shoot a lower score, you need to improve. Stating that you want to shoot a new low score is fine as an overall result you want to attain, but it really does not get to the core issues of your game. It is not specific enough for true improvement. To truly improve, you need to get very specific on what parts of your game you need to work on.
The first step in doing this is to look at your statistics from the past year. If you do not track your statistics, it is critical that you start! Tracking your statistics during a round provides you with tons of information to show you where your game is weak. I discuss the importance tracking stats in my book Everyday Golfers Guide to Shooting Lower Scores (available at Amazon in soft cover or Kindle versions).
Many golfers will continue to work on areas they strong in. But real improvement comes from comes from making your weak areas strong. So, as you look at your stats, you will be able to see patterns of weakness in your game, and identify the areas you need to work on. For example, do you miss a lot of fairways…you need to get more accurate off the tee. Chip shots around the green not getting close enough to the hole…walk over to the short game area and put some time in practicing those shots. Too many three or four putts on the green…time to get those numbers down and spend time on the putting green. Can’t get out of the sand traps, then you might want to walk over and use the practice sand trap areas at the range a little more often.
As you can see the stats will give you the clues you need to see the weaknesses. And if you are a beginner, you might have many of areas that need improvement. If that’s that case, don’t overwhelm yourself, choose one or two areas to focus on and integrate them into your practice sessions. But before you do, it is important to make sure what you are practicing is correct! Another thing I mention in my book…getting the proper instruction that you need so that you are making the most of your practice sessions.
For example, there was a time when I could not get the ball out of a sand trap and did not even know how. I set up a few lessons with my instructor to have him teach me what I needed to know. Then each time I went to range, I made sure I left time, and balls in my bucket, during each session to get over to the sand trap and practice those shots.
Remember that learning to play golf at a top level is a lifetime journey. Regardless if your level, there is always room for improvement. Take the time to figure what you need to work on to make those weak areas of your game strong. Be specific on the things you are working on and through improvement, those scores will start to come down! Enjoy the new golf season!