A Golf Plan To Be A Scratch Golfer in 2016

Good shot or poor shot, Every shot is an opportunityto learn to be a better golfer.One of my life time goals as a golfer is to reach the élite level of being a scratch player. Averaging par 10 games out of 20 is a very difficult feat. There are many challenges each player must face when setting goals and I have found that without a plan of some sort my expectations far exceed what I achieve.

This year, I purposely waited until the beginning of the golf season before implementing my plan to be a scratch golfer. I will follow the same processes as previously stated, but I thought I would update my planning processes and ask for feedback on my way forward.

Playing consistently as a scratch golfer is not as difficult as it sounds. The challenge at this point is getting to the goal, not sustaining it. So my planning process, for now, will focus on shooting par most of the time!

This is the strategic process I am going to follow this year. The details will come in a different article, but for now this is a great starting point for any amateur wanting to shoot lower scores.

My 4-step process is as follows:

Idea – The idea step is sometimes the hardest. Where should I start? As a 4-handicap player, this ‘something’ could be as simple as adjusting the ball position within my stance. However, to determine what needs to be changed requires research. Additionally, if you have collected stats from last year, that would a great resource not to overlook. The deliverable from this stage is to decide what to adjust; then plan to actually make the change.

Planning – This is better known as the how-to step. This is when you come up with the plan on specifically what you are going to focus on. I want to emphasize that keeping it simple is critical to success. Start with one or two areas and then plan the drills, tips or approaches that best fix your area of focus. Once completed, on to step three.

Execution – This step is as important as the first two. It is time to put your plan into action. Choosing how, when, where, and what is critical.  Should you play more than practice? Should you track your success? Regardless, taking action is the way to go. Execute your plan until you have achieved your goals and once satisfied it is time to sustain your success.

Maintenance – this is often the most overlooked step of how to complete a successful golf plan. Maintenance generally looks like your execution step, but on a smaller scale. Your successes achieved during the execution step need to be fostered.  It is important to keep building on the aspects you have fixed and not to revert to old habits at the first sign of trouble.

Using this 4-step process will produce the results you want! I have used it for years and I am slowly moving towards my goal of being a scratch golfer. This year, I need to identify two aspects of my game that are going to produce the best results. I am not 100% sure what they are…..but more introspection about my game will pay dividends!

Do you have a golf plan for 2016?

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

9 thoughts on “A Golf Plan To Be A Scratch Golfer in 2016

  1. Pingback: So, Whats Next? | The Grateful Golfer

  2. Jim, good luck with your planning. Cannot wait to hear the details! Are you aiming for 4 to scratch in one season? If you pull that off and I suspect you will, I will buy twice as much of whatever Josh is buying😜



    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim,

    Great post. I look forward to hearing more details and how your plan comes together to go from a 4 to a scratch this season….when it happens, you’ll have to bottle your plan and sell it…you’ll be rich!

    All the best as you start your golf season!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Jim
    After reading this the first thing to grab my attention was how much easier it is to get to scratch where you live in comparison to here, Our handicapping system (Congu) is based on a CSS (Competition Scratch Score) this can vary depending on Weather, Entries, competitors that beat the SSS (Standard Scratch Score)
    When I played off 1 handicap I recall 10 competitions in a row where the worst score was 73 (Par 70) and I got 5 points back so back up to 2 😦 There is 10 points in a shot ie 0.5 to 1.5 Our CSS sometimes is very unfair ie you shoot +2 and the CSS comes in at 69 that’s a point back for a 1 handicapper!
    Regarding a plan, I agree with you, figure out your weakness and work on them, a good way is to keep stats from every round.
    Best of luck getting to scratch Jim, I hope to get there myself, target set for my 50th birthday, 🙂
    Thanks Jim, as always grateful to be able to play this great game.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Patrick

      I agree that the different handicap systems do confuse everyone because they are not really comparable. I think this might make a good article in the future.

      Thanks for you positive words regarding my plan. I am hoping tut this is the year!



  5. We’re clearly both morning people, Jim.
    Reading this while on the bus en route to work. This may be one of the more thought provoking posts I’ve read in some time. As I think about my aspirations for the year (improve to less than 5.0…I’m currently playing off 8.8) I feel I am doing many things right. I’m taking lessons, I have fitted equipment, I have statistics and a clear sense of where I need to improve. But even with all that I don’t know if I have a plan, especially a schedule. So thank you, I know as we’re on the eve of our season opening that I need to identify a more specific plan which will allow me purposefully improve. Thank you so much for the great post and the prod to more clarity for me around my plans to meet my goals for 2016.

    Enjoy the start of the season!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mike

      You are welcome. Your kind words are inspiring and I hope you do find those ‘somethings’ that will take your game to the next level. I find that the lower our handicaps, the more difficult changes become. I will be very interested to hear about your successes this year.



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