The Grateful Golfer 2017 Golf Plan

My 2017 golf plan is ready and I think it will move much closer to my goal of being a scratch golfer. Unlike last year, I will have specific milestones to reach and timelines in ensure I stay focused throughout the year.

I am planning to use the same process as previous years because it works very well for my game. It is not complicated and helps me identify the areas I need/want to improve. Except, I am going to take it a step further. I found out last year that but not having quantifiable goals, I did not maximize the golfing opportunities. This year this is all going to change.

Here is my 4-step process. I outline my logic to each step and it is important to understand that these are guidelines and should be adjusted to meet your requirements.

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.

With my process in place, I have decided on the milestones I need to achieve to lower my handicap in 2017. If I can keep to the plan, anything can happen. Here is what I want to accomplish this year:

  • Play in 4 tournaments
  • Win 1 tournament or more
  • Lower my handicap index to below 2
  • Shoot 5 eagles
  • Break Par 1 or more times
  • Improve my GIR stat to and average of 10 per round
  • Average 30 putts or less per round over the season
  • Play at 50 rounds or more over the season
  • Play at least 5 different courses this year

That was the what I want to accomplish, now this is how I plan to do it:

  • Practice for 45 minutes on average of 1.5 times a week – focusing mostly on my short game.
  • Play an average of 3 times a week – ensure I putt out every hole. No gimmies!
  • Play golf on average of 1 time a week with my wife – more would be awesome!
  • Develop at least 4 new ‘short game’ drills over the summer to improve my game.
  • Play golf with at least 20 different people.

The above ‘how to improve’ steps will help address challenges I notice in my game in 2016. The last two steps may seem strange, but by developing new drills, I dissect my short game. By playing with strangers, it helps prepare me for tournaments where I will be match up with different competitors.

There you have it. I decided to be more specific this year by making achievable goals. I realize that life does get in the way, but I also know that not writing anything down produces very poor results. Additionally, my efforts moving forward will have many implied tasks like fitness and course management that will be addressed to be successful.

I have already started working on my 2017 golf plan. I am excited to see if my plan will pay the dividends I expect.

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

12 thoughts on “The Grateful Golfer 2017 Golf Plan

  1. Pingback: My 2017 Golf Season Report Card | The Grateful Golfer

  2. Jim,

    Awesome goals for the season and an awesome plan to get there! I think you can shatter your goals if you stick to your plan. I love that you also included winning one of those tournaments – you got this! Looking forward to hearing how it goes.



  3. Jim
    I had a discussion with the guy working with me as I try to improve and the topic of handicap came up. He said scoring a zero handicap at Southampton is like being a 4 handicap at Dye Valley. What he was implying was that even though the handicap system attempts to create equity at every course in the world, there are still harder courses and easier courses. Maybe playing harder or at least different courses will help develop your skill as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Linley

      The handicap system is different throughout the world. In theory, if the courses are rated properly, your score will change from course to course. However, your handicap index should remain constant. This is an ongoing debate for sure.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I agree that the system is meant to create equivalency throughout the world – but I can tell you that playing on Bermuda grass is different than Bent grass and it affects my scores. But for those who grew up on Bermuda grass they see nothing especially difficult with Bermuda. So types of courses and conditions and grasses can affect ones ability despite their handicap.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Jim, good solid approach. Two strokes off your index looks like an ambitious but reasonable objective. From your list, GIR improvement to 10 and putts to <30 appear to be the keys. How close to those numbers were you in 2016?

    Good luck and go get 'em!


    Liked by 1 person

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