How To Achieve Your Golf Milestone

Are you the type of golfer that likes to achieve milestones? Generally, this means breaking 100, 90, or 80 on the scorecard. But, does breaking these challenging scores once really mean you have achieved your golf milestone. I realize that breaking through the wall opens a plethora of opportunities for our game, but amateur golfers get confused on what achieving a golf milestone really means. It is not about achieving the score, but sustaining it over the long haul.

To achieve any golf goal, there must be a plan or idea that amateurs must follow that is manageable, sustainable and achievable. Many novice players bite off way more than they can chew, get frustrated, and stop on the path to success. The process of improvement is relatively slow and should not be mistake as a ‘quick fix’ process.

I have written about this before. The following is the world according to The Grateful Golfer. It offers area of focus to achieve different milestones that worked for my game and I think will work for yours. They are divided by score and represent an 80% solution. Starting at the higher score to lower:

To Break 100

  1. Practice Putting
  2. Hit long clubs (driver and fairway woods) at 80% strength until you are making consistent contact.
  3. Start learning your distances of your clubs
  4. Always aim for the middle of the fairway.
  5. Always aim for the middle of the green. Forget pin hunting.

To Break 90

  1. Practice Putting
  2. Focus on middle irons and approach shots
  3. Know your distances for your clubs
  4. Introduce Course management.
  5. Always aim for the middle of the green. Forget pin hunting.

To Break 80

  1. Practice Putting
  2. Work on your wedges for all distances
  3. Start swinging all clubs at most control. This will vary between clubs
  4. Practice around the green (within 25 yards) including out of bunkers
  5. Work on course management
  6. Aim to the middle of the green side of the pin

To Break 75

  1. Practice Putting
  2. Refine your wedges for all distances
  3. Practice around the green including out of long grass and difficult lies
  4. Focus effort course management, when to press and when to play safe
  5. Aim for the pin if accessible; if not, safe area close to the pin

Each step progresses and builds on the skills developed in the one before it. Once you progress to consistently break 80 and below, it is important to focus your efforts on your weaknesses and maintain your strengths. The above process is not something that happens over night, but I found that consistently practicing in the areas of focus lowered my scores and allowed me to break and sustain the milestones I worked towards. I wish I could offer a quick fix process, but there really is none in golf.

If you have something that I happen to miss in the various areas of focus, please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you I need to add.

Lastly, I thought I would add a little thought from Gary Player!

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


4 thoughts on “How To Achieve Your Golf Milestone

  1. I would add that there is some mental prep that can be done to help us achieve and sustain our goals as well. Achieving and sustaining our goals can be helped along.

    For boxers, they send them out to fight less experienced or weaker boxers. They get practical experience winning that way. For us golfers, there are short courses and shorter tee boxes.

    Playing them gives us two things. First, playing shorter tee’s on our home course provides us with a new perspective on all of the holes. A fresh look that can be helpful in learning to manage the course better. And second, and this is important, it can help us learn how to deal with the pressure of playing better. That is a thing. And something most of us never consider or at least don’t give enough credit to.

    And it’s not just me that feels this way. I know in the last week or two I saw a college golfer on a youtube video telling us that his coach had sent his team out to do that before the season just to gain experience going low. It’s science. This game is just as much mental as physical and we need to flex all our muscles.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I’m not so sure just one round before playing a tournament is going to be enough to bring about a mental shift, but I doubt it can hurt. Just remember the goal. I made a mistake when I moved here. I chose to think of many of the par 4’s as just long par 3’s.

        That’s just fine when I’m standing on the tee box. I want the confidence of hitting them day after day to fill me so I can do it again. But once the hole is over, if I shot a 4 and not a 3, I need to celebrate the par rather than lamenting the arbitrary number I was looking for on the tee box. I did not lose to par. We still let the gains come where they may, but we always celebrate not losing to par.

        I may have been a missed green, flubbed chip and two putted or worse, I may have stuck it , wrapped the hole with the first putt and needed two more to get in, but it was par on the card and that’s not a loss and I shouldn’t have ever thought of it as one. I have to avoid bogies to go low, I don’t have to avoid pars I should be embracing them. I certainly don’t want to lament them even on holes that I find easy. I don’t need to be adding pressure. I need to be managing it. So it’s going to be about how you think when you try it.

        Oh, and btw, there is nothing that says you have to tee up from a tee box. I don’t know how they’ll suit you at your course but the red tee’s can be a challenge too on many courses. They’re shorter for sure, but often they’re tighter too. They can require different management choices that don’t really give us what we’re looking for here.

        So on a hole by hole basis, I would say that if a tee box doesn’t suit, tee up from wherever it does. I believe you said you carry in the 250 neighborhood. Set up 250 out on a few and get in some practice going for the pin with a driver and call that a par 4. It is on most courses though I know some have par 3’s that long now too. And you could just as easily play that distance as a par 3 and you wouldn’t suffer much more than you would any other long par 3. But that’s not what you want. You want to experience par or better in a train 18 holes long. You want practice being there and losing it and clawing it right back. Without having to claw too hard. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      • Kevin,

        You are now venturing into a total training program to improve our golf game. There are no set rules on how to achieve our milestones as you indicate. It definitely is a mental process as much as a physical one. Improving our golf game is a challenge and does take a great deal of effort and ingenuity to achieve the goals we set. Every golf journey is different and yet the same…..that is what makes golf great.

        Cheers Jim


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