Setting my golf goals for the new season
So, it’s that time when we set our golf goals for the new season, and as you’ll know, mine are pretty clear. But, it is a good time to take stock, and figure out a solid plan of attack, so that come the start of the season, I’m 100% ready to go and chase down my challenge.
Ryan from JWhitaker Golf has been continually assessing my game over the past couple of months after our initial sessions. He’s watched me go through a series of tests on the TrackMan, carefully gathering information like a wacky scientist. We’ve also talked a lot about the golf I’ve played over the past couple of months, as well as analysing my scores on the Golfshake Score Tracker that I add after my rounds.
But, this I just love. The level of detail he’s going into whilst formulating the plan to get to the somewhat tricky goal of a category 1 handicap is awesome. Quickly, he identified my weaknesses, and after running out of paper to write them all down, he whittled the list down to just a few areas of focus! Here were his points:
Iron play is generally solid
Driver can be erratic
Pitching / Chipping weak, particularly from 80 yards in
So, I think the best summary for the current shape of my golf game would be ‘average’!
Once I came to terms with the above statement (!), we then started to put together an in depth periodisation plan, which includes practice sessions, competitions I’m going to be playing in as well as physical training. Yup, I need to get this body moving too! I am just waiting for golf club fixtures to be released so that we can get all the important club competitions in the diary. Once we have all the info, we’ll be using a plan like this (feel free to email me here if you want a copy).
We’ll also be performing regular TrackMan combine tests, which gets the player to hit 60 shots to different targets and will give them an overall score at the end as well as show which distances the player is more proficient from. Basically, by doing them regularly you can easily track your improvements. I think there might be a little way to go until I get anywhere near to these kind of stats, that massively impressive stats of your average PGA Tour player!
Lots of people talk about Trackman these days, and the ability and cost to use them. Basically, I’m very lucky that JWhitaker Golf have such great facilities. But, more and more teaching facilities now have Trackman, Flightscope or some other measuring device to aid their lessons as most PGA Pro’s have all realised that this is how they can really improve your teaching. Plus, it doesn’t mean your lessons cost any more, it’s just part of their process of helping you improve. What’s not to like about that?!?!
A combination of the Trackman tests and the periodisation plan will give me all the information I need to prepare properly for competitions and structure my practice sessions, which I think has been my downfall in the past. I’ve been far too quick to just jump on the range and hit balls, with very little structure. That meant I had a pretty good ‘range game’, but a somewhat shonky one on the course! The ‘range game’ topic is an interesting subject too, and is something that lots of people suffer with. This year, not me!
Then, the only other bit I need to figure out is my on course focus, and not letting swing thoughts get the better of me during around. This will mean doing some work on my fairly average mental game, and my less than average pre shot routine!
Finally, one other thing that I think is really going to help this year… is this (my youngest loves the pictures in it too!).
Yup, like lots of other golf lovers, I got Ian Poulter’s book for Christmas off my boys (well, my wife!), and it has been a bit of a revelation. I’d always read bits about his early golf career and him ‘selling snickers in the pro shop’ etc. However, its so much more than that. When I read the book, I found myself really inspired… almost with a Poulter-esque ‘COME ON!’. If you’ve read it too, you’ll know what I mean. The reason he’s where he is, is not just down to ability. In fact, he’s the first to admit he wasn’t the most naturally gifted of golfers. It’s down to damn hard work and HUGE self belief. I’ll be trying have a slice of that too this year.
So, there really are no excuses now. I need to stop talking and get doing! Its time to focus on my golf goals for the new season and getting myself 100% ready for that first competition of 2015.
Now we just need the weather to start playing fair!