Every goal start with a single step.
To achieve your Putting Performance Goals you must lay down in detail the route to achieve it.
Every professional golfer begins each new season with a set of goals for the year’s performance. To do otherwise would be to set out on a journey without a firm destination in mind.
They tend to divide their goals into technical performance, mental performance, physical performance, and course management.
To the weekend golfer goal setting has a lesser importance, and rightly so for golf is a recreational activity and not your job.
The only time you need to be bothered with goal setting for improving your putting is when your frustration has reached a level that you are now determined to do something about it.
Otherwise the system of handicapping takes care of your diminishing ability.
Essentially it is a summation on how to dedicate yourself single-mindedly to a cause. Years before Chinese philosophers noted that the road to achievement begins with a single step.
In simple terms, it all boils down to what Steve Bann, a world-rated Australian golf coach, calls the Improvement Cycle:
Each of your goals should cover one of the building-blocks that leads to good putting – setup, aiming, stroke, and the other performance skills described in the web site.
The idea is to do 12 improvement cycles in a year so you build your improvement in each specific skill area one small step at a time.
For example, you may have separate goals for:
A word of warning is in order. Goal setting can be a bit like New Year resolutions. They are made with good intent, but are exceedingly difficult to keep and very soon they fall into neglect.
My advice would be to work on one thing at a time and make steady progress until you reach your goal. Then move to the next goal.
Keeping your Putting Performance Goals in view acts as a constant reminder. Michael Anthony in his The Mental Keys recommends that you write down your goals on index cards and review then daily.
By committing your intentions to paper you improve your chances that you will stick to your plan.
Your overall goal may be to reduce your handicap by five shots in 12 months. To achieve this you should have a number of performance or progress goals:
Good putting is a reflection on how well you do a number of things. It is more than just putting a pure stroke on the ball:
Goal setting is not for the faint-hearted. It takes motivation and dedication to stick to your task. Otherwise it is an exercise in day-dreaming.
Nobody putts well simply out of a desire to putt well:
Only you can decide how badly you want something.