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Putting Performance

Every goal start with a single step.


To achieve your Putting Performance Goals you must lay down in detail the route to achieve it.

Plan for Success

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.

Improvement Cycle

In simple terms, it all boils down to what Steve Bann, a world-rated Australian golf coach, calls the Improvement Cycle:

  • You start by making an honest assessment of your current performance,
  • then you set a realistic goal of what you can achieve in a certain time frame.
  • Next you put in place certain activities to achieve that goal,
  • then at regular intervals you reassess your progress.

Building Blocks

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:

  • using a pre-putt routine.
  • improving your mental focus in respect of your self-talk.
  • getting closer with your distance putting.
  • making more putts within three feet and so on.

New Year Resolutions

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.

Putting Performance Goals

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:

  • these can be improving the percentage of times you up and down from off the green.
  • the number of times you hit the green in regulation at the par threes each round and so on.

Good Putting

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:

  • being unfit harms your putting as an elevated heart rate affects how still you can stay over the ball.
  • the better you are able to chip, the shorter will be the resulting putt.
  • the fewer times you mentally beat up on yourself, the more you maintain your focus.

Desire is Not Enough

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:

  • It takes a solid foundation of the mechanics.
  • It takes goal setting to lay down a plan of action for improvement. 
  • It takes time and effort to practise the activities that will lead bit by bit to the attainment of your goals.

Only you can decide how badly you want something.

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