When reviewing my 2017 year in numbers, I decided that it would also be beneficial to set myself some goals and targets for 2018.

The goals that I set were optimistic (perhaps overly so since I rarely practice and mainly just play..!), but I felt that I had to make them challenging, hoping that it would spur me on to improve.

I’ve reach a point in my season where I won’t be playing for a few weeks, so thought it would be a good chance to sit down and assess where I am in terms of my goals, and maybe start to think about where I need to put a little more work in (and maybe do a bit of targeted practising!)

All of the information below in red is the update as of 13/05/2018.


How many more courses in Sussex can I tick off?

One of the main purposes of this blog is to get out and try and play as many of the courses in Sussex as I can! I felt that playing 30 rounds across 20 courses last year was a good effort, and I’m hoping if I can squeeze another 10 rounds in this year I’ll hopefully play around 25 or so courses.

  • Rounds played: 30  ⇒ 40+
    • 9. I’ve made a good start here this year, where I am already up 7 rounds on last year.
  • Courses played: 20 ⇒ 25
    • 8. (Seaford Head Golf Club, Dyke Golf Club, Pyecombe Golf Club, Rusper Golf Club, West Hove Golf Club, Willingdon Golf Club, Rookwood Golf Club, Lewes Golf Club). 

The big one- Handicap

So I think that this one is going to be a tough ask given my lack of practice time, and playing different courses week in, week out. But hey, gotta aim high!

  • Handicap: 13.2 ⇒ 10
    • 12.7. Handicap has come down, largely due to my most recent round (+10), which knocked me down 0.9 after it had crept up at the start of the year.

Fairways and Greens

I think that these could well go hand in hand for me, and if I can manage to get the ball in play off the tee a little more, hopefully the greens should follow! Again, 45% might be optimistic, but lets work towards it.

  • GIR %: 30.93% ⇒ 45%
    • 32.10% A slight increase so far on last year, but plenty of work left to do in order to reach my goal. As you would expect, the above numbers significantly improve when I find the fairway, with last years number being 42.54% GIR per FIR, and this year 38.24% GIR per FIR… which makes the next stat all the more important…!
  • FIR %: 32.37 ⇒ 45%
    • 27.42% Poor start to the year off the tee. I’ve had rounds where I’ve been striking the ball well, and missing the fairways has sometimes been a little unlucky, but this is definitely one area I need to improve, not only to hit my goal, but also to score better. 

Scoring Averages

Minor improvements across the board needed here, and I am targeting most improvement on the par 5s. Instead of always pulling the big stick, I need to learn to sometimes treat them as clear 3 shot holes, and focus on keeping the ball in play!

  • Scoring Average Par 3: 3.62 ⇒ 3.5
    • 3.61 Consistent with last year. Continues to be one of the stronger points of my game. On Par 3s this year I average over 47% GIR!
  • Scoring Average Par 4: 4.99 ⇒ 4.75
    • 5.16 This is definitely going in the wrong direction, mainly due to my GIR being down below 25% here. Having to scramble on nearly every hole is tough!
  • Scoring Average Par 5: 5.91 ⇒ 5.5
    • 5.97 Comparable (if not slightly worse) than last year. Par 5s for me are about the second shot, which is useful having only found 17% of fairways on par 5s this year. I need to work on getting the first two strokes solid and in play, and then we can start to think about scoring.
  • Scoring Average: 86.9 ⇒ 84
    • 88.9 I guess I expect my scoring to be a little higher in Winter, with less carry, less roll, less smooth greens and having had a few months off, it takes a while to get back into the swing of things. Lets see where we are at after the next 10 rounds!

Short Game

An area that I feel needs work, and is always the first area of my game to go when i don’t play regularly. If I can hit more greens, I think it will be difficult to expect my Putts per Round to come down as in theory, proximity to the hole is likely to be greater, so I think targeting minor improvements, hopefully holing more birdie putts than 3 putts, and keeping the 3 putts to less than 1 per round on average would be a big step!

  • Putts per Round: 32.1 ⇒ 32
    • 33 An area highlighted by my lovely lady / caddie / scorer / photographer as one of my weaknesses whenever I am lucky enough to have her join me out on the course. I’ve taken appropriate steps and purchased a PuttOut training aid, so hopefully this number will start to head downwards!
  • Putts per GIR: 2.01 ⇒ 1.9
    • 2 As long as this number stays below two, I am making more birdies than bogies after hitting the GIR, which is good enough for me!
  • Putts per Missed GIR: 1.68 ⇒ 1.6
    • 1.75 Scrambling could be a little better. My chipping is often one of the weaker parts of my game, not getting the approach close enough. Something to work on!
  • 3 Putt %: 7.59% ⇒ 5.55%
    • 9.88% I need to change my mindset on putting at times, and to know when to try to hole the putt, and know when to lag it up for an easy two putt. Mid handicap golfing is all about damage limitation I find, and three putts should (and need to) be avoidable!


How are you getting on with your 2018 goals?

2 thoughts on “2018 Goals Update 13/05/2018

  1. Thanks for sharing your update – good time to reflect (hard to believe we’re already in May!) My goals for this year are:
    Get into single figures handicap
    Break 80 for the first time
    Beat my best round of 10 over par (shot when I was 19 yrs old)
    Focus 80% of practice on improving my short game.
    4 birdies in a round
    2 eagles in a round
    No double bogies in a round
    10 pars in a round

    ……all still work in progress except I am practicing the short game 80% of the time and managed 3 birdies in 9 holes the other day which was promising. I share my story over at http://www.seniorgolfersclubhouse.com


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