When reviewing my 2017 year in numbers, I decided that it would also be beneficial to set myself some goals and targets for 2018. I reviewed my progress vs these goals in May (which can be found here).

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 had every intention of practising significantly more this year, but this hasn’t gone as planned despite investing in some alignment sticks! And when I say rarely practice, I can confirm that I have been to the range once this year, but I have also invested in a PuttOut ( training aid, which I do try to spend some time with each week!

All of the information below in blue is the update as of 02/09/2018.

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+
    • 30 – already equalled last years number, so anything from here on is a bonus!
  • Courses played: 20 ⇒ 25
    • 24 – 19 in Sussex, 1 in Surrey, 1 in Oxfordshire, and 3 in the United States!

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
    • 11- reached my lowest point after my last round of 78 (+7) at Pyecombe Golf Club

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%
    • 33.33% A slight increase so far on last year, and increased a little since my last update in May, but I’m starting to think my goal was a little more optimistic than I thought! As before, the above numbers significantly improve when I find the fairway, with last years number being 42.54% GIR per FIR, and this year 41.35% GIR per FIR… which just goes to show I need to hit more fairways
  • FIR %: 32.37 ⇒ 45%
    • 32.05% Poor start to the year off the tee with my review in May being 27.42% . I’ve started to consider strategy a lot more off the tee, and my driver rarely comes out of the bag right now!

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
    • 3.58 Marginally improved from last year. Continues to be one of the stronger points of my game. On Par 3s this year I average 44.8% GIR!
  • Scoring Average Par 4: 4.99 ⇒ 4.75
    • 5.00 After some struggles early season, this has started to return to the levels I set in 2018. 
  • Scoring Average Par 5: 5.91 ⇒ 5.5
    • 5.83 Slight improvement so far on last year, which I am mostly putting down to better course management, and playing some par 5s as genuine three shotters and focusing on getting the ball in play off the tee.
  • Scoring Average: 86.9 ⇒ 84
    • 86.8 near identical to last year after 30 rounds, but I feel that my form is on the up at the minute, which I hope to carry into my next few 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
    • 32.23. An area highlighted by my lovely lady / caddie / scorer / photographer as one of my weaknesses back in May when I was averaging 33 putts per round. At which point I purchased a PuttOut, and this seemed to have a slight effect! Since I changed putter, this number is down at 30.92 – so possibly money well spent so far as this is below my target!
  • Putts per GIR: 2.01 ⇒ 1.9
    • Still at bang on 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! Down to 1.96 with the new putter, converting over 17% of birdie chances, as opposed to 13% with the old putter in 2018.
  • Putts per Missed GIR: 1.68 ⇒ 1.6
    • 1.69 – Very similar to last year! 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! 1.59 (meeting my goal) since changing to my new flatstick!
  • 3 Putt %: 7.59% ⇒ 5.55%
    • 9.07% – Down by 0.8% since my May review, but still a significant increase from last year. In the 12 rounds since reverting back to a short putter (34″), this number sits at 6.94%, so the change has definitely helped me head in the right direction!

How are you getting on with your 2018 goals?

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