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) and September (here).
Throughout the year, I have come to realise that the goals I set were perhaps overly optimistic due to the fact that I rarely practice and mainly play, but it is interesting to see my progress towards them regardless!
I had every intention of practicing significantly more this year, but this hasn’t gone as planned despite investing in some alignment sticks and a Swingyde! 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!
So lets see how I managed to get on!
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!
- Rounds played: 30 ⇒ 40+
- 39.5 – So close to my goal! But an increase from last year despite spending 6 weeks away in the United States with work this summer.
- Courses played: 20 ⇒ 25
- 30- 23 in Sussex, 1 in Surrey, 1 in Oxfordshire, 1 in Northamptonshire, 1 in Warwickshire, and 3 in the United States!
The big one- Handicap
So this was always going to tough given my lack of practice time and the fact that I tend to play different courses week in, week out…
- Handicap: 13.2 ⇒ 10
- 10.4 (Playing Handicap 10) – I reached my my goal following two consecutive reductions of 0.6 after rounds of +7 in each of my last two 18 hole rounds of the year!
Fairways and Greens
I expected that these would go hand in hand for me, and that If I had managed to get the ball in play off the tee a little more, I would hit more greens! Again, 45% across the board looked to be overly optimistic, but minor improvements nevertheless.
- GIR %: 30.93% ⇒ 45%
- 33.04% A slight improvement on last year, but not quite the dramatic increase as hoped! I spent a lot of the year in what I call ‘protect’ mode, where ultimately I am just trying to stay out of trouble, hitting a lot of irons and hybrids off the tee, in order to limit misses, often leaving myself longer shots into the green.
- FIR %: 32.37 ⇒ 45%
- 34.21%. Drastic times called for drastic measures! Towards the end of the year I switched back to my old driver and have instantly regained much needed confidence off the tee. In my last 5 rounds, my FIR % has increased from 33.05% to 42.86%.
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
- 3.56 Marginally improved from last year, but didn’t quite hit the optimistic goal. Continues to be one of the stronger points of my game; on Par 3s this year I average 44.3% GIR!
- Scoring Average Par 4: 4.99 ⇒ 4.75
- 4.99 Managed to hold steady with last year in the end!
- Scoring Average Par 5: 5.91 ⇒ 5.5
- 5.82 Slight improvement on last year, which I am mostly putting down to better course management.
- Scoring Average: 86.9 ⇒ 84
- 86.76 near identical to last year again! Despite some of the low rounds (four in the seventies this year), there have been a couple of disastrous ones!
An area that I felt needed work, and is always the first area of my game to go when I don’t play regularly. It was also pointed out to me by my lovely lady / caddie / scorer / photographer as one of my weaknesses back in May when I was averaging 33 putts per round.
- Putts per Round: 32.1 ⇒ 32
- 31.64. Since I changed putter, this number is down at 30.38 from upwards of 33 before the switch – so possibly money well spent so far as this is below my target!
- Putts per GIR: 2.01 ⇒ 1.9
- 1.96 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 1.9 (my goal) with the new putter, converting over 22% of birdie chances, as opposed to 13% with the old putter in the first half of the year.
- Putts per Missed GIR: 1.68 ⇒ 1.6
- 1.69 – Not much has changed since last year or my September update. Scrambling needs to be a better. My chipping is often one of the weakest parts of my game, not getting the approach close enough. Something to work on! 1.64 since changing to my new flatstick.
- 3 Putt %: 7.59% ⇒ 5.55%
- 8.95% – Still a significant increase from last year due to some early season putting struggles.. Since reverting back to a short putter (34″), this number sits at 7.59%,vs 10.49% before, so the change has definitely helped me head in the right direction!
How did you get on against your 2018 goals? Let me know on Social Media or in the comments below!