“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry wasn’t necessarily talking about golf when he said this, but it is a concept that is applicable to anything we do in life.

What is your goal? To be the best golfer in the world? To get straight A’s and play on a college golf team? Whatever it is, it’s a great goal. But how are you going to get there? If you want to drop your scoring average below 73 by the end of your senior year of high school, are you just going to keep beating balls on the range or are you going to make a set of stepping stone goals to help you achieve that?

Making clear goals is a skill like any other, the more you practice it, the better you become. And having a clear set of goals meant to build up to your ultimate goal is one of the most overlooked necessities of the improvement process. Everyone has different goals and a unique path to achieving them, but it is important to understand the general concept before you get started.

Let’s use the 73 scoring average example I mentioned above as our base. Here is what a list of goals built with that in mind might look like. Keep in mind, greatness lies within the details.

Big Goal: Scoring Average Below 73 By the End of Senior Year

How will I get there?

  • Average 9 fairways per round
    • Develop a “go to” tee shot
    • Have one ball flight I can rely on
  • Average 13 greens in regulation per round
    • Know how far I hit my irons
    • Play to the fat side of the pins
    • Have less than 2 short-sides per round
  • Average under 30 putts per round
    • Make 100 3 footers in a row at the end of every practice
    • Practice 30-50 foot lag putts to inside 3 feet for an hour every day
    • Random putting practice 30 minutes per day
      • Greens reading
      • Pre shot routine
  • Improve my mental game
    • Work on controlling my emotions during practice
    • Practice deep breathing exercises

Many young athletes understand the idea of setting a goal, but they don’t build a plan to help them get there. The list above is a great set of goals to help the player reach his big goal of lowering his scoring average. The main goal is broken down into smaller goals that focus on each part of the game, and each of those smaller goals is broken down into a set of even smaller goals to be accomplished in practice. With a little bit of discipline and this plan, this player dramatically increases their chances of achieving their big goal.

Make sure when you are setting your goals on your Junior Golf Hub profile that you build a plan to reach them. It might even be a good idea to include some of those smaller goals in your profile, so that coaches can see you are really thinking about your journey and doing things the right way!

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry may not have been a golfer, but he understood how to plan for success. He led a life of adventure as a pioneering aviator, and was awarded numerous awards and laureates for his exceptional work in literature. This is likely because he had more than a wish, he had a goal and a plan. Take the time to sit down and make a plan of your own and you will be well on the way to your own goals!

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