As a follow up to my 2022 recap I decided to list my goals for the year and mark out whether I achieved them or not. Last year I made 2.5 out of seven. How would this year fair?
Goals for 2023
Essentially my goals for the year were exactly the same as the previous year.
- ✅ Have fun
- ❎ Practice
- ❎ Prepare properly for each round
- ✅ Play 75+ rounds
- ✅ Get my handicap down to 4
- ✅ Play well in the senior championship
- ❓ Manage my expectations
The number one focus for me is always to have fun. To realise how lucky I am to have the time, the health and the people around me to be able to play golf on a regular basis is never underestimated.
I did feel, as with last year, that I played too many scoring rounds. I surpassed my target rounds played. However, I tend to lose focus is I start badly (poor trait I know) and when there are members of our group that have high handicaps you can never get the shots back. I don’t mind not winning, but I hate losing. So focus switches to being grateful for the circumstances, enjoying nature and the company and trying to see if you can hit, at least, a few good shots.
Preparation and practice again fell by the wayside. I bough a shag bag over the previous winter, filled it with over 50 “decent” golf balls (I play yellow normally so all white found balls end up here) and never took it out of my locker. Will it be any different in 2024?
The handicap goal was achieved mostly due to two phenomenal rounds. I shot my then lowest score of 70 from the yellow tees. About 3 or 4 weeks later I shot my personal best of 67. This was from the forward tees, my playing handicap was +1 for the day, so a -5 was in fact a -4 on the day.
A more appropriate goal for 2024 for me will to keep my scoring average under 80. I did it this year, for the first time along with having more birdies and eagles than double bogeys and worse. This will be another goal to maintain that level.
I finally played pretty decently in the Senior Championships this year. The first day was a bit of a relative disaster so I had no chance of getting near the top spots, but I did gain a couple of shots on the field – probably for the first time in this competition.
On the second, and final, day, I gained 10 shots to the field. Jokingly saying that I was going to shoot a 66, I did birdie the first hole and played the first 9 in level par. Things broke down a bit on the second nine, but overall it was nice not to have an embarrassing weekend as most of the previous entries have been.
Competition is hard. It is different from playing with your buddies. But I can thank expectation management a bit for this. After reading author, Jon Sherman‘s book, mentioned previously here, I do believe I have gotten closer to playing calmer, less emotional golf. It is a learning process and I will be reading the book again to emphasise the key points from the book.
Would I give myself 1/1 on expectation management? Not quite, and I am not sure whether I will ever get there. But my acceptance levels are way better than they used to be. I can only stick to the process and try to keep these kind of thoughts going.
Overall a pretty successful, and very enjoyable, year on the golf course. I think I know my goals for 2024 – very similar to the previous years. What about you – what are your goals?