Playing Standards for 2010

Every year I set goals for the coming year, and organize my winter practice based on how much work I need to do to be ready to attain them when the new season starts.

The goals are based on the number of holes green-high in regulation, percentage of par saves from greenside (<5 yards), and percentage of par saves from beyond greenside (5-20 yards). Green-high in regulation is a concession to my recreational golf swing. It’s not good enough to let me hit a lot of greens--the pros can worry about greens in regulation. I measure instead how many times I can at least be chipping for par. My goal for 2010 is 16 or more. There are two par save stats because within these two distances you would be using a different stroke, and you should monitor how well you do with each one. My goals for 2010 are 80% and 50%. Putting index is a thing I came up with. It’s the combined length of all putts divided by the length of all non-first putts. For example, if on three holes you had putts of 23 and 2 feet, 8 feet, and 47, 6, and 1 foot, the total length of all putts would be 87 feet. The total length of non-first putts would be 9 feet (2+6+1). You putting index would be 87 divided by 9, or 9.67. My 2010 goal is to be over 10.0. Mental errors are especially important to keep track of. A mental error is an occasion when your mind was thinking about the result during a shot rather than feeling the process, forgetting a pre-swing fundamental, or two, making bad choices about what shot to hit or what club to hit it with, and so forth. I would bet you could identify at least four strokes you lose every time out because your mind let you down. Mental errors are more difficult to quantify, but if you examine a round objectively, My goal in 2010 is to have none. Leave some comments about what your standards are. We’d all be interested to read them.

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