Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan

by Derek Hooper

I never met a golfer who doesn’t want to play better. But I met many golfers who don’t know what they need to do to play better. If you want to get anywhere in life, whether it be to drive from your home to New York City or take your lowest score from 94 to 89, you will need a plan. As the new golf season dawns, there is no better time to devise your golf plan to guide you to lower scores this golfing season.

Your first step is to take stock of your golf game. What would you like to achieve with your golf this season? Would you like to consistently break 100, 90, 80 or par? What areas of your game would need to improve for you to achieve this goal? What were the strengths and weaknesses of your game last season? Do you need to be more accurate or hit the ball longer? Is the problem technical or do you not have the strength and flexibility to achieve your ball striking goals?

Once you answer these questions, your next step is to design your plan or roadmap as to how you will achieve these goals. Your plan should include how often you will work on your game, and specifically how much time you will spend on each area from putting through to driving and playing on the course. The time you have to commit to your improvement must be balanced so as not to neglect any area but still allow maximum focus on the areas that need the most attention. You will also need to decide what you will do within the time you have committed. Simply standing on a driving range and pounding balls will not guarantee improvement. Your practice needs to be structured and disciplined with drills and time set aside to check your progress.

All of these things you can do on your own, but the process will be a lot more fun and your progress more efficient if you find someone to help you work through your improvement program. The best person to do this with is your local PGA Professional. Find someone who is willing to take the time to work through the above process with you, where both of you have input into the design of the program. Meeting with your Professional regularly will also help to speed up your improvement, as they will not let you wander far from the plan you have in place. You can take a lesson as often or as little as you like, but getting some professional help will be worth it in the long term.

So don’t let this season end the same as the last with another mediocre season of golf shots with occasional flashes of brilliance. Make the commitment to playing the best golf of your life this season and find out how good you really can play.

Derek Hooper is the Director of Instruction at Lake of Isles Golf Academy. Derek has a college degree in teaching and over 14 years experience conducting lesson programs in Australia, Japan and Taiwan. Before moving to the United States, Derek was the Director of Instruction at the David Duval Golf Academy in Miyazaki, Japan. Derek can be contacted at 888.475.3746 orĀ