My goal for this coming year is to be sub 100, nothing to with golf scoring more to do with kgs; I got close this year but just missed the target due to some poorly timed parties or holidays, well you’re only 50 years old once, aren’t you?

However, if you have a mind to set a goal regarding your game there is a simple way to do this - make it real in your mind by saying this is what you want to achieve. It could be anything, from shooting the lowest score you have ever shot, breaking 100, 90, 80 or even 70, to getting your handicap to the lowest it has ever been. Once you have the finishing point, you have a starting point.

Now the next stage is to find out what you are doing to shoot the scores you are shooting and work out what needs to change. This normally requires the input of a professional, somebody experienced in the process, not a well wisher who has a desire to see you improve but no experience in the improvement area.

It can be as simple as the following story; I was approached by a solid player this summer who had hit a ceiling regarding his development. He had been playing off a three handicap for the last three years and even though he believed he had been practicing as much as before, the progression had halted and he was being left behind. He was around eighteen years old which meant that he should be being considered for county squads, national tournaments etc. So I asked what his statistics were and where the weaker parts of his game were. He couldn’t answer, so I suggested that he may be practicing the areas he enjoys the most and creating a blind spot for the areas he doesn’t.

All he needed to do was allocate some time and resources in the direction of finding where he was weak, finding a specialist in that area to help him improve and then spending time to improve his faults. It’s that simple. Dream of change, create an environment where the change can happen and then put in the time to create the change.

There is another story which may bring a smile to your face, it happened this year and I use it to illustrate that there potentially is room for improvement or perhaps a player’s perspective isn’t always the one which should be relied upon. I was at an 80th birthday party in March where I was sat one seat down from a passionate golfer who was very happy to tell me that golf lessons in his mind had never really helped him improve, and as for short game lessons they really are a waste of money as you can’t teach feel. After a good few minutes of very opinionated anti golf lessons discussion (from him) I enquired as to his handicap, he proudly answered 28. Definitely room for improvement but only if the player feels he needs or wants it.

So, if there is a desire to improve, you feel as if your potential hasn’t been truly tapped then we may have something for you in the form of an intense bootcamp. We run one a month. They consist of 16 hours coaching over four days where we go into real detail and change habits. The next one starts on 20th January and will cost €195 + a nine hole green fee, at Vila Sol Golf Course. They are my favourite weeks of coaching as I get to see exactly what the player’s habits look like and can really implement big changes in a short space of time. When would a better time be for change, to get you shooting the lowest score you have ever achieved, 2020 would really be off to a good start!

Happy New Year!