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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Now is the Time to Evaluate Your Game and Prepare for Next Year

With only thirty days left in the month, 2011 is just around the corner!  There is absolutely no reason to wait until February to start thinking about how you will improve your game by next golf season.  Before you really know what to work on, I think it is smart to sit down and first evaluate your game from 2010.

I will provide you with a list of questions to help you begin your evaluation:

1.  How many rounds did you play this year?
2.  Do you know where the practice tee is?  Just kidding, how often did you practice?
3.  What did you practice the most?  Did you practice your weaknesses?
4.  Which club do you hit the best and worst?
5.  Have you been professionally fit for your clubs?
6.  What did your typical bad shot look like?
7.  Did you take any lessons this year?
8.  How often did you visualize your shots?
9.  How often did you stick with your pre-shot routine or do you have a routine?
10.  Did you obtain your golf goals this year?
11.  What clubs do you carry in your bag?
12.  Do you have a club in your bag you just can't hit?
13.  What was your lowest and highest score this year?
14.  Do you stretch or perform golf specific exercises?
15.  Did you try every tip you heard on The Golf Channel?  In one practice session?
16.  How many tournaments did you compete in this year?  Did you win any?

Now that you have answered these questions, you are ready to proceed.  By the way, if you came to me for instruction, these are just a few questions I would want answers to as well.  These answers help me lay out a game plan for your improvement.  The quickest way to improve is to identify your weaknesses and then set goals and objectives which are obtainable and sensible. 

Here is a sample of objectives everyone can start right away to improve your game:

1.  Exercise and/or stretch daily.  There are many great websites which provide golf specific exercises and stretches.  I would focus on the exercises designed to strengthen your core.  Walking is another great way to get outdoors and keep you fit as well.  Obviously you should get physician approval before starting any exercise program. 
2.  Go to the putting green daily.  Making putts is a habit that can be developed.
3.  Commit to a pre-shot routine for each shot you hit (even on the practice tee). 
4.  Stick with a swing or grip change.  It is so easy to go back to what was comfortable.
5.  Love every club in your bag.  There is no reason to carry a club which does not consistently perform.
Getting professionally fit for your clubs is the first step in eliminating variables in your game.
6.  Practice the short game more than the long game.

Again, this is just a sample of generic, obtainable and sensible objectives.  Whether you want to just have more fun on the course or you want to become more tournament tough for the upcoming year, your first step is to honestly evaluate the current state of your game and then design more personal objectives to match your desires. 

I have the experience to help you achieve your goals for 2011.  Call or email me to review your answers and organize an instruction program which will be beneficial to your long term improvement.

Garry Rippy, PGA  
512-306-5805
BartonCreek Golf Academy
ripone@pga.com

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