Why you should set yourself long and short term goals

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Give yourself something to aim for by setting short and long-term targets

Why not make a change for the better right now by writing down 10 goals for the season ahead?

Giving yourself something to focus on - whether it's more of an outcome goal like winning a medal at your club or more of a processing goal such as aiming to practice your putting once a week - will help you practice more effectively.

Whether you want to play a full-round without three putting or hit 15/18 greens in regulation, you might be better setting yourself a goal of practicing putting for half an hour every week or frequently testing yourself with drills such as aiming to make 30 six-feet putts in a row.

To help get you started, we asked TG Top 50 coach Steve Astle to come up with a list of outcome and performance goals which are both achievable and realistic for the average golfer.

Just adapt it accordingly to your game - and write it down!

Note: If you choose to set your own goals, remember to keep them SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Recorded and Time Specific.

1. Learn your yardages
Use a shot tracker like Shot Scope or Arcoss (or get on a launch monitor) and work your way through the bag, so you know exactly how far you hit each club with full, three-quarter and half shots.

2. Book an on-course lesson based on strategy
We've lost count how many European Tour stars have told us that the biggest mistake amateurs make is related to poor club selection.

3. Hole 10 three-footers in a row
Colin Montgomerie used to practise his pressure putting by setting himself a target of holing out 100 times in a row from two feet. If he missed one, the penalty would be starting all over again.

4. Make three birdies in 18 holes

5. Finish a round with no three-putts

6. Play a full round with the same ball
Instead of trying to pull off that miracle shot from the trees, consider playing safe to minimise the risk and keep your score intact.

7. Get down in three inside 75 yards every time during one round
If your club has a short-game area, start using it. The biggest difference between high and low handicappers is the ability to get up and down more often.

8. Break your next scoring milestone
If you haven't broken 70, 80, or 90, now is the time to challenge yourself to do it. Write it down!

9. Birdie every hole on your home course in 12 months
This will help to give you something to play for every round, regardless of what your score is on that day.

10. Play in an open competition