Many of our forum members have one thing on their minds this year, and that's lowering their handicap...
What's Your Golf Goal For 2021?
We hear plenty about how the pros like to set goals.
Some will be quite open about their targets while others will tuck things away in an envelope and keep it to themselves.
So we asked our forum members what the club golfer is aiming to achieve now that we’re all finally back at it playing again.
And there were a variety of responses with our handicaps on most of our minds...
What's Your Golf Goal For 2021?
Take the pin out at the earliest opportunity. murphthemog
Not to compound mistakes and to drop my handicap by two. Sats
Same as last year, break 80. Got close a few times last year but no cigar. SaintHacker
I would like to be at single-figure level, there is a way to go yet but this is the first year where I will be playing regularly and having regular lessons. On a more relaxed level, I’m looking forward to evening golf in the summer with the wife and child walking the course with me. SteveW86
Target 1. Not split these fancy-fitted trews bending down to get the ball out of the hole, these lockdown calories haven’t done anything good for the old kite!
Target 2. Lose lockdown calories.
Target 3. Enjoy as much fresh air, adventures and golf as possible. Boomy
To be able to make more straight putts. Not over big distances, I'm not delusional, just nice simple short putts. I miss too many and it is a waste. Lord Tyrion
Hopefully get into the English Seniors in June. It's balloted so I need to play well and try and have a HI no higher than 3.5. Although that figure is a guesstimate, closing date is May 17 with 288 spaces with around 360 registered so far. upsidedown
Shoot a PB. If not, break 80. The end. SatchFan
Mine was to try and get to single figures but I'm nowhere near and will be playing a lot less golf in a couple of months, my aim is now to break 80, which I feel is doable at my home course. Just. HeftyHacker
Get my HI below 18. Join a club as a full member, and play more regularly slowhand
To finish a round without thinking “Why did I do that?” more than once! chrisd
To have the bottle to put the first three cards in to get a handicap. I go to pieces when under pressure and hate committing to anything, least of all saying 'right, this one's going to count.’ Yorkhacker
Now that I've joined a proper golf club my first aim is simply to play as much as possible! Second is to break 80 – same as last year, but I didn't quite manage it, shooting 80 once and 81 a couple of times. And handicap wise, I'm off 15 index now, I would like to get down to 12 or 13 which I think would be a decent level for me. I've got 35 and 34 points last two times out, with awful short game and rubbish putting, so working on that is the obvious place to start. Lastly, convince my dad to join the club as well (nearly there I think), and play with him as much as I can so he reaches a decent level and enjoys it more. Orikoru
Buy new clubs; learn to love them; and get down to cat 1. Well the first two are mine for me - the last is my pro’s objective for me...he also thinks he can get me round in level par...I’d think he’s mistaking me for someone else - like a half decent player... An objective rather than a target for me is to be standing over the ball on certain holes with an iron in hand and not think about Lucy Locket. SwingsitlikeHogan
I seem to have lost my swing and have someone else’s! And he hasn’t been practising very much. Try get back in Cat1 if that still exists. I’ve seen a guy at mine and he had a sharpie line right up the middle of the clubface (wedge). I asked “What’s it for?” He said it helps him to stop the S… (shank). No idea how it works, not sure he did either, but it did. He never had one all the way around. clubchamp98
Play golf, score well, ask someone to tend the pin, get my swing speed back up to pre-illness levels. JamesR
Just had a lesson with the intention of hitting the fairway more often with my drives, if that happens my score will drop. TashyBoy
1. Play the Old Course with the missus - I've played it before, she hasn't - going to do it via the ballot.
2. Photograph a professional tournament - preferable the Women's Open at Carnoustie but the Dunhill Links will do - missed it badly last year.
3. Play lots of golf and enjoy it. davidy233
1. To play enough golf at my club to get the cost per round lower than a visitor's green fee (last couple of years have been strange, what with one thing and another).
2. To end the year with my HI lower than now.
3. To regain my the society tour trophy in the Algarve this autumn (or even just to be able to play golf in the Algarve this autumn). Beedee
The goal every year seems to be to get back to single figures. Having got there a number of years ago, and stayed there for some time, I started to believe my own hype a little too much, had a series of lessons, and it all unravelled big time. For years I was in the doldrums - hitting it badly, hating golf, and regularly scoring 20 strokes more than I had done previously. The last 18 months has seen another turnaround. I won two board comps last year, love the game again and am starting to hit the ball really well consistently. Covid got in the way of the single figures goal last year, but I’m back within touching distance and I think the WHS will help me get there. Or maybe I’ll just cut and paste this post in January ‘22...... Billysboots
Complete that golf achievements list by getting a hole-in-one and having a competitive round with 18 GIR. sweaty sock
In ascending order of difficulty:
1. Have a round without any triples.
2. Have a round without any 7s (or more!)
3. Break 80
I broke 90 for the first time last year, and managed to get as low as 85, so feel that 80 this year is a stretch but not entirely unrealistic. MrGrumtastic
At the moment I'll settle for a round when I don't make any bloody stupid mistakes......could be a long year. Imurg
Just one round where I play every sensible shot. Don't try to follow every mistake with a worldie to make up for it. Don't think I can thread the ball between those two trees. Don't feel imaginary pressure to rush the two-foot putts without checking them first. Don't concentrate so hard on trying to make a perfect swing that I forget to concentrate on watching the ball. Leave the driver and the 60° in the garage. Relax more and remember I'm playing golf for recreation, not for some idiotic dream of ever being ‘a golfer’.
Edit: that's me talking about myself, not responding to your post with unqualified advice. RichA
1. Retire - will achieve that this week.
2. Bed the new clubs in - six rounds in, starting to feel comfortable with yardages.
3. Play more golf - see 1. above
4. Finally, finally get to single figures (see 1. 2. and 3. above) Canfordhacker
Get to +2, club champs and win a few Open events. Build myself up for a big 2022. But most importantly enjoy the games with my dad while he's still in good health. Accept the bad rounds with a shrug too. 4LEX
Keep it realistic - less 3-putts and get down to 14 - the two are enmeshed. Italian outcast
Play, play and play and enjoy what that brings. Everything else is just noise. DRW
Mark has worked in golf for over 20 years having started off his journalistic life at the Press Association and BBC Sport before moving to Sky Sports where he became their golf editor on skysports.com. He then worked at National Club Golfer and Lady Golfer where he was the deputy editor and he has interviewed many of the leading names in the game, both male and female, ghosted columns for the likes of Robert Rock, Charley Hull and Dame Laura Davies, as well as playing the vast majority of our Top 100 GB&I courses. He loves links golf with a particular love of Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. He is now a freelance, also working for the PGA and Robert Rock. Loves tour golf, both men and women and he remains the long-standing owner of an horrific short game. He plays at Moortown with a handicap of 6.
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