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Golf Blueprint Research Division 

Welcome to the GBRD, a home for research, findings and thoughts from Doc Darras. 

2024 Golf Goals

It's New Years day, 2024 and this is the time many people write down their goals for the next season. What are your 2024 golf goals? How can you create good goals that will produce tangible results?

The first step is to understand the difference between process and outcome goals. Outcome goals are simple, "I want to qualify for my state amateur." Or, "I want to go from a 10 to a 7 handicap this season." You either do, or don't accomplish those goals. These goals are binary and at the end of this year you can look back and say I did, or didn't accomplish them.

Outcome goals are huge, BUT, they need to be created with clarity in mind. Some scholars say you should set reachable and "safe" goals in order to build confidence. Some researchers say you should have huge goals and "shoot for the stars." I take a blend of these theories and recommend our Golf Blueprint tour pros (and amateurs) to create a tiered goal system.

  1. Outcome goals you SHOULD accomplish if you do the things you need to do. For a Golf Blueprint tour pro this might be "finish top 20 on LIV" or "Win on the DP World Tour."

  2. Outcome goals you'd LIKE to accomplish. "Finish top 8 on LIV." Win 2 times and qualify for the Rolex series on DP World Tour."

  3. Outcome goals that are a DREAM accomplishment. "Win the order of merit on LIV." "Win the order of merit on DP World Tour."

When I sit with tour players and discuss their outcome goals, it is not my job to tell them what they "should, like and dream" to accomplish. Professionals at the highest levels of golf are realistic and understand both their skill levels and what they have accomplished previously...

Amateurs on the other hand typically need a bit of guidance as to what a "good" goal might look like. If you are a dedicated father, working a job 50 hours a week and want to qualify for the state amateur, you will have to sacrifice some areas of your life to accomplish this outcome goal.

If you are the same working dad who says he wants to win on the PGA Tour, but never played professional golf, it would be time for me to step in and pump the breaks! It doesn't matter what your outcome goals are, as they are personal and dependent for all players individually. What is the greatest outcome for one player (say Monday qualifying for a PGA Tour event) might be just another tour stop for a seasoned veteran.

I had the privilege of working with one of the best players in the world and listening to his goals when he said, "I want to win the Masters." This is a great segway for the conversation into process goals because the Masters is the one tournament that amateurs and professionals have a clear pathway to entry.

If I was sitting with the working dad who said, "I want to win the Masters", I would likely have him adjust his goal to playing in the Masters, but it is still a tangible target, but how? For the working dad, he would have to first qualify for the Mid Am (for a player of his caliber, this would be a great "should" goal!) Next he would have to dominate the Mid Am and qualify (like too goal) and finally his dream would be to compete in the Masters, not just play (his dream goal!)

For the tour pro who wanted to win the masters, we ask the same series of questions. What do you need to do to qualify? For this player they were already exempt, but what about someone who wasn't? They would need to win a large tournament that guarantees entry or be top 50 in the world at the end of the year. Both of those steps are wonderful "intermediary" goals on the road to their dream goal, winning the Master's.

Next we ask, but how? One of the great myths of professional golf is that the players practice 8 hours a day, 7 days a week. Every few months a "day in the life" of a pro golfer pops up on social media and it is laughable. 3 hours of putting from 6-9 am, 2 hour leg work-out from 9:30-11:30. 11 minute lunch, 4 hours of ball striking and the nonsense goes on and on. Professional golfers are people too, they have lives, wives, children and likely enjoy time off from working just as much as you do too.

Structuring the best players in the world process goals are the same as you!

1. Understand your time. How much time can you devote to practice and playing. Note- they are two very different things.

2. What barriers to accomplishing your goals are in place now? Why haven't you done it already? This can suck and requires the ability to be introspective and vulnerable with yourself and your reality.

3. Designing a plan of actionable success.

Once you have those three things, you can design a plan for 2024. You have your 3 levels of goals, you have been introspective and realistic with yourself and you are ready to do the work to accomplish your dreams. It is impossible to accomplish your goals alone. If you don't have a team, work on creating one. Surround yourself with people who are on a similar mission, ideally a little bit ahead of you on their journey. Ask them, be open to their words but also understand their journey is not yours.

No matter your goals and dreams, they are yours alone. You don't need to tell anyone, post it on social media or look for encouragement from others. I keep mine in my notes folder on my phone and every time I accomplish one, I check it off. Small wins create big momentum and that is my goal.

Here is an all-time video from NAVY SEAL Admiral McRaven for a little pump-me-up to get started. Go get it. Crush it.



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