For my day job, I work with groups and organizations helping to develop strategic plans for the short-term and long-term. During this process, we flesh out things like mission and vision statements, key strategic objectives and detailed action plans to move the needle toward success. Sounds fun, right? Right? (OK, thanks.)
Although you may not have ever thought about it before, the game of golf also includes elements of the strategic planning process. For instance, the mission is defined as what we get up in the morning to do every day. My mission statement: one word — fun. Golf should always be about how we enjoy the game. If you’re the guy or gal who throws clubs and continues to use expletives after every shot, consider other activities such as reading. At home. Alone.
The vision is the long-range goal. It’s where we want to be in three to five years and should be a stretch goal. For me, the vision is simple: remain healthy enough to play the game on a regular basis while being competitive. As we age, doing what we can to be sure all body parts continue to function becomes the goal.
I guess you could say that about most things in life, but for a sport that requires full range of motion, good health is a must. So is stretching daily and doing some sort of cardio work — and I’m not referring to 12-ounce curls.
Now we get to those few key strategic objectives. A handful of 30,0000-foot level goals that, if accomplished, will allow fur success while playing golf. Here are a few of mine:
When in trouble, get out of trouble. When the ball goes into a hazard or ends up behind a tree, just focus on safely getting out in one shot and not risk turning the hole into a triple bogey or worse. Tip: Avoid saying, “Hold my beer and watch this.”
No three-putts. Probably the No. 1 contributing factor to high scores. On your next outing, keep track of the number of three-putts, then set a goal of cutting that number in half (or even by one).
Avoid the chili-dip. It’s that simple wedge shot when you are within 10 yards of the green that we all have flubbed. Maddening, right? Practice and focus seem to be the best solution, but I’m not the best example to follow.
Get off the tee safely. We’ve all been on the first tee while a gallery is present. This can test your nerves, but taking a deep breath an relying on muscle memory usually leads to success. When it doesn’t, use your breakfast ball (mulligan).
So there you have a brief overview of the basic strategies of golf according to Dan. Overthinking a simple game, you say? To much clutter to fit inside your golf bag? Well, you’re probably right. So maybe the alternative strategy still remains relevant: Hit the ball, find the ball, repeat.
See you on the first tee.....