The New Year

Rob Rashell
Director of Instruction
TPC Scottsdale
Scottsdale, AZ

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I remember working with my coach, Bill Meyer, right after I got my tour card this time of year in 2004. I jotted down some things I thought would be really great accomplishments for my first year on tour. Finish in the top 125 of the money list, win rookie of the year, and a million dollars in earnings. None of these seem like bad goals and I wouldn’t be surprised to see similar goals from other rookies, even today. Looking back, as I have many times, what a horrible way to approach the year. In the end, none of the goals I mentioned have anything to do with PLAYING golf.

If you’ve got the drive to put some work into your game as the New Year begins, I’d encourage you to take a step back and look at the big picture. Being a better golfer is going to be the result of a handful of things you’ll need to put in place, to do with some regularity.

Practice and playing arrangements need to be made in advance. You don’t have to go out and join Whisper Rock, a yearly pass at any range will do, in essence a flat fee for all the balls you can hit for a year. Make this as close to home or work as possible.

Find someone to get you going in the right direction. World class surgeons, professional athletes, singers, actors, they’ve all got coaches. Be specific, ask questions, get drills, make a plan.

Schedule your practice, block the time, and as crazy as this sounds, limit your time. Make the 45 minutes you spend practicing the most productive possible. Stick to your plan, do your drills, leave. Mission accomplished.

Lower handicaps and better scores don’t come from making a goal to lower your handicap, they come from making goals to do the work necessary to lower your handicap. Process goals. If you do A, B, and C, three days a week, 45 minutes a practice session, let’s see what happens to your handicap or scores at the end of the year.

Golf is a difficult game, there are no guarantees. When you do the work necessary the rewards can be very, very satisfying. Good luck and have a great year!