My Mission Statement
To lower my scores by developing my short game. In particular, my wedges from 40 yards in, allowing me "to get up and down" (from off the green and into the hole) more than 50% of the time (PGA Tour Average is 58% while higher handicap players are around 10%). Also, to create peace on Earth and make a million dollars.
I'm not saying you should have your 2017 Mission Statement glazed on a plaque and hung on the wall, but having a clear direction for your golf game this year will lead to dramatic improvement if you stick to it. Let's take the 7 steps to business mission statements and apply them to golf.
- It determines your direction. "It's your direction, not your intention, that determines your destination" - Andy Stanley (Christian Author and Business Motivator). It is the "North Star" of your year – it will help guide practice, playing, and equipment buying strategies.
- It focuses your future. This is the "vision" you have for yourself as you determine where you want to be in the future. For us, this future is by year end. You may stretch it out a few years if you have great aspirations, and 2017 is just a first step.
- It is your compass. It provides boundaries you need in order to stay on the path to your preferred future – one with fewer strokes.
- It forms a basis for alignment. By having a clear statement, others (such as friends, spouse, swing coach, etc.) may be aware of your goals and can help assist you more. This is an efficient method to get from one point to another in the shortest amount of time. As your instructor, knowing you have a clear path helps me be a better instructor. Why look at the swing if you lose all your strokes from putting?
- It welcomes helpful change. Change is difficult because you feel less in control when it takes place. However, with a clear mission statement, you will see the value of change and how it helps accomplish your goals. Many times, I have heard "I want you to work with my swing". I am okay with this statement as long as the one thing that prevents you from hitting the ball in the general direction of the flag is your swing. Can I take an "over the top” swing and teach you how to hit it straight? You bet I can – straight left! This is great if your goal is "to hit it straight, even if it is straight into the trees.” If you want to hit it straight down the middle, change in the swing is required.
- It shapes strategy. Create the most effective strategy for accomplishing your goals. How are you going to improve? It is not part of the mission statement, but you have to come up with strategies to get where you are going. Put in a plan, and put in the time.
- It facilitates evaluation and improvement. How are you going to determine success? My mission statement included a percentage which is specific and measurable. If, at the end of the year, I am only getting up and down 35% of the time, then I fell short of my goal by 15%. Time to revaluate my strategy.
I know I'm a golf professional, but my short game prevents me from playing anything like a professional golfer. If I want to turn in respectable scores and consistently score par or better, I have to be clear about how to get there. Otherwise, I can't complain when I arrived at a destination that was not exactly my vision.