By Paul Myers

Now is a good time to take stock of your golf game and think about what you would like to improve in 2016. What did you do well this year? What went wrong? Did your handicap go up or down? Taking time to review the state of your game before starting a new year is a great way to make sure you are spending your practice time wisely in the months to come. Shooting lower scores isn’t a matter of luck – it is all about identifying your weaknesses, and then working hard to improve on them.

Work on Your Putting!

No matter what your game looked like in 2015, improving on your putting should be one of your top goals in 2016. Every player can benefit from getting better on the greens, even if you already consider that area to be a strength of your game. Putting is essential to shooting good scores, as all of the great ball striking in the world can’t help you get the ball in the hole. Commit to dedicating a significant portion of your practice time to putting in the year ahead and your game as a whole will be better for the effort.

Pick Out Three Weak Spots

While looking over your results from 2015, pick out three spots in your game that need to be improved on if you are going to reach your goals. These points should be very specific, such as improving your putting from 5-10 feet, or improving your ability to hit a fade with your driver off the tee. Even if the areas you pick out a relatively small, they could stand to greatly improve your game if you are able to take strides in the right direction. Golf is all about steady, consistent improvement, so starting 2016 with three weak spots in mind is a great way to get started. Once these points have been addressed, you can move on to pick out other areas that are ripe for practice.

Challenge Yourself

One of the best ways to help your game move forward is to play some difficult courses that challenge you to come up with great shots all day long. Pick out a couple of local courses that are more difficult than your normal home course and play them once or twice early in the season. Playing a difficult course or two may expose weaknesses in your game that you didn’t know where there. While these rounds might not leave you with a great score at the end of the day, they can go a long way toward helping you figure out how to get better.

As a golfer, you should always be striving to get better. Each shot that you hit is a chance to improve your skills, and every round that you play is a chance to improve on your best performance. With the right mindset and plenty of practice time, you may be able to make 2016 your best ever year on the course!