By Paul Myers

As 2016 begins to wind down, and the golf season draws to an end for many people around the world (in the northern hemisphere, at least), it is time to start thinking about what your game will look like in the new year. Do you have any specific goals for your game in 2017? It’s not to early to start planning ways to improve for next season – after all, making progress in golf takes time, so you want to get started as early as you can.

It is important to focus on the correct parts of your game as you look forward to setting new personal records during a new season. If you fail to practice the parts of your game that need the most attention, you are destined to repeat your performance from the past season. Use the tips below to sharpen your game and get ready to reach new heights on the course when 2017 rolls around.

Practice Your Weaknesses, Not Your Strengths

This is a point that seems like it shouldn’t need to be made. After all, it only stands to reason that you should practice the parts of the game that give you the most trouble. However, for some reason, many golfers spend the majority of their range time working on the things that they are already good at. It makes no sense, yet it happens time after time with countless players. If you truly want to improve, you need to break this habit as soon as possible. Work on the parts of the game that make you uncomfortable, and do just enough work on your strengths to maintain them moving forward.

Hit Plenty of Short Putts

It will come down to the basics when you are trying to lower your scores – and making your short putts is one of the most important ‘basics’ in the game. From five feet and in, you need to be rock solid if you are going to score well. Spend plenty of practice time working on this crucial part of the game in order to build up both your technique and your confidence. Making short putts is largely about mindset, so put yourself in a good frame of mind for next season by making tons of these putts during practice.

Reimagine Your Course Management Strategy

As an experienced golfer, you may find that you have fallen into patterns with regard to your course management strategy. Course management is extremely important in terms of the scores you can post, yet many players don’t even give it a second thought. During this off-season, think about the decisions you usually make on the course and how they might be improved. Do you hit too many drivers from the tee? Are you too aggressive on par fives? Think through the way you approach the game and tweak your methods as needed to arrive at better results.