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Life Skills

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The Four Guidelines for Setting Reachable Goals

Pursuing Goals is a Key Commitment at First Tee and an important aspect of being a Game Changer. Goals are a strategy that you can use in life, both on and off the course, to help you work towards achieving your dreams. Whether you are setting short-term goals or long-term goals, there is so much to be learned from the process of goal setting itself.

To set goals, you need to begin to think about what you want to accomplish and what it will take to reach that goal. For example, if you want to achieve Honor Roll and receive all As and Bs in school this year, what would that require you to do? You would need to do well on tests and assignments. How would you accomplish that? You might need to take good notes, turn in your work on time, and study for your tests.


The Four Guidelines for Setting a Reachable Goal are: 

  1. The goal is Positive (I want to achieve a passing score of 80% or higher vs. I don’t want to fail this test.)
  2. The goal is Important to You (The goal needs to be important to you, not to someone else. You should be able to explain why you want to achieve it and why it will make a difference to you.)
  3. The goal is Specific (You want to know exactly what you’re working toward.)
  4. The goal is Under your control (Your efforts will allow you to achieve this goal vs. something that is out of your control like becoming famous or winning the lottery.)

Goal setting is a strategy you will apply for the rest of your life. As you consider and begin to set your own personal goals, you’ll learn and grow from the process of goal setting and working toward those goals.


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Distance To Target

To play good golf, you need to know how far you want the ball to go. This doesn't just apply to hitting the green on your approach. You'll need to pick a target from the tee box, and for your following shots. Here are a few tips for knowing your distance to target:

  • Use the scorecard. Many scorecards have general distance markings for each hole.
  • Use GPS. You can buy GPS units for golf, or simply download an app on your phone. This is most helpful for seeing how far it is to a certain object, like the green or a bunker.
  • Use the course markings. Courses have colored markers for distances embedded in the ground or poles in the fairway. Sometimes they are on sprinkler heads as well. The most common colors are Blue (200yds), White (150yds), and Red (100yds).
  • Use a range finder. Laser range finders provide an exact distance to a certain target and are often the best tool to use if you want to figure out the distance quickly and accurately.

If you are in between markers you can quickly determine your distance by walking it off, with each large step accounting for one yard. Also, keeping a log book of how far you can hit each club is a great tool for playing better golf.