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Improve your game from your inbox – Goals

Improve your game from your inbox – Goals

Coen Welsh on the Psychology of Golf

Xander Schaufele won the 2017 PGA TOUR Championship, but our focus this week is on the runner-up of the 2017 TOUR Championship and the winner of the season-long FedExCup, Justin Thomas.

His second place gave him enough points to win the FedExCup and with the cup next to him he revealed his goals for the season to “The checklist in his iPhone’s Notes app showed that Thomas wanted to win at least one tournament this season, play in the final two groups of a major, win one of the four majors, qualify for the TOUR Championship and make his first Presidents Cup team. He did all of those.” (from

Tip of the week – Write down your goals.

Ashley Feinstein reports on a notable research project about goal-setting carried out in the Harvard MBA programme. The graduate students were asked about their goals and in particular if they have set clear, written goals for their futures. In addition, if they have specific plans to execute and transform the goals into reality.

Many such interventions have results that are insignificant. But the result of this study is fascinating. Ten years after doing the survey the researchers followed up on the students and found that of the 13% of the class who initially reported to have goals, but did not write them down, earned twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals.

If that’s not amazing enough, the really, really amazing part was that the 3% who had written goals were earning, on average 10 times as much as the other 97% of the class combined. (adapted from

Justin Thomas is the proof in the pudding. While the study above refers to financial success it could easily be applied to any other area of your life, including golf.
(Refer to my previous articles about goal setting and the different kinds of goals.)

Quote of the week

“He loves to win” – Jay Seawell, Justin Thomas’ college coach at Alabama.


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About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The newspaper started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at His editorial focus is on economic analysis based on budget analysis, dissecting strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored scores of journalism students as interns and as young professional journalists. He often assists economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to [email protected]