Blueprint for Success: 3 Lessons Learned from a PGA Tour Winner

Blueprint for Success: 3 Lessons Learned from a PGA Tour Winner
A few weeks back I ran across these written goals of tour player Peter Malnati. To me it was incredible insight into the mind of an elite golfer, so I included it in the weekly email I send out (Click here to start getting these emails).

I had one student comment on the detail of Peter’s goals, and how he finally realized why I was urging him to build a plan around his golf game. This made me feel great as that’s exactly why I was sharing the information.

Then something crazy happened…Peter Malnati won his first PGA Tour event the Sanderson Farms Championship!

Peter Malnati won his first PGA Tour event

Talk about validating the importance of setting goals.

I decided to put together this post to tell you the 3 things we can learn from Peter’s 2015 goals and how we can apply it to our games.

1. Write Down Goals

This one is easy and certainly nothing new, but it’s a step that can’t be skipped. If you’re serious about this goal setting thing you absolutely must put them in writing. This act of putting your mission on paper is what makes it real and tangible.

Writing down the goals also give you the opportunity to reference them throughout the year. This is really helpful when doing personal status reports and making sure that you remained focused. One thing I see with golfers is comparable to the shiny object syndrome. We view every tip we hear as the solution to our problems or every club that comes out as the perfect fix for our slice, lack of distance, etc…

Writing down goals helps you keep your eye on the prize. Click To Tweet

2. Make Your Goals Have a Plan

One of my favorite quotes is:

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Let’s use Peter’s goals as an example. He breaks it into 3 sections which I fill build on one another and create our blueprint for success:

Goal Setting Blueprint

Outcome Goals – WHAT YOU WANT TO DO?

Example – Earn my PGA Tour Card for the 2015-2016 Season

These tend to be larger/broader goals that come as a result of executing your plan. This is where most peoples goal setting stops and that’s ultimately why most goals are never accomplished.


Example – Average greater than 66% of Greens in Regulation in competition

I absolutely love this for golfers! One thing I do with my students is take an outcome goal like wanting to be a single digit handicap. Then I find a resource like this one to find averages of players in that ability range. For example, the average 5-10 handicap hits about 36% of their greens. Finally, I’ll have my student track their greens in regulation and compare to that average.

This process allows us to build a practice plan and makes it easy to target specific skills for improvement.

One thing I emphasize when working on statistical goals is to be very limited on the amount you take on at anyone given time. Having too many statistical goals will prevent any chance of having a deliberate plan for improvement.

Process Goals – HOW YOU’ll DO IT

Example – Every 5 weeks will consist of: 3 weeks with full practice schedule, 1 week of light practice, and 1 week of no practice requirements.

This is the written procedure and schedule of how you plan to execute your outcome and statistical goals. This step is where your goals go from being “pie in the sky” to something real and achievable.

I think this quote sums it up:

“Ideas are sh**, execution is the game.”Gary Vaynerchuk

It’s really fun to have the goal of finally shooting in 80’s, but the act of executing is what’s going to make all the difference.  Unless you take the time to map out a plan for execution you’re going to struggle.

Having process goals is what brings this blueprint all together.

3. Make Your Goals Public

My biggest take away from Peter Malnati’s 2015 goals is how he made them public. He didn’t just share them with his wife and mom, he posted them on the internet for the whole world to see. Browsing around Peter’s site you can see that he didn’t stop with his goals, he’s using it to document every step of the journey.

Share with the world

Just hit the button and share with the world

Why is this such a big deal?

Posting goals publicly adds the accountability factor. You now have a group of people to answer to when you fail and celebrate with when you succeed.

This kick in the shorts is that extra motivation that will stop you from quitting when times get tough. When you make them public it’s much more difficult to move on to the next thing. Your mind won’t let you rationalize it.

Honestly, it’s a step most aren’t willing to take whether it be from embarrassment or fear. I look at it this way, if you’re not willing to show the world than you really shouldn’t bother setting the goal.


Here’s my challenge, I want you to write down your goals for 2016 using the format described in this post.

Too make things easy I’ve created a FREE worksheet for you to fill out. Click here to download the work sheet.

Once you’re done I urge you to email it to me at  With your permission I’ll publish it on the blog to help keep you accountable.

Posted in Mental Game, off-season golf

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