By now, you’ve heard that Justin Thomas typed a list of 2016-2017 goals. He gave reporters a peek at his phone after the Tour Championship that showed exactly what he typed out on his Notes app (something we all do).
Here’s what he set out to do and whether he did it:
— The Golfer's Corner™ (@GolfingCorner) September 25, 2017
Tour Championship: Y
Win at least once: Y
Be in the final 2 groups of a major on Sunday: Y
Win a major: Y
Make Presidents Cup: Y
+.25 strokes gained putting: Y
Above 1 strokes gained tee to green: Y
Top 10 in all-around stats: Y
Top 10 in half my starts: Y
Under 70 scoring average: Y
Less short sides: Y
Justin Thomas narrowly missed on the two goals he didn’t accomplish.
Under par on par 3/4/5: N (Thomas was under par of par-4 and par-5s but just over on par-3s)
Top 30 in scrambling: N (Thomas finished 54th)
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 24, 2017
Impressive stuff. Goal setting (at least in this case) works. As your preferred self-help guru will tell you, goals need to be specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-bound).
In that spirit, here are some suggestions, beyond a bigger and better SB2K18 experience, for what Thomas should add to Notes for 2017-2018. We’ll import the two he didn’t accomplish, and some goals that are worth repeat entry into the list with a little higher bar set.
Enter the Tour Championship in the FEC top 5: Thomas will want to not just make the Tour Championship, but be well positioned for a repeat FedEx Cup win.
Win at least five times: Up from once in 2016-2017. He won five times this year. He’ll want to do even better next season.
Win two majors: Since he won one this year, Thomas should aim higher next year. Why not win two?
Make Ryder Cup: Self-explanatory.
+.30 strokes gained putting: Up from .30 in 2016-2017.
Above 1 strokes gained tee to green: Carrying over this stat makes sense.
Top 10 in two-thirds starts: Up from half in 2016-2017.
Under 69.3 scoring average: This would improve upon his 2016-2016 average.
Under par on par 3/4/5: Thomas was under par of par-4 and par-5s but just over on par-3s.
Top 30 in scrambling: Thomas finished 54th.
Top 100 in driving accuracy: We all know power is much more important than accuracy on today’s PGA Tour. Still, if Thomas is looking to improve one of his strokes gained figures, strokes gained: off-the-tee is it. And as he’s hitting just 55.05 percent of fairways (162nd on Tour), improving accuracy would boost that figure.
Top 50 in sand save percentage: An obvious weakness in Thomas’ game. He was 122nd on tour in sand save percentage in 2016-2017, saving par just 48.21 percent of the time.
If Thomas sets the goals above and accomplishes them, at this time next year, he’ll be the clear number one golfer in the world. We’ll talk about the raw, whippy power of his swing and his ability to get the job done the same way we talked about a young Tiger Woods.