11 Powerful Reasons Why Goals Are Important in Disc Golf

Disc golf is tough. It’s a game that we constantly try to improve at. But despite the steady practice, we may still not come out on top sometimes. Yet we keep playing. Over and over again we throw…hoping for the best. But there’s something that we can all do to improve on the course. It’s easy and it’s free. What is it? It’s setting goals for yourself in disc golf.

What are the 11 reasons you need goals in disc golf?

1. Goals propel you forward

2. Goals show you how to get to success

3. Goals force you to learn other skills

4. Goals show you what you actually want

5. Writing your goals down helps keep yourself accountable

6. You don’t want to be complacent

7. You can set any goals you want big or small

8. Goals give you hope and motivation

9. Goals make you more likely to succeed

10. Goals make you the best version of yourself as an athlete

11. If you didn’t quite hit your goals, at least you made progress

What are goals?

A goal is the the aim or desired result if a person’s efforts and ambitions. It is a future target that we aim to hit. Something we envision reaching in the future by planning, committing, and dedicating ourselves to reach the target after a specified period of time. In disc golf, a goal is our effort to achieve and hit our marks on the disc golf course. Goals are difficult and take time to reach.

So how do we set them?

How to set goals for disc golf

Setting goals can be an interesting process. It can be as simple as just thinking of a goal and writing it down on a piece of paper. And it can be as complex as having an entire journal of written goals with plans of disc golf victory and celebration. But no matter what you do or think up, I want you to have clear, specific, written goals for yourself. Clear, specific, and written is the key here.

There’s also another way to set goals for yourself. It’s called setting S.M.A.R.T. goals. S.M.A.R.T. stands for the following:

• Specific – what we just said a minute ago in the last paragraph.

• Measurable – you have to, in some way, be able to measure your progress along the way. If you have the goal to win a tournament, that’s easy to measure. Have you won a tournament? No? Well then you haven’t hit your goal. Yes? Hoorah! You’ve reached your goal.

• Achievable – you have to be somewhat able to achieve your goals. If you’re just starting out at disc golf and your goal is to be on the pro tour in a month…well, that probably won’t happen. If you said, in 36 months, I’ll be playing professionally, okay that’s more feasible.

• Relevant – goals have to be somewhat relevant to what you’re trying to achieve. They can’t be: I like disc golf. In 24 months, my goal is to be president. No, that’s not relevant.

• Time-bound – your goals have to be bound by time. That means you need to put a time limit on your goals. Don’t do: one day, I’m going to win a disc golf tournament. Nah, that will never happen. Let’s go with: in 12 months, I will win my first tournament. Ah, that’s better.

Your goals don’t have to be perfect, and they don’t have to go completely by that structure, but it’s just a good tool to use.

A good example from all of that would be what we just used in the last example: In 12 months, I want to win my first disc golf tournament. It’s specific to what you want. Measurable with whether you win a tournament or not. It’s achievable. It’s relevant to what you’re working on. And it’s time-bound when you plug 12 months into the equation.

Three other quick ways to set goals

1. Big, medium, and small goals: small goals are easy to accomplish, medium goals are a bit tougher, and big goals may take you awhile.

Example: Small – I want to make all my putts from 15 feet out. Medium – I want to improve my distance past 300 feet. Big – I want to win my first tournament this year.

2. Daily, monthly, and yearly goals: setting goals you want to accomplish in times increments. Setting goals this way forces you to move a little bit quicker.

Example: What drills can I crush today? How can I improve my game this month? How can I win a tournament this year?

3. Yearly goals with steps: this is how I like to write out my goals for disc golf goals (and all life goals in general). You can interchange big, medium, small, daily, monthly, and yearly with this. Simply write out your goal, then write every possible thing that you can think of that will help you reach that specific goal

Example: Yearly – I want to win my first disc golf tournament this year. Now I put down everything I can think of to help me win this year.

• Increase drive distance to 300+ feet

• Work on getting approach shots closer to the basket

• Practice putting from 15 and 30 feet out

• Condense bag with discs I throw the best like the Dynamic Discs Sheriff (link to InfiniteDiscs.com).

• Learn all PDGA rules by heart to prepare for tournaments

If you have a minute, check out polar.com’s guide on, “A Minimalist Approach to Goal Setting for Athletes – and How to Achieve All Your Goals.” It’s a good little article that helps you break down the process of goal setting.

Anyway, here are 11 great reasons why you need to set goals in disc golf.

11 reasons goals are important in disc golf

1. Goals propel you forward

Goals are awesome, as you’ll read through the rest of this post. They can help you do a lot of things and can lead to a lot of success. In that, goals help propel you forward through your #discgolfjourney. If you play without goals, you won’t really get anywhere. But simply setting a couple of goals out for yourself can see a lot of progress if you just stick to what you want to achieve.

“The harder you work for something, the greater you’ll feel when you achieve it.” -anonymous

2. Goals show you how to get to success

Goals can be like baby steps, or a road map, in that they can show you exactly how to get to success on the disc golf course. Smaller goals put together and achieved can ultimately help you achieve the big goals that you’ve set for yourself. Or it can just generally help you be successful in your disc golf career. Either way, put all of your goals together. Let them lead you to success.

3. Goals force you to learn other skills

Over the entire length of time it takes you to improve at disc golf and reach the goals you’ve set for yourself, you will have been forced to learn a few key life skills. Those skills are:


• Consistency

• Committment

• Focus

And those are just a few skills that I could come up with on the spot. I’m sure that throughout the time you work on getting better at disc golf, you’ll probably pick up a few more along the way.

4. Goals show you what you actually want

Goals are like drunk people: they’re honest and will tell you what you really want. It’s tough to achieve your goals, but when you write them down for yourself, you are telling yourself that you want A, B, C, D, etc.

You should always set goals in disc golf because there is always something that you will want to do with the sport. Whether you want to win a tournament, throw 400+ plus feet, or just generally get better, you need to sit down and write out those goals that you want to achieve. Tell yourself what you you really want. It’s completely okay.

5. Writing your goals down helps keep yourself accountable

Seriously, I’m lazy sometimes. And I have to keep myself in check. I generally feel like a productive person, especially when practicing and studying disc golf, but I still have to set goals for myself. Why? Because I have to hold myself accountable. As long as I’m heading in the right direction of my goals, I’m holding myself to those goals that I’ve set out. Writing your goals down on paper says to yourself, “this is what I want to achieve, so get your sh*t together.” That is, at least, how I look at it.

6. You don’t want to be complacent

I know that I hate doing nothing. And I hate not making progress, especially in disc golf. There have been a couple of times already when I’ve felt like I’m getting complacent in my game and just not getting anywhere. I noticed that I didn’t really have any goals during those times of complacency. And those times are not good for you as a disc golfer. If you feel yourself getting complacent, assess where you’re at with the game and ask yourself if you’ve set any goals for yourself. If you haven’t, change things up – set some easy to achieve goals and at least get out of the rut you’re in.

“If you aim at nothing you will hit it every time.” –Zig Ziglar

7. You can set any goals you want big or small

The great thing about your goals for disc golf is that they’re unique to you. You have the ability to set any goals that you wish. Your goals can be small, medium-sized, or large goals. Your goals can be set for days, months, or years. It’s all up to you.

I’d recommend, if you’ve never set any goals before, start out small – I want to be able to throw the disc 200 feet after 3 months of playing. That’s a small goal. Once you achieve that, do it again. In 3 more months, I want go be able to throw 300 feet. Awesome. Got it. Now build up. In 6 more months, I want to place well in, or win, a tournament. That’s a medium-sized goal. Once you crush that, go big. I want to become a semi-professional disc golfer and compete regularly. That’s a big goal. Give yourself 1-2 years to try and reach these goals.

Thats the beauty, though, of setting goals. You can go big or small, short or long. In the end, it’s all up to you.

8. Goals give you hope and motivation

Hope and motivation can be huge factors in you achieving your goals in disc golf. But you have to have hope and you have to have motivation. You get both of these by achieving goals, so it can be a really fantastic cycle.

If you can start out by achieving a goal or two in disc golf, that will inspire you to want to do even better. When you hit another target, you’ll have even more hope and inspiration. It’s interesting how it works, just don’t let a few bad rounds take away your positive mindset. Because this cycle can work the other way and cause you to stop playing disc golf if you stop getting better.

9. Goals make you more likely to succeed

Setting goals for yourself in disc golf is even more important when you think about this little nugget: setting goals makes you more likely to be successful and achieve those goals. A study done by Dr. Gail Matthews at Dominican University in California showed that people who had written goals were 33% percent more likely to succeed in achieving those goals than the people who didn’t write any goals down. That’s pretty substantial.

So you need to look at your disc golf game and write down goals for yourself. If you can, you’ll be 33% percent more likely to achieve those goals. Want to just generally get better? Write it out. Want to win a tournament this year? Write it out. If you write it, you can achieve it.

10. Goals make you the best version of yourself as an athlete

Goals can be impressive sometimes. We already went over a few reasons why goals are great for you in disc golf, but goals are great because they can make you into the best version of yourself as an athlete on the course. Over time, you’ll probably set a bunch of goals. You’ll eventually hit one goal, then another, and then another.

This achievement will lead to some awesome celebrations and ultimately to you becoming a pretty strong disc golfer. If you keep getting better in different facets of your game, it will sooner or later make you into a beast on the course. You want to be the best disc golfer you can be, so keep setting goals and knocking them out.

11. If you didn’t quite hit your goals, at least you made progress.

Finally, even though I’m a huge advocate for the use of goals in every facet of life, I understand that I don’t always completely reach my goals. I get that and just want to make something clear – it’s okay. It sucks when I don’t reach my goals and I always get a little upset, but soon after, I look back and see how much got achieved. Then I usually realize that I’ve been super productive with everything.

Just like with this site, DiscgolfNOW.com. I set a really high 1-year goal and a ridiculously high 2-year goal. I’m well past the 1-year mark and I didn’t quite get to where I wanted to be. But this post will be my 70th on the site and I also wrote a 200 page book in 2018 as well. Just looking back on that feels like a huge achievement and the progress speaks for itself.

I didn’t hit my goal but d*mn if I haven’t tried to get there. I made progress and I’m happy with that. As long as you make progress, it’s absolutely fine. Just keep on working at your disc golf goals and you can get to where you want to be.


Goals are so crucial to your disc golf game. I mean, it’s alright to be average on the course. But if you really want to get better and win, you’ve got to set goals. Remember – they’ve got to be clear, specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound for your career in disc golf. And again, it’s okay to be casual. But a competitive, serious disc golfer has to measure their progress through goals. So now it’s up to you. Get out there go throw!

Awesome job!

If you’ve gotten this far, you must really want to learn more about disc golf! Got more questions? Check out our FAQ page here. We’ve got tons of answers for you.

If you’re interested in more of what we have to say about the sport, check out some of our best posts below.

The 7 Best Mental Disc Golf Tips to Crush it on the Course

11 Ways Patience Will Help You Win in Disc Golf

All of these posts are our absolute best resources for motivation, improvement, and mental toughness on the disc golf course. Use them wisely!

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Don’t forget…

We’ve got a great beginner guide called, “The Disc Golf Player’s Manual,” that you can check out on the sidebar or at the bottom of the page. We crunched together a ton of great information for the beginner to learn and go love the game of disc golf. Grab a copy today!


I am an avid disc golfer and lover of the sport. My mission with DiscgolfNOW.com is to reach as many people as possible to help them love disc golf, too!

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