By Bert Jones USGTF Certified Golf Teaching Professional® Loomis, California

Everything that you do in your life will be decided by three words: need, want and desire. If you don’t believe me, take the test and think about its application to your golf game. Before testing, we must define the three words that will be used.

  • NEED –require (something), because it is essential or very important. (These are the essentials that you must have, and should not be confused with want.)
  • WANT – a lack or deficiency of something other than need.
  • DESIRE – a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen. (Your desire should have purpose, which will help avoid anxiety and create alignment between your heart, mind and soul.)

    Let’s apply the concept to a golf game. I “need “to hit the ball straight and farther in order to score lower. I “want” new equipment that fits my swing so I can hit the ball straighter and farther. I “desire “to shoot even par. You can apply the three words in a multiple of applications to create a vision of what you are trying to accomplish. Clearly, if you don’t know where you are going, then any road will get you there. So it is vital that you take the time to think about what you want, need and desire. Be very clear about the answers so you don’t waste time, money and energy.

    Now, let’s take the above concept and place it into a matrix using three additional words: planning, execution and capacity. Planning, execution and capacity are part of the continuum of time needed to accomplish the need, want and desire. Before we continue, let’s look at the definitions.

  • PLANNING – the decisions that are arranged in advance. Use the SMART acronym (Specific, Measureable, Aligned, Realistic and Time-based) as a means to create your plan.
  • EXECUTION – the carrying-out or the putting into effect of a plan, order, or course of action.
  • CAPACITY – the ability or power to do, experience, or understand something.
  • Building a matrix with need, want and desire using a vertical axis allows us to see a vision. Use of planning, execution and capacity on the horizontal axis allows us to understand what has to happen to implement the vision. Each square of the matrix can be interdependent or dependent based on the sophistication of your goals. Lastly, it is critical to understand the values of capacity in terms of physical energy, finances, knowledge, skill, ability and time to integrate your matrix.

    I have often joked that the Law of Three –meaning it always takes three times longer to accomplish something than originally planned –should be a main element in your planning process.

    The power of three squared can be a useful tool to help you succeed in golf! Feel – think – plan – do– evaluate – repeat. Turn your need, want and desire into “I did!”
    Copyright © 2023 United States Golf Teachers Federation, All Rights Reserved
    200 S. Indian River Drive, Suite #206, Fort Pierce, FL 34950
    772-88-USGTF or 772-595-6490 -