Rob Costello and Hank Haney on the links. Rob still needs more golf lessons.

You probably know Hank Haney for his work on the golf course – namely, coaching Tiger Woods during arguably Woods’s most successful stretch as a professional. Haney’s golf expertise is featured in numerous magazines, several books, and even a personal television series. Were you also aware that one of Haney’s lesser known acumens is retirement planning? Below I outline four fundamental tips he shared with me at a golf outing.

Eliminate the Penalty Shots

On the links, poor course management results in giving away strokes. Sometimes it is the shot you don’t take that is more important. The same is true in retirement planning. Sometimes it is the trade you don’t make is more important. In addition, poor cash flow management is equally costly. Failure to save and premature withdrawals are penalty strokes individuals must avoid while planning for retirement.

Eliminate Three Putts with a Solid Routine

Everyone can putt, regardless of athletic ability. You simply need to focus on the fundamentals and adhere to a solid process. Retirement planning is no different; stick to a comprehensive plan and avoid unnecessary product fees. Failure to execute a plan is the number one reason retirees fail in this quest.

Eliminate Two Shots from the Same Spot

Few things are more trying than a second swing from the same spot on the course. The good news is that you can avoid this frustration – and the temptation to do too much with each shot – with a solid and trusted plan. Remember, do not get too greedy: the spectacular is dwarfed by the terrible when we try to be heroes on the course. The same is true with retirement planning. Attempting to time the markets is a fool’s bet. For a successful retirement plan, you need to adhere to your plan and avoid any and all efforts at market timing.

Track your Progress at All Times

To be successful, you need to measure your results and trust that a disciplined process will yield the best score. Next time you are on the course, track your penalty shots, three puts, and double shots. Add these up and subtract them from your real score. If you play anything like me, you would be surprised how many shots you squander throughout 18 holes.

And yes, you will experience ups and downs from round to round; however, following the tips above will yield great results to your golf game and retirement planning in the long term.