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Delusional expectations of recreational golfers


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I have a good friend who is a 5 handicap. Smart guy — he went to an Ivy League law school. 

I once added up his cumulative expectations for every shot and he literally would have shot in the 50s had he lived up to his ridiculous standards.

 

This is the most important golf article you will ever read.

https://www.golfwrx.com/82327/golfers-have-ridiculous-expectations/

 

Next, listen to what Tiger says about mayyyybe hitting one perfect shot over 4 entire rounds.

Now contrast that to your friends who get mad at every non-perfect shot they hit.

We're all guilty of this, so it's important to hear it directly from the GOAT

 

 

 

Edited by mangohead
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“focus on hitting good shots until they add up into a great shot” 

I forgot who said it. But for me I think we all can agree that when you’re grinding through a round that doesn’t necessarily start bad but shots aren’t playing how you expect or you’re getting away with sloppy execution. I had a round like that where I tried to keep my head together and when I started the next 9 and just focused on execution than trying to force results. I think we’ve all had them “lapses” where you can have your ugly side that shows outta no where. 
but I think that’s where the most crucial gift the game can teach. Patience and humility Patience for yourself and your wellness, or humility for your pride. 
“pride never helps it only hurts” 

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Sure there are a lot players who are guilty of this.

 

But there are a lot of us who aren't and are actually pretty realistic about our games.

 

Do I want to hit better shots more often? Of course. But I don't really ever dwell on bad shots. I shoot the scores I do because that's about my skill level at the moment. Period. At least taken over a reasonable number of rounds, the scorecards don't really lie.

 

I've been in the mid single digit range for years and I hit horrible shots all the time. Everybody I know does the same. If I got mad at all or even most of them, I'd probably just choose to quit instead. I've played competitive sports all my life and there ain't no such thing as perfect, ever. Heck, it's rarely even "pretty good". That's why it's cool to do.

 

Personally, I'm not going to get much better at golf for the near term because I don't really have time or energy to commit to that. I do hope that maybe in the future I'll be more free to do so and maybe I can eek out some gains with the proper practice and time commitment. But that will have to wait a bit longer.

 

 

Edited by dubbelbogey
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2 hours ago, Medson said:

Have process goals, not result-oriented goals.

 or differently stated, process over product. That is a mantra at work and play.

 

The one thing that does drive me nuts is when I don't commit to a shot. I expect to mishit shots regularly. But missing because I hadn't fully bought into what I'm doing - that is something I can control. Putts are the worst, typically the short breaking putt where you either hit it firm without break of die it at the hole with break. And I end up doing some bastardized combination of the two leading to three putt...

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Coming to the realization that golf is not a game of perfect is huge. Along with that, one can also learn that golf generally has a pretty large margin for error. For instance, most fairways are pretty darn wide and most greens have plenty of space to hit. When you realize these two things, you can loosen up, enjoy the game more and probably score a lot better. 

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I had my delusional moment last night. I hit a nice drive on a par 5. I was 181 to the pin. There is a creek about 100y from my ball. I only needed 125 to clear the creek to set up an easy third shot. Slight breeze behind me so I can’t use my 5 iron because of steep hill behind the green that goes into a pond. I pull out my 6 instead which I hit 170/175. I figure with the breeze and a little roll possibly eagle for sure a birdie. Of course I shank it into the creek and end up with a 6. Lesson learned, we’ll see in 2 weeks when I play the hole again.

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It's not delusion. It's the personality of the golfer, the way he or she views golf, and what is important to him or her. However, I don't get mad at my bad shots because it's, just golf.

 

Anybody who has played golf for any length of time has hit at least one truly exceptional shot. I realize I will not achieve exceptional proficiency or quality on each shot but it doesn't mean I don't strive to do so. If you've achieved something once, you can achieve it again. Why would you not expect to hit a really good shot each time you address the ball? Golf is an opportunity with each stroke. 

 

I take exception to the article. I think the lesson of the article is that better course management can lead to better scores. But the article's content also displays disdain for the abilities and choices of less than elite players, e.g.," ..His father would attempt flop shots (which he was horrible at) from a place where Phil Mickelson would be hard pressed to get the ball within 30 feet. The results were predictable. He would advance the ball 6 feet in front of him from getting too cute, then the second shot would end up 30 feet, which is where it would have ended up with a normal chip, bump and run 7-iron, foot wedge, topped driver or one of Phil’s gravity defying parachute flops..." I am not going to show up at a course, beat myself up mentally by admitting I am not good before I even tee off, and then go out and play a boring, sensible, and safe round of golf because I should stay in my lane since others are better than me.   I try for the awesome shot any time I feel like I can pull it off.  Score be damned.  And if I pull it off- well, good for me. I if don't, I pay the price.  Yeah, my score might be higher than it could be but I also didn't miss an opportunity to hit a cool shot. 

 

I also think Jack Nicklaus is the GOAT, but that's a separate conversation, ha ha. 

 

 

 

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 "Get dressed Spaulding, you're playing golf today."
" No I'm not Grandpa, I'm playing tennis."
 "No, you're playing golf and you're going to like it."
 "But what about my asthma?"
" I'll give you asthma."

 

 

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27 minutes ago, dvq9654 said:

Coming to the realization that golf is not a game of perfect is huge. Along with that, one can also learn that golf generally has a pretty large margin for error. For instance, most fairways are pretty darn wide and most greens have plenty of space to hit. When you realize these two things, you can loosen up, enjoy the game more and probably score a lot better. 

 

I'll add a third thing - my mortgage payment doesn't depend on making this putt.

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26 minutes ago, PJE said:

Score be damned.  And if I pull it off- well, good for me. I if don't, I pay the price.  Yeah, my score might be higher than it could be but I also didn't miss an opportunity to hit a cool shot. 

 

I used to reason like this, and I had some great times playing golf. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

 

Then one day due to forgetting my woods in my car, I was more or less forced to play "smart/safe/boring/strategic golf", and I scored great. I thoroughly enjoyed scoring well too!

Since that day I've continued to play "smart golf", to the point where I don't even have a driver in my bag anymore (that's smart for me given my lack of ability with it, I'm certainly not saying anyone with a driver isn't!)..

Now I have great times playing golf in a different way - enjoying it just as much!

 

It's a great game this way - it can be enjoyed in so many different ways!

 

Though I will admit, I do miss the feeling of watching a nutted drive ride the wind, roll out on the sun baked fairway and leave me a little chip in to the green. What I don't miss are the 7-8 penalty strokes I used to get chasing that one shot  😂

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I like watching Golf Sidekick, actually I haven't watched him in a while. But he has some great tips for the mental side of the game, shot selection, etc. The biggest one was scoring as a high handicapper, in adding a stroke to every hole. So a par 3 is a 4, 4 is a 5 and 5 is a 6, this meant "par" is now 88-90 on most courses which means less stress and more fun. You can also see improvements better and as you improve remove a stroke from the easiest holes or however you want to do it. 

 

Now a few of my friends don't see that, but for our abilities shooting "even" or "+2" is easier to see errors and improvement vs the dread of shooting 25 to 30 over or more. Mentally I don't beat myself as much on the course as my friends and I enjoy it more. Maybe one day par for me will be 70-72. 

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“Perfect is the enemy of the good”

 

I mean, a fella gets fit with the perfect head to a perfect shaft at the perfect length and a perfect grip using the perfect ball with the perfect range  from a perfect lie with his perfect shoes and his perfect shirt and perfect glove studying his perfect stats from his perfect practice session with all the perfect internet advice. 

 

I mean damn, what could go wrong? Oops, not everyone gets a trophy. 

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Smart guy — he went to an Ivy League law school. 
 

Ha ha, what does this have to do with golf?

He sounds like the typical attention whore. Look at me, listen to me, watch me etc. I know plenty of people like him, on and off the golf course. But as some have replied, we are all guilty of this to some extent or else we wouldn’t be playing. Interesting topic though.

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3 minutes ago, brutus27 said:

Smart guy — he went to an Ivy League law school. 
 

Ha ha, what does this have to do with golf?

He sounds like the typical attention whore. Look at me, listen to me, watch me etc. I know plenty of people like him, on and off the golf course. But as some have replied, we are all guilty of this to some extent or else we wouldn’t be playing. Interesting topic though.

 

Bingo. 

 

Ivy League law school is about as relevant as what color shoes he was wearing. Unless it’s a passive aggressive way to say he’s never wrong. 

 

🤣

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On 7/30/2021 at 7:02 PM, MattM97 said:

I like watching Golf Sidekick, actually I haven't watched him in a while. But he has some great tips for the mental side of the game, shot selection, etc. The biggest one was scoring as a high handicapper, in adding a stroke to every hole. So a par 3 is a 4, 4 is a 5 and 5 is a 6, this meant "par" is now 88-90 on most courses which means less stress and more fun. You can also see improvements better and as you improve remove a stroke from the easiest holes or however you want to do it. 

 

Now a few of my friends don't see that, but for our abilities shooting "even" or "+2" is easier to see errors and improvement vs the dread of shooting 25 to 30 over or more. Mentally I don't beat myself as much on the course as my friends and I enjoy it more. Maybe one day par for me will be 70-72. 



I've been keeping track of my score vs bogey for years.. 4 over bogey, 6 under bogey, whatever.

 

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On 7/30/2021 at 10:25 PM, Markrip said:

I had my delusional moment last night. I hit a nice drive on a par 5. I was 181 to the pin. There is a creek about 100y from my ball. I only needed 125 to clear the creek to set up an easy third shot. Slight breeze behind me so I can’t use my 5 iron because of steep hill behind the green that goes into a pond. I pull out my 6 instead which I hit 170/175. I figure with the breeze and a little roll possibly eagle for sure a birdie. Of course I shank it into the creek and end up with a 6. Lesson learned, we’ll see in 2 weeks when I play the hole again.


You’re going to layup short of a hazard at 100 yards next time? 🤔

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On 7/30/2021 at 7:02 PM, MattM97 said:

I like watching Golf Sidekick, actually I haven't watched him in a while. But he has some great tips for the mental side of the game, shot selection, etc. The biggest one was scoring as a high handicapper, in adding a stroke to every hole. So a par 3 is a 4, 4 is a 5 and 5 is a 6, this meant "par" is now 88-90 on most courses which means less stress and more fun. You can also see improvements better and as you improve remove a stroke from the easiest holes or however you want to do it. 


Ok, not that I'm any expert, but a few years ago a guy on my golf league asked me to come out for 9 holes with him for a "playing lesson". It wasn't any kind of a swing lesson, but really course management. His average was low 50s.  He walked away with a 43, and that was with a triple on the last hole which is a par 3. Just hit a couple of ground balls in a row.

He had two main problems: His alignment was god-awful. Sometimes aligning 30 yards off line. So I lined him up on every shot.
He tried to get too much out of every shot, and we used the idea that "bogey is a good score".

Actually had him lay up on a 170 yard par 3 on the 3rd hole. The hazards got up tight around the green, where there wasn't much miss (no miss left, and maybe 20 yards right). But at 130 yards you had a much larger miss, and he wasn't so terrible at 30-40 yard shots where this was a bad idea. He made 4, and told me "this is the first time I haven't made double or worse all year) on that hole.

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All you have to do is go on pgatour.com and pull up the stats and proximity to the hole to get a dose of reality. People think tour pros are stuffing 100 yard shots 5 feet from the hole all the time...

 

Also, follow @LouStagner on twitter. He does some great compilations of stats and has the mantra of "temper your expectations".

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