Managing Expectations On The Golf Course

Tiger Woods will tee it up for his last round today at the Hero World Challenge. I doubt anyone is going to catch Hideki Matsuyama, but in the big scheme of things it really does not matter because the focus of this weekend’s event is all Tiger all the time.

Sitting in the middle of the pack, Woods has demonstrated some sparks of greatness and of course his competitive spirit is back in full force. He has high expectations of his play and the real question is whether he can meet or exceed them.

Pete Robbins, from White Dragon Golf, wrote in his article about Tiger’s third round:

The reason Tiger is not leading the competition, according to him was that he could not putt today;

“I didn’t hit the ball that poorly today, but hit bad putts in the middle part of the round.”

This is the fighting spirit of the Tiger of old and his 466 day lay off did create a coat of rust on his golf game; of course this is all relative, but I think you know what I mean. It will take some time to see if Tiger can meet his and the golfing world’s expectations regarding his recent comeback, but to Tiger and I would offer a not of caution.

Managing expectations is a critical aspect of any golfers performance.  How we feel about our latest round is directly related to how we expected to play that day.  How many of us have shot 100 or 90 or 80 or 70 and felt we had a fantastic round.  We exceeded our expectations of that day and felt awesome about our golf game.  After playing well last time, we shoot the same score and walked off disappointed, frustrated and wondering what went wrong.  Most of the time, nothing went wrong, we just expected to do better! This describes Tiger Woods game perfectly. Woods in for a roller coaster ride for the next few months.

So, how can managing expectations improve our score?  I think it is important to always expect more out of our game, but as Albert Einstein defined

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

To properly manage expectations, it is important to understand your strengths and weaknesses and what we can actually achieve.  Woods likely has a handle on this facet of his game, but something feels eerily like ground hog’s day.  I am not about to tell Tiger Woods that his approach seems a little crazy, but I am not entirely sure that it is different from his last 2 comebacks. It might be time he re-evaluated his expectations and mentally prepare for some unexpected results.

Do you think Tiger Woods is managing his expectations regarding his recent return to golf? His is approach of expecting to win right out the gate the right one? Let me know what you think.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!

9 thoughts on “Managing Expectations On The Golf Course

  1. GG my opinion is that as a competitive player Woods is finished and will not win anything again and will be lucky to even make a cut for a major.

    Yes he looked happier than he has for a while and yes i actually think his swing is more refined than brutal than before i like it though.

    Yes he produced glimpses of pure magic and yes for a while he looked competitive
    However .. ..
    Every single pro in the top 100 ( or more ) will produce moments of magic and even us hacks have a ” wonder shot ” that would look great on vine or you tube and when you have 1000 lenses focused on your every move the good stuff looks awesome because every moment is captured and its a false reading of the round.
    On wide fairways he constantly found trouble and lacked scope and distance to really pin seek and the younger players around like Hideki , Rory , Johnson and tbh a range or long list of others have a much bigger chance of success.
    I have to be honest i am not a Tiger fan , i am trying to be un-biased though , Tiger for me was arrogant, disrespectful , rude and a person that lacked any form of humility which resulted in his torrid affairs being bought to the public gaze and he declined very quickly after that changing clubs, trainers, partners and his life went into free fall as it slowly dawned upon him that he isnt untouchable and then after a break he tried humility and it didnt fit well , Tiger has his fans still and from a sporting perspective he has earned that as he was irresistible in his pomp but we have seen too many greats to have any one figure stand out, what about the genius behind Seve ( and the lovely personality ) , the charm of Palmer and the golden Glint of Nicklaus….we have modern days stars who are still shining brightly and can do so more in Rory , Speith and Day , Big Phil pulls short game shots off that tiger can only dream of.

    I think there is a much bigger picture and Golf is bigger than Tiger and will remain so , The tiger circus imo is not good for the game as it stifles growth among the field who are more deserving.

    Just a few of my opinions and none touted as fact.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Clint

      Ok. That is an in depth response for Woods for sure. I agree that I do not see him winning another major. The field is too strong and the number of top players that vye for top sport has dramatically increased. Only time will tell.



  2. The public persona is right, he tells everyone he expects to win more than 18 Majors. To say anything less would kill the interest. Right now he has all the media eating out of his hand, and if he does go on to beat the record, he would simply say, “Told you so.”

    Thanks for the mention Jim.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jimmy

      Yeah, he had an up and down weekend. I believe he is still working on his game, but the golfing world expects so much. It has to weigh on his game. We shall see over the next few months how he does.



  3. Jim, Tiger has consistently maintained whenever he tees it up, that he expects to win. Who does he think he is, Nick Saban?

    Don’t know if he really believes that or is just whistling through the graveyard. Let’s evaluate if he’s still playing by Augusta.



    Liked by 1 person

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