Under Performing at Golf

Do you have high expectations of your performance when playing golf?

Every time I hit the links I have expectations. They are usually high, but every now and then, I under perform (at least in my mind), yet still score well. These days are rare, however they do creep into my game. I guess the real question is what does under performing really mean? Of course, the answer is relative to the player asking and what I consider a poor playing round may not look that way to my playing partners. It is on those days I do try to not verbalize my disappointment, but stay focused on my game at hand.

To under perform, there are three parts of my game I monitor. These benchmark points are constant through all my rounds and they help me judge how well I played. They are unique to me, but you can borrow them if you feel they fit your game as well.

First, the number of birdies a round. I expect to make two birdies a round. More is better, less is disappointing. This number is realistic considering I am a 4 handicap and I should have several realistic opportunities every round. I can accept 1 birdie, but I am disappointed if I do not shoot any!

Second, the number of 3-putts in a round. I expect to have zero 3-putts. It is a realistic goal and I feel that I should rarely 3 jack any putt. I realize that this does happen, but to have more than one in a round is a very poor day on the greens. I spend a great deal of time honing my putting skill, so I have a very high expectation of my execution.

Lastly, my up and down percentage. I am realistic and understand I am not going to hit all greens in regulation. I expect that between 9 and 11 times, I will be putting for birdie. Of course this number varies, but that is my expectation. To counter my 50% GIR, I expect to have a 60% up and down percentage. This means I will make 4 bogies (hopefully no doubles) a round. Again, I know I will sometimes shoot more, but that is the benchmark I use to judge my performance.

Putting all three of my above together, equates to an average of 4 shots over par over 18 holes. If I over perform, my scores go lower and over 20 rounds, I will average about 72 or 1 over par on my home course or a 4 handicap index. This is a very tough to maintain and requires an effort. This effort does pay off enough that I only under perform about 40% of the time. I can accept this and will continue to improve this stat.

The above explanation of under performing at golf is a matter of perspective from my point of view. Honed over years of playing and it is designed to help me judge my round and focus on areas needing improvement. It fits my game.

Do you use something like my 3 focus areas to judge your round. Or do you just rely on score?

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

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2 thoughts on “Under Performing at Golf

  1. It depends on whether I’m out to play or out to practice, but, there are a couple of things that I use to classify my performance. When playing, one double in a round and I underperformed. No matter how well I did otherwise. I think I underperformed if I don’t at least hit the flag at least once in a day while chipping. Unless of course I only needed to chip once or twice. If I can’t lag most long putts during the day within 3 feet, I feel like I underperformed.

    I got out today and did some more practice on the course trying to bring back the draw swing and did pretty well. And I went to a course that favors draws to push myself. I got some mid irons turning over into the breeze nicely. Of course, it didn’t all go well. The very first approach shot I hit was with my 6 iron. I got a tiny bit of draw, but I also pulled it pretty hard and ended up 30 feet left of where I was aiming and over/behind the green. And the next hole had the flag on the left and I started my approach shot right on line with the flag and turned it over just enough to take one bounce into the trap about flag high. lol…but they were both pretty ball flights and I was admiring them the whole way. And better yet, I wasn’t feeling like I was trying too hard. I did that later on a few times of course, but those first couple felt natural instead of forced which is a confidence booster.

    Since today was practice, I didn’t mind too much that I doubled three times. Or that I didn’t get any birdies. Especially not when I’m making changes to my swing. I putted well even though the greens were rough, I hit a couple of great short lob shots that rung the hole but didn’t fall, and got to see the ball turn right to left a few times again even if only with the mid irons. And while the driver didn’t turn over, the flight penetrated the breeze better than what I was doing and I gained a little more yardage back. I count today a success and will use it as a metric to judge how I do the next time out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin

      I am happy uour practice session was considered a success. ThT is importznt mocing forward to use the positives when playing.

      I like your benchmarks for underperforming. I agree with the double, but hitting thenflag would be a tough one. I will have to comsider that one. Great hearing from you amd jave a great weekend.

      Cheers Jim

      Like

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