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!