Jump To Conclusions and Fail

Golf is a game of decisions. The development of a good decision process leads to a strong course management capability. They do go hand in hand and are not mutually exclusive. They have to compliment each other to lower your handicap and shot your best scores. Unfortunately, many of us, myself included, deviate from the process and jump to conclusions that cause us no end of grief. It really is a frustrating time when I venture down the path poor decisions, especially if I compound one bad decision with another.

To prevent the crazy mental roller coaster ride of jumping to conclusion, I guess it would be important to add a benchmark perspective from which to leap.

Playing golf, at least in my world, is about playing one shot ahead of my current one. That means, that if I am hitting off the tee, I am as focused on my next shot as I am of the current one. Ben Hogan said it best:

So where does my game come off the rails. Well, it happens when I jump to conclusion. It happens when I think I can make a low percentage shot in a tough situation. I mean we all like to make the miracle shot and then be able to talk about it. Looking back to last year, I can honestly say that my percentage of success in these very challenging shots is around 15%. So, why oh why do I event attempt these shots.

The short answer is that my ego jumps to conclusions and tells the logical part of my brain that I can make this very high risk shot. This fuzzy logic approach to course management happens from time to time especially when I am in the zone of shooting a low golf score. For some reason, my quest to break par clouds my judgement and I sometimes become my own worse enemy.

Instead of playing my game and staying within my capabilities, I jump to foolish conclusions, which results on higher golf scores. Now, this does not happen all the time, but every now and again, I jump so high, there is no chance of being successful. It is a frustrating time, but something that I have learned to accept. Now, most of you are saying that if I can identify when, I should be able to prevent it.

All I can say is good luck. I am a focused golfer and I still jump to conclusions from time to time. If there was a sure fire way to prevent it, I have not found it. However, I can say that the frequency is less than in years past, but is still around.

So, this leads me to ask: do you have a method to prevent jumping to conclusions? I could use the help.

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

6 thoughts on “Jump To Conclusions and Fail

  1. I wouldn’t label it “jumping to conclusions.” What you are talking about is course management. How do we work our way around a golf course in a way that improves our odds of success. There was an interesting book published a couple years ago by Mark Broadie called “Every Shot Counts.” The book provides interesting insight into what parts of your game to work on as well as strategies in course management. If someone is stuck in their game and doesn’t seem to be able to lower their handicap any further, maybe this book would provide fresh strategies. Just a thought

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  2. It’s tough to know when the low percentage shot is the best option but I think it is sometimes. Ricky Fowler hit one while on his knees kneeling under branches this weekend. I would likely have called the ball out of play and taken the drop instead but he managed it just fine amazingly.
    I made a golf decision I might regret. I decided to make a tee time and try and play Thursday without even trying a practice swing. Lol…I’ll do some of those today in the back yard so I can reschedule if I have to, but I’ll be disappointed if that turns out to be the case. I’d rather be disappointed I guess then do more damage, but I’m hoping (praying) 3 weeks is enough.

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      • Well, I had my day on the course. Before beginning I wrapped up my wrist with an ACE bandage to provide a little extra support and that was enough to get by, but I’ve decided to give it a another couple of weeks before trying again. I was fine hitting a straight shot off the tee but draws and fades, sand shots, and anything where my wrist had to twist even a little caused some pain. It was mostly minor, but enough to make playing well difficult. I took to clubbing up a lot to play as pain free as possible. That worked pretty well, but of course wasn’t optimal for good scoring. I had had two really bad holes where I shanked shots into the water because my mind just didn’t want me to hit the type of shot I was trying, and after that, I made the decision to just club up which did the trick as far as being able to execute. I hit quite a few 7 irons into the green from only 110 or so yards out and that worked out pretty well though I am pretty sure had my wrist been fine I could have gotten closer to the hole with a shorter iron. Still I was on the green and that’s what matters most. I shot about as many pars as my playing companion did and out drove him more than once so I felt pretty good about my day all things considered. It was a beautiful day out if a little on the windy side and I stayed under 85 thanks to putting well on the super fast greens that course has. A score that would normally upset me, but in this case, especially with the two triples thanks to the two shanks, made me feel pretty good. All in all, I enjoyed getting out there. It’s the next day now and I am not feeling any bad consequences to trying to play so I guess all is well. But as I said, I’ll wait a couple more weeks at least before trying again.

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      • Kevin

        You are probable not surprised by the results. It is good that you decided to give your wrist a bit more time to rest because you really do not want a lingering injury. Clubbing up sounds about right as well; it is good course management when you are facing swing challenges. With the forced rest, you can practice your putting more and that is always good! šŸ˜‰

        Cheers Jim

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