What Are Your Golf Score Expectations?

Yesterday, I wrote about how to follow up a great round with another great round. I find that the root of that discussion and today’s discussion are directly linked. As a golfer, we tend to downplay or overextend our expectations on the golf course. This is nothing new, but it does point to the mindset that players might not have a true understanding of the skills and ability to score. Where does this expectation grow or be developed you may ask; that is a great question! So, read on to find out.

I believe that every golfer should develop a certain expectation when teeing it up. It might have nothing to do with the score, yet preparing mentally for each round is rooted in this action. Personally, I expect to break 80 every round regardless of the golf course. Naturally, my mental view of my game is disappointed from time to time, but it is something have a come to accept. My expectations are not ego rooted, but based in the evolution of my game.

Over the years I have honed my skills to actually meet this expectation way more often than not. On the table below, I started expecting to break 100, then 90, and now 80 every time I tee it up. This is because my aggregate scoring demonstrates that my expectation are well supported by my scores over years of playing. Hence my expectations are factually derived and this is a good thing.

For those players who say that they shot in the low 70s most of the time and during tournaments shoot in the high 80s or 90s, I would suggest their expectations are ego based. If that is the case, then they are in for a world of disappointment if they continue to compete. It is similar to hearing players say they drive the ball 275 yards most of the time and never hit it over 250 when you play with them……definitely ego based and it is reinforced by they continual disappointment when they play.

As I said earlier, developing expectations is a good thing. It helps us focus on playing well and using well developed course management strategies to exceed what we expect. I find that by focusing on shooting under 80 every round I am mentally preparing myself to play better than average golf. It helps keep my ‘competitive’ mindset even during friendly rounds. I am not overly disappointed if I do not break 80, but will examine my round a little closer to see if this is an anomaly or a trend in the wrong direction.

For those of you who are wondering, most respondents expect to break 80 every time they play. Do you think this number might be ego or factual based?

Golf is a fun sport. This does not mean we cannot try to play well every time we tee it up. Developing factual based expectations is a good thing and something all players should consider. It works for me and I think it might work for you. What do you think?

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

3 thoughts on “What Are Your Golf Score Expectations?

  1. Jim, I have about the same expectations as you, but don’t find it particularly useful to focus on score during my round. The reason is that if I get into a bad streak of holes, I think my round is ruined. I tried something new yesterday, that I read somewhere, and it worked great to keep me focused. I divided my scorecard into six three-hole chunks and set a goal to shoot even par in each chunk. I did not achieve the goal, but when a bad streak hit on holes 5, 6, and 7, it didn’t affect me as much mentally. The three hole segments allowed me to reset mentally. I added ’em up after I finished and managed a 79. After shooting 7-over on the first seven holes and 42 on the front, my previous mindset would have been, “here’s a round in the low 80s.” The ability to overlook overall score and reset mentality was absolutely the difference maker.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Brian,

      I think that is a great way to approach scoring. I have used this process in other sports I coached, but never thought to use it in golf. I will have to give it a try. I shot 75 today and it should have been lower….no complaints, just being a golfer. 🙂

      Cheers Jim

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. The trick is managing your expectations against an honest assessment of your abilities one shot at a time. Optimism is a good thing as long as it’s tempered with pragmatism. You play the game that you can play. Course management 101. That said, I’ll be expecting to shoot par all the way to the first tee box, then I’ll take it one shot at a time from there. Whether I end up breaking 80 or not is immaterial. I’ll keep my expectations just higher than my ability. That helps with having faith over the ball. But I’ll be more pragmatic choosing my shots because that too helps provide faith over the ball as well as improving my score.

    Liked by 1 person

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