Every golfer understands the main premise of playing is to hit as few strokes as possible. It is the one sport where less is more. My best rounds have been subpar and those scores brought me the most joy. It is kind of an odd approach to a sport, yet it is the foundation of participation. Keeping this in mind, I have a few false assumptions that amateurs make that flies in the face of the core tenet of golf. Additionally, the same amateurs focus their approach to golf that actually elicits higher golf scores; kind of strange, right?
The first false assumption is that practicing our long shots is the key to greater golf. There is a time where playing safely off the tee overrides the real area of concern. Sometime should be spent learning to hit the big dog or long irons, but this is secondary to focusing on our short game.
As Phil Mickelson states, most shots happen within in 40 yards of the green. If this is the case for all golfers, at least 50% of our practice time should be spent honing our short game skills.
The second is that technology will fix all my swing challenges. Nothing can be further from the truth. A player with an challenging swing purchases a new club will still have a challenging swing. Instead of spending $750 for a new driver, save your money and visit your local professional. I bet for $100 your current golf equipment will produce the results you desire. That is a saving of $650 dollars!
Third, course management is only for low handicap players. If I could turn back the hands of time, I would have tried to develop my course management skills far sooner. The process of thinking a few shots ahead during a match is a stroke saver. Additionally, choosing to take our medicine on wayward shots (penalty strokes or punching out) saves strokes is a concept difficult for players to accept. Developing course and shot management is important regardless of your skill level.
Ready golf is a real thing. Without delving in the realm of pet peeves, ready golf is something that many amateurs overlook. Basically, this means that every player, in between shots, should get ready to play their next shot. Either they have no concept of ready golf or just choose to ignore it, ready golf does make golf a more pleasurable sport. Being able to play ready golf helps with focus on golf. I understand that golf is a social sport, but there is a balance that all golfers should try to attain.
I could continue with many more false assumptions about golf. There really are many challenges to playing great golf that can be overcome by realigning our focus on what is really important. Generally, most amateurs approach golf with a lack of understanding and experience. This is not a bad thing and with a bit of effort great gains can be made to lower their golf score.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Golf’s False Assumptions”
I could not agree more. Getting a handle on the three areas that you point out would pay big dividends with anyone playing the game.
So much focus on Drivers and distance in general ignores the fundamental objectives in golf, get the ball in the whole in the fewest strokes. There is so much marketing hype on new equipment. I think that you covered it nicely, technology does not swing the club.
Golf is fundamentally a game of diverse skills. Short game skills and better course management are the keys to better scoring and should be the primary focus.
The more I play hickory and classic equipment, the more cynical I become on the marketing hype. Essentially, my scores are relatively the same with my hickory and modern clubs when played from the appropriate tees.
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I am completely on board with the short game skills and better course management. Many amateurs reach to far and have expectations way beyond their ability at that time. I have learned a long time ago that the development of any game is based on focus and effort. Not something new players what to hear. Regardless, I am looking forward to playing hickories again this summer to reinforce my understanding that less is better.