For all the amateurs out there, it is time to stop assuming and start knowing about your golf game. That is right, you are your own worse enemy because you think you can hit shots (even basic ones) far more consistently than you actually can and it is hurting your golf score. Okay, my opening was a little harsh for a golf blog that tries to stay positive, but I needed to get your attention. My point about assuming is entirely true and I have fallen into that pitfall myself many a time. As we develop our game, there are the knowns and unknows about our game. Unfortunately amateurs like myself often confuse the two which leads to miss shots, poor decisions, and higher golf scores. All because we assume we know what we are doing when in fact we are walking a tight rope of success.
As amateurs, we have a tendency to think we can play golf at a much higher level. Many times I have listen to stories of how far players strike the ball and swear that their driver distances marvel the elite players! They an 8 iron from 155, come up 15 yards short (consistently) and claim it was a miss hit. Most chips are no where near the pin and they two putt or more 95% of the greens. They assume they know have a game that is not theirs and crumble to dust at the slightest hit of pressure. They assume they have control over their game, but in reality are living in a fantasy world on the golf course.
To be fair to the above golfer, I transitioned through the doors oblivion a few times early in my game. I assumed I could hit the ball with greater control and effectiveness than I actually could. I assumed I was a better golfer than and I was at that time. It was not until my game crumbled that I realized that I was taking the wrong approach to being a good golfer. I stopped assuming I was a good player and actively took steps to become a good player. For full disclosure, I am considered a good player (for the most part), but I am far from being a great player. I have many areas that need fixing, but for the most part I can hold my own on the links.
The area that resulted in the greatest improvement for my game was establishing my carry distance of my irons. Not my total distance with the roll, but only the carry distance. If you want to know why, they Coach Shayain explains the reason:
By knowing your carry distance of your irons, we can stop assuming how far we hit the ball. We now know with certainty. This knowledge will help in many areas like club selection, course management and increased confidence in our game. It allows us to move the next level of improving our golf game by removing any doubt or confusion on when to hit certain clubs. We are know longer assuming we know which club to use, we know.
Knowing our iron yardage is the first step to removing the fuzzy logic of assumption from your game. One of the next steps is to stop assuming we can hit great shots from tight lies in challenging situations. Believe me, I love the confidence! However, our mind is writing checks our game cannot cash. I believe the failure to understand our game and assume we can do anything resides in our course management skills. Course management allows us to navigate the course using our strengths and avoiding our weaknesses. I use three tenets of course management that allow my to be flexible and focused when I play. You can read about them in my article from a few years ago called The Art of Course Management. By understanding and using the course management strategies that work for your game, the act of assuming quickly falls to the wayside.
Assuming we understand our game or can play much better than we actually can is a quick way to raise our golf scores. It leads to compound interest on the scorecard as we make avoidable errors again and again. The first two steps to reducing our score and beating back the assuming beast is to know our yardages and use course management strategies that work for our game. Once we accomplish these two feats, then our game is well on its way to the next level of success on the links.
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!
2 thoughts on “Assuming In Golf Is A Bad Thing?”
Distance and how fast and high the ball will rise so you’ll be sure and be able to clear any obstacle you find in front of the line you need and still advance the ball. I usually tell beginners about to make that mistake to step on the club head to see the trajectory it will provide. It’s a cheat, but it’s how I learned to judge it and what I learned from it has done me well over the years.
Another assumption we make too often is in thinking it better to just barely get the ball to the hole. Die it in so to speak. Far better to run it by 3 or 4 or even 5 or 6 feet as your mistake. At least you gave it a chance to roll in. No chips and no putts ever fall that don’t make it to the hole. Ever. None.
5 under on Sunday. 2 eagles yesterday. 2 under today with a couple that should have fell in for eagle. It’s been a pretty good week so far though my putting has been on the iffy side after Sunday’s round. I’m sure I should have been 6 under today but for missed easy putts. Pushing a few too many. Oh well. That’s golf. I still have more work to do all around.
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You and I are in complete agreement that every putt should be fast enough to get past the whole. Remember 100% of short putts never go in! 😉