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.

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What To Do When Your Playing Partner(s) Are Struggling

We have experienced the challenges of playing on a golf team where your playing partners are struggling to make a shot. No matter what they try, nothing seems to work and they are a drag on the team. I have been that player in the past and I am sure I will be in the future. The question is what to do to make things better for the player and the team. Is it possible to fix the poor playing quandary and fast?

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Who Decides What Golf Shot Is Best For The Team?

You are golfing in a team scramble event and a discussion ensues which ball to use on the next shot. Your team is fortunate because you have three choices for your next shot. Each ball location offers an element of success, but plays to the individual strengths for three different players of your team. The option for multiple choices is good and challenging at the same time. Each player will want to play the ball that best fits their strengths. So, how to make the decision on which ball to play and more importantly to live with the decision!

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The Biggest Dilemma in Golf

There is an age-old dilemma in golf! It is on every players mind every time the stand next to their ball wondering which club to hit next. They are at 175 yards, hitting over water, with a wide open, yet tricky green to land on. The dilemma has arrived; play safe or go for it!

I asked this very question a short time ago, and was surprised by the response.

81% of the respondents had enough confidence in their game that they felt going for it was the answer! Personally, I would go for it as well, but I would have to admit, I would not go for it every time. @cencalhack added a qualifier to his comments below and most golfers would agree that “going for it” depends on many factors.

Hitting a long shot over water is difficult at best. There are so many factors that must be considered, that I am not sure we amateurs actually consider them all! So, I thought I would make my list and see if I am forgetting something. If I am forgetting something, please let me know! Here is what I look at when hitting the ball 175 yards, over water, to an open, tricky green:

  1. Lie. My lie will have to be relatively flat and in the first cut or fairway for my next shot to be an automatic go shot.
  2. Wind. Which way is the wind blowing and how strong is the wind are definitely.
  3. Hazards. The water hazard is the most obvious hazard, but what about the hazards by the green. What happens if I hit long, left or right? Are there out-of-bounds markers near the green?
  4. Feel. How am I playing to this point? If I am playing poorly, well a lay up shot might be the best course management approach. If I am playing well, then pin hunting might be the solution.

My list is fairly generic, but covers most situations. Again, if you have any suggestions, I am all ears!

One final note, ego does play a part of golf. Some players (myself included sometimes) automatically reach for a club when we get to a specific distance or think “that difficult shot” is in our bag. Playing automatically is not good course management and will cost us strokes over 18 holes. So beware of that dreaded ego!

It is important to remember that risk – reward is part of every golf shot!

Regardless of your decision, commit to the shot because anything can happen on the golf course!

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

“I am Quitting Golf”

That is it, I have had enough! I am quitting golf!

How many times have you heard someone walking exasperated off the course, only to mutter those terrible words. They weave a tail of the course being too difficult, they have an injury or that their clubs are not suited for their game. I think that over 35+ years, I have heard almost every reason why someone is quitting golf. And not to my surprise, I see most of them on the links a couple of days later!

Proclaiming that it is time to quit golf is something I have never even considered. I have taken sometime off because of life, but to quit…..never! I guess I have been blessed with the desire to continue playing no matter how frustrated I feel when my game does not meet my expectations!

Having been around golf for so long, I believe that your ego and not managing your expectations about your golf game is what evokes the greatest stress and frustration while playing.

I have talked to players who play 5 to 10 times a year and expect they can keep up with players who actively improve their game. It is possible that someone can compete for a hole or two, but over the long haul, the player who does not play often usually fails to meet their expectations. As a result they walk away from their round feel frustrated and disappointed in their play.

I have also talked to players who play 50 rounds a year and have the same problem as described above. Yet, they refuse to change the way they play. Overall, it is an ego or expectations issue which prevents players from enjoying their round and uttering that they should quit golf.

I have talked about ego and expectations before and won’t repeat myself. However, there is a point to my diatribe. I am playing golf with my friend in just over a week on his home course. When we play, I will not have swung a club in about one month. Normally, I offer him strokes to even things out. I am not so sure I am willing to give him strokes this time (actually I might ask for stokes ) but that will be negotiated when I get to his house.

More importantly, I have to check my ego and expectations at the door. I am not suggesting that I will not try and score low, but I must keep in mind that I will be rusty and when things do not go the way I expect, to remain calm and remember that I am golfing in November! I must keep in mind that I am playing golf with my friend instead of working. I must keep in mind that no matter how I score, I must remain grateful for the opportunity to play golf on a new course.

I am looking forward to playing golf soon! And am very confident that I will be playing golf for a long, long time!

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