Should you expect constant improvement in your golf?

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“Hitting the ball is the fun part of it, but the fewer times you hit the ball the more fun you have.”Lou Graham

By Ian Hardie

I was talking to a golfer a while back, who had made a decision that I suppose almost all golfers make at some point in time during their golfing career

This golfer had decided that they were going to work on their golf game – to improve their skills at it and at the same time they were

Expecting to lower the average score that they had each game as a result

You may have had this thought yourself at some point in your golf career, have been thinking about doing the same thing or are possibly in the middle of doing that right now

If that’s the case – I have a simple question for you before I go on;

Did you, do you or are you expecting to get constant improvement in your skills at the game and as a result a lower average score in your golf simply by spending more time on it?

Take a minute to really think about that question and answer it as honestly as you can

If you aren’t exactly sure about what I mean there – take a good look at the image at the top of this post

As it illustrates the basic ‘path’ that most golfer’s think their golf will take, once they make the decision to work on improving their golf game

That’s an important part to remember for later in the post by the way!

This path is represented by the two arrows in the image, the top one is the time that the golfer spends ‘working on their game’ and the bottom one is the golfers ‘average score’

The point that they both start from is whatever skill level at the game and average score the golfer has when they decide ‘to work on their game’

You will note that both arrows are effectively going in a constant direction driven by the ‘time’ spent by the golfer looking for improvement and in actual fact could be represented like this

Constant Improvement in Skill + a Lower Average Score = Time Spent working on golf

Wouldn’t that be great if it was the case?

Simply spend more time on your golf game and you will get better at the game as well ending up with a lower average score

Do you think that’s really what happens or is the reality somewhat different?

Having had 30 years or so of playing the game of golf, being focussed for most of that time on improving my skills at the game and constantly looking for a lower average score

I’m not so sure that you should you expect constant improvement in your golf

In fact, the reality is about as far away from that as you could get

Something that I have observed from a combination of my own personal experience – as well as spending a significant amount of time during that 30 years or so assisting all types of golfers to improve their skills at the game and lower their average score

You might be wondering why that’s something I would be writing about and the answer to that is quite simple – I have seen many golfers over the years make the decision to improve their skills at the game and look to lower their average score – who start full of enthusiasm but don’t get the constant improvement that they expect will happen

As a result, they generally end up worse off than when they first started

Does that seem familiar to you?

If it hasn’t happened to you personally – you probably know another golfer who has experienced just that and let me point out that the reason a golfer generally ends up worse off than when they first started when they make the decision to improve their skills at the game and look to lower their average score

Isn’t in the effort that the golfer puts in to working on their game

That’s right, the physical effort that the golfer puts in and the time that they spend are nothing to do with the fact that a lot generally end up worse off than when they started

Most golfers are in fact pretty good at doing just that – the problem comes from the three highlighted words below – which the golfer will have in their mind when they make the decision to improve

They will have an Expectation of Constant and Linear improvement

In simple terms they expect to get constant improvement in their skills at the game and as a result a lower average score in their golf simply by spending more time on it

With the actual reality being about as far away from that as you could get

Something I’m going to talk more about in ‘Should you expect constant improvement in your golf – part two?’

Until then

Play well

 

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