I know, what is he talking about cart before the horse in golf? This analogy I believe is good for us to think about when it comes to our expectations for our golf game performances. People tend to think golf is easy, take a lesson with a professional or an overzealous friend who “knows” golf, go out to the course and have a good score. Right? WRONG! Golf is a great game and with lots of knowledge, play, and practice, you can have a good score. But don’t be so quick to have unrealistic expectations, or in a hurry to get an USGA Index that allows you to play with anyone and it be fair.
Let me explain, most “golfers” pick up the game because it seems like a gentle, easy sport for a lifetime. It is, if you first understand golf is a game of golfing skills, hitting shots with different clubs from different lies, under different conditions and with different stresses (if you are playing a $5 Nassau with your buddies). If you really want to have a score and improve over time, don’t worry about score to start with. What? Isn’t that the name of the game, to get the ball in the hole with the least number of strokes possible? Yes, but be patient! Unfortunately, we see a lot of golfers quitting the game because they get too frustrated from not improving, so why bother spending 6 hours being frustrated. It doesn’t have to be this way, you can improve, you will improve, if you have a pathway to consistent and long-lasting improvement. Hint, it does come with an index but not the one you get from the USGA.
What we have found over the 15 years at The Golf Performance Center is players have little clue to what skills they have or do not have when it comes to golf. If you are a player desiring to improve, start with Player Development Assessment; it would make more sense if you had a baseline of your golf skills. This is not just looking at your golf swing and determining that your swing doesn’t match up to Tiger or Michelle Wie’s, but rather your ability to play shots required in the game. Understanding this will help determine a few things:
1. How important is it to have great swing mechanics to start with.
2. Golf is a game of skills, not how pretty it looks.
3. Function Dictates Form. If you don’t know how your body is functioning, or why it functions a certain way, acquiring skills can be harder.
4. Does your equipment support your efforts? You need to have the right equipment for the task.
5. Having unrealistic expectations of your skills or score creates a skill challenge ratio gap.
Understanding that your skills may not match up to the challenges golf presents. This is why so many golfers take up the game but also why so many leave the game because they do not understand golf is not a game of constant, every shot is different.
So, expecting a score in front of knowing your skills sets is like putting the cart before the horse. You may get there but it will come with much more effort and more tears of frustration than there needs to be. Golf is a game to be enjoyed, but that doesn’t mean there will not be struggle. However, the struggle will be much more enjoyable when you know why you’re struggling, and you know how to improve.
If you want to improve, call or email us at The Golf Performance Center! Sign up for our Player Development Assessment or our 5 Elements of Success Evaluation. This will provide you with your Player Development Index (PDI) and a plan to understand your pathway to success, not to be stuck behind the cart!
Enjoy Your Journey!