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If you don't manage your golf expectations properly, you probably won't enjoy this game. Worse, you probably won't see any improvement in your golf scores either.
I'm sorry to admit it, but for a good 5 or 6 years I didn't really enjoy playing golf, and that had to do with unrealistic expectations. The combination of not practicing enough, thinking I could score better than I was capable of, and not even playing that much made my time on the field pretty unpleasant.
Expectations are everything in golf, and explaining them is one of the pillars of mybook.
I wanted to write an article that tried to simplify what your expectations should be based on the amount of time you have available and help you figure out realistic goals.
I'm going to break things down in the most basic way so that a wide range of golfers can get something out of this article.
All of this will be centered in time.
Because? Because time is the most precious resource on Earth, and certainly the most important for golf results. If you want to reach a certain level of play,time will be your biggest limiting factor. This will greatly influence what your expectations should be.
Many people argue about the best way to lower a golfer's score. However, most of these discussions forget to talk about how long it will take to get there. I feel like this is the missing piece of the puzzle and probably the most important one.
Adding 20 to 30 yards to your drives and becoming more skilled with your irons will lead to dramatic drops in scoring.
Just a little problem. For most players, this requires a tremendous amount oftempoto get there
So let's look at three scenarios, all based on time:
Scenario #1: You have very little or no time to practice or play a lot
I bet a lot of you reading this fall into that category.
You work full time. He may be married with children. As much as he wants golf to be a focus of his life, he isn't. It probably won't be until you retire.
If this is your case, I advise you to definelittle to no expectation for your golf scores, and here's why.
If you can't play or practice much, you won't have much to develop every time you go to the golf course. Playing one round in April and then the next one at the end of May without catching a suit too much in the middle means thatLiterally anything is possible when you get out on the field.(good or bad).
Don't waste your precious time when you get this chance, just try it and have fun. I wouldn't even blame you if you didn't say it.
Some people may find this notion crazy, but unless you've been an expert golfer at some point in your life, it's almost impossible to get better at golf by practicing or playing infrequently.
your only goalmust be for fun, don't bother to improve because it's not realistic.
Scenario #2 – You can play once a week on average and you can put in a few hours of practice
This is also another category that most golfers fall into. You can have a Sunday band that plays once a week like clockwork, and at some point in the week you can set aside 2-4 hours to practice.
If you're in this group, I'd say there might be areasonable expectation of improvement if you spend that time wisely. Playing once a week is enough to build some momentum and see progress over time. Don't rush!
If this is the kind of time you can put in, I wouldn't expect huge jumps in scoring ability. If you are going to start the year at 20deficiencymaybe yoursmetait's finishing with 17 or 18. That may not sound like much, and you just might exceed that goal. However, if you think you're going to make it all the way to 10, you're likely jeopardizing your progress because your expectations are misplaced.
Progress in golf comes in small steps. You make small strides, and then maybe have a hiccup or two. But if you keep practicing and playing a lot, you will seesmall incremental progress that will build over time.
Most of us would love for that to happen, but it's very rare for a sudden drop in your golf score after any kind of "aha" moment.
Most people envision their path to lower scores this way:
But in reality, it's more like this if you only practice a little and play at most once a week:
So if that's you, here's my recommendation for trying to cut a few hits off your game.
- Increase the amount of time you spend practicing with the wedges and putter. He can make quick scoring gains with his short game. That means up to 50% of his practice time.
- Don't worry so much about your full swing. With the amount of time you have, you won't be taking big steps to hit the ball. work on yourtempo, discover yourimpacttrends, but don't make constant changes to your swing. Most of the time, you'll work with what you have, and that's fine. You can still hit your goals without drastically changing your swing.
- Focus on your strategy on the golf course. There are definitely 2-3 hits waiting to come out of your score because you are making mental mistakes and being too aggressive. Check out my book on course management, I'll send you a free copy (link).
Many golfers fall into this category in terms of the amount of time they can spend on their game. I think if you can focus your time where you can impact the most change (mental game/strategy and short game) you will see results quickly.
Many players fall into the trap of expecting too much of themselves with this kind of time constraint, which is why their scores never change.
Scenario #3: I have time; I want to see how low my golf scores can get!
The last scenario is probably what most of you would love to do, given the time and desire to really lower your golf scores.
If you are in this final category, you have time to practice almost every day and you can play 2-4 times a week. This is the amount of time it will take to make big strides in scoring ability.
At this point, you know that golf is a relatively difficult game. If you want to reach the top of the mountain, it will take a lot of time and effort. There is simply no shortcut to this.
I talk a lot about improving your short game on my site because I know that most of the people who read my articles fall into the #2 category.
However, if you really want to improve and drop your golf score by 5-10 strokes or even more...you're going to have to get a lot better at hitting the ball and improving your swing.There's no way to avoid it.
This is not to say that you should abandon the short game. You still need to be pretty good at fighting to lower your scores a bit. Golfers in the single digit handicap range still lose about half their greens during a round, which means they have to go up and down par 8-9 times.
I can't tell you how to become a better ball hitter because it's complicated and unique to each individual. Improving a golf swing to hit the ball further with more accuracy takes a lot of work.It is a calculated effort.
If you really want to improve your golf swing, I suggest you work with a qualified teaching professional. They can speed his progress by evaluating his current swing and providing a plan on how to reasonably correct it.
So you're going to have to practice... a lot.
I go to some lengths to work on my strokes and try to hit balls almost every day. I know that it is the only way to continue playing at my level and improve. It's just part of the deal.
In addition to practicing, you needplay golf too. You have to be on course dealing with the pressures of a live round. I think this is where most of the learning takes place, because practice can only get you so far.
Making big jumps in golf scores is a complete package. It is a game of mind, strategy, practice and game. Everyone must go in the right direction if you want to reach the top of the mountain.
The reality is that they all require a large amount oftempoimprove.If you have that time, go ahead. See if you can go from a handicap of 15 to a handicap of 4. It will be a long journey with many twists and turns, but if you achieve your goal it will be incredible.
Just don't fool yourself into thinking you can do this by playing infrequently and without much practice.
That's the truth.
So take a look at these three categories. See which one fits in in terms of time you can spend golfing. There may be some exceptions, but I advise adjusting your expectations based on how much time you have to practice and play.
What is the 75% rule in golf? ›
The rule of 75 applies to a player who meets the following criteria: Over 75 years of age. Has an index that normally qualifies them to compete in the A-flight and therefore play from the pine tees.What is the easiest way to lower your score in golf? ›
- Commit to every shot. Make sure you're 'all in' every time you hit a shot. ...
- Accept golf is a hard game. ...
- Improve your posture. ...
- Identify the correct yardage. ...
- Don't compound your errors. ...
- Keep the short game simple. ...
- Eliminate yardage gaps.
What is a 17 Handicappers Average Score? The average score of a 17 handicap golfer is 92. You can generally add 17 strokes to a par of 72. Then you add 3-5 strokes on top of that for the average score.What is the average score for a 16 handicap golfer? ›
Right now the USGA average golf handicap for males floats around 15 to 16. This would put the average golf score around an 87 to 88 on a par 72 golf course. The average golf score is relative to the golf association just like handicap is.What is the 90% rule in golf? ›
The 90-Degree Rule
Under this rule, carts are allowed on the fairway, but they must maintain a 90-degree angle from the cart path. You must take the cart path to a spot that is even with your ball, make a right angle turn and drive straight toward the ball. This rule may be in effect for all or some holes.
The golfing version states that the 80% of your best practice efforts are likely to occur on the golf course 20% of the time. The inverse also applies; the lowest 20% of your practice performance is likely to occur on the golf course 80% of the time.What is an A 1 exceptional score reduction in golf? ›
If the Score Differential is between 7.0 and 9.9 strokes better, a -1 adjustment is applied to each of the most recent 20 Score Differentials in your scoring record. This has a net impact of reducing the Handicap Index by 1 stroke.What is the 95 rule in golf? ›
The recommended handicap allowance for all individual stroke play formats of play is set at 95% for medium-sized field net events, of at least 30 players. For a field size of fewer than 30 players, the recommendation would be to increase the handicap allowance to 100%.What is the golden rule of golf? ›
Play the ball as it lies. Don't move, bend, or break anything growing or fixed, except in fairly taking your stance or swing. Don't press anything down. You may lift natural objects not fixed or growing, except in a water hazard or bunker. No penalty.What percentage of golfers can break 90? ›
According to data from the National Golf Foundation, only 26 percent of all golfers shoot below 90 consistently on regulation 18-hole courses; 45 percent of all golfers average more than 100 strokes per round.”
How far should a 60 year old drive a golf ball? ›
Average Driver Distance By Age.
|Age Range||Average Driver Distance|
|All Golfers||219 yards|
A Bogey Golfer is one with a Course Handicap of 20 (24).