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How To Set Realistic Expectations On The Golf Course

Throughout this column, we’ve discussed preparation, controlling shot curvature, adding distance and how the golf club should move differently on tee shots and iron shots. These concepts should be practiced if you expect to improve your golf game. However, there are many working adults who don’t have time to practice, and there are those who just don’t enjoy practicing, but like to play for exercise and fun. Without practicing, how can you improve?

The good news is that there are things you can do to get more satisfaction out of your rounds. First, your expectations should match your abilities. Most of us evaluate our performance on the golf course on our “best ever” results—best hit drive, best executed iron shot, best putting round, best score, etc. While we all hope for the best when we tee it up, we should also understand that our scores will generally fall within a ten-shot range of your “mean score.”

As Dr. Rick Jensen explains in Easier Said Than Done, if you want to establish a realistic expectation of what you will shoot on any given day, record your last 20 scores and determine the “mean score,” where half of your scores fall above and half fall below. If your mean score is 90, your likely scoring range is from 85 to 95. Once you understand that shooting 85 one day and 95 the next day is normal, you can then determine if you are satisfied with your current range of scores, or if you would like to lower your mean score by seeking instruction and/or dedicating more time to practice.

Either way, you can now set realistic expectations at the beginning of your round and focus more on the overall experience rather than specific results/scores.

For more advice, email Dr. Wilson at ewilson@keiseruniversity.edu.