Be a “Middleist”

No, not the lowest score of the day, that’s medalist.

Golfers generally fall into one of two categories. The IS and the IP.

The IS (I Suck) will get on the first tee and ask himself and the air, how in the heck is he going to avoid the OB, the lake and the tree off the left side of the tee that was purposely put there to torture his over the top move.

The IP (I’m Pure) will stand on the first tee and pontificate that he has found it and plans on hitting 11-12 fairways and 14-15 greens, because that is his game, as he has done that before. Never mind those stats would lead the PGA Tour by a wide margin.

The IS will hit an appraoch shot to 15 feet but be on the fringe and opine, “Good God, there it is, another missed green.”

The IP will hit a 120 yard approach shot pin high 30 feet left of the hole and say, “That is unacceptable, I should hit that shot inside 10 feet every time.”

I am prone to hyperbole to make points, but that is not the case here. Those are direct quotes I have heard almost verbatum from hundreds, no make that thousands of golfers.

How about trying to hit tee shots solid and hit the green…somewhere.

The IS sounds like a pessamist and the IP sounds like an optimist, but they are both unrealistic on what a good golf shot is for them. They judge their golf games by their absolute career best efforts and late Sunday PGA Tour golf.

I bet if all golfers would look at PGA Tour stats, then adjust their expactations to match the scores they generrally shoot, those scores would go down and enjoyment would go up.

In a given week, the PGA Tour winner averages about 30-40 feet from the hole in regulation, yet the average 15 handicap expects 20-30 feet.

I had a friend who was an 8. I added up his cumulative expectation for the day and he would have shot 53 for his 18 hole round had he met those expectations. When I showed him hypothetically how awful he could play and how few good shots he had to hit to shoot 75, he gave me a balnk stare and said, “I am a moron.”

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7 Comments

  1. Ant Lockyer (@golfist74)

    Great post. I was talking to my wife about this yesterday. Guys who have a higher HC than me hitting a short game shot from a really difficult lie onto a downhill green and then berating themselves for not stopping it close to the pin.

    So I think be a middleist and be nice to yourself.

    Reply
  2. Andrew from Belgium

    I am member of the ten percent club. From 180 metres in, I am satisfied with being 10% of where I started away from the hole. So from 90 metres I will not moan at 9-10 metres. From 150 metres I do not EXPECT to be closer than 15 metres (nearly 50 feet). It is amazing how relaxed you can stay thinking like that.

    Of course this means ALWAYS aiming for the middle of the green or somwhere safer if need be. It is hard to find an equally effective measure for tee shots. My main measure is “do I have a realistic chance of GIR? If yes, drive was fine.” but I would like to refine that.

    Reply
  3. Andrew from Belgium

    I am member of the ten percent club. From 180 metres in, I am satisfied with being 10% of where I started away from the hole. So from 90 metres I will not moan at 9-10 metres. From 150 metres I do not EXPECT to be closer than 15 metres (nearly 50 feet). It is amazing how relaxed you can stay thinking like that.

    Of course this means ALWAYS aiming for the middle of the green or somwhere safer if need be. It is hard to find an equally effective measure for tee shots. My main measure is “do I have a realistic chance of GIR? If yes, drive was fine.” but I would like to refine that.

    Just checked what I did today – Hit the ball OK but not brilliant, could not buy a putt. Hit 9 fairways, 8 greens and took 30 putts (Scored 77, +5). You are of course correct Monte!

    Reply
  4. Mike

    Monte, how is Frank doing getting ready for 2nd stage this week? Will you be down in Florida with him?

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Confident in his game, just needs to “play golf.”

      I flew in last night.

      Reply

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