Reverse the Paradox

Almost every golfer out there has a paradox. They think their swing is terrible and it needs to be changed constantly, with multiple swing thoughts, until it is perfected. They think they are terrible short game players, yet never practice short game.

Yet…their expectations are to hit every shot perfectly.

A mighty ugly paradox if you ask me.

I am in the process of reversing this paradox and so should all of you.

Fool yourself into thinking you are better than you are, yet don’t expect results on individual shots. I know this makes no sense, but it makes better sense than the paradox most of us currently suffer from…and I will give you evidence why this will work and is true.

People have misunderstood my ideas about expectations before. I made a comment that someone watched me play a round and thought it was a good enough round to win on Tour, then I got a lecture on expectations.

To clarify that point and today’s, I want you to have lower expectations on individual shots and greater ones on your overall ability to shoot lower.

All of my lowest rounds never happened when I was right on with my ball striking or putting. I just meandered along and ended up with a great score at the end of the day. The “perfect” rounds usually ended up in 67 or 68, where the 62’s and 63’s happened when I was solid and let the round come to me. It was easy and I knew I didn’t have to hit shots perfectly, just solid.

In other words, if you are a 10 handicap, stop trying to hit 14 fairways, 18 greens, chip every ball in gimme range and make every putt inside 60 feet. Instead, realize how easy it was that one time you shot 80 and realize how many bad shots you can hit and still shoot that score.




  1. banner12

    Last week in the middle of the round I was having trouble timing my Jimmy Ballard sway and decided simply to keep my head still(with a slight modification) and let my left shoulder go under my chin on the backswing and the right shoulder go under my chin on the downswing.

    Hit every shot solid and straight the rest of the round.

    Now I’ve used this #1 cliche method before and the problems that arise are a tilt on the backswing/downswing that results in fat or thin shots and a too flat swing that results in pulls and pushes.


    When one moves/tilts/etc. during the swing the ball moves in your field of vision. My modification was that I kept my eyes still instead making sure the ball itself never moved throughout the process. Accordingly, I could be as fast in tempo as I liked and still hit solid shots. In effect, I eliminated the numerous swing thoughts and reduced them to one. Keep the ball still in my field of vision and swing normally.

    Think of a playground swing with steel rods instead of a chain. No matter how hard you push it it always arrives to the same place at the bottom because it’s anchored at a fixed point at the top and the sides are stiff. Can’t go up, can’t go down, can’t go sideways. Go as fast or as slow as you want and you’ll always arrive at the same point as the start.

    I’ll tell you, it was a pleasure to wipe all those swing thoughts out of my mind…

    • Steve Bishop

      I don’t like the idea of “swaying” off, but rather starting off with a bit more weight on your right than your left. Then when you bring your arms and the club back the weight gets more on the right without the need of really shifting your head. It’s fine if it does a little, but not a gross amount. This puts us behind the ball plenty though. Then on the forward swing EVERY good golfer in the history of the sport (that we know of) shifts their HEAD and weight forward. It should still remain behind the ball by impact but it moves forward non-the-less.

  2. Paul

    Kind of like positive indifference. i remember when Vijay said he was having trouble putting, and convinced himself and told everyone, he was the greatest putter in the world. Worked for him for a few tournaments…

    Monte, your point in the last graf is the reason golfers continue to search for that magic fix. We become obsessed with those poor shots and trying to fix them–to our detriment by blowing up our swing and starting over.

    So how do we process the bad and improve upon it for the next round? For me at least, when the bad shots happen early in the round I remind myself that I have a lot of holes left to make it up, try and stay patient and let it come to me. Something I also tell myself before the round is no doubles, instead of thinking, must protect par. Less pressure.

    • Monte Scheinblum

      “No doubles and protect par.”

      I say YUCK to both of those.

      Setup, try and hit a solid shot, find it, hit it again, add up the score.

      The object is to just try and hit every shot as good as you can and accept you will hit bad shots…and a lot of them.

      While at the same time, realizing how many bad shots you can hit and still shoot a score you’d be happy with.

  3. Calvin D

    The shot I just hit is over; It is no longer important.
    The shot coming up is a magnificent challenge.


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