Why people shoot higher scores than their skill on the range.

I see it time and time again- people outkicking their coverage on the range but not on the course.  But why does this happen? Why do golfers have the tendency to hit the ball so far when practicing but not in the game itself?

I’ll tell you why.

Trying to adjust after each miss hit shot. That costs golfers more strokes than not holding lag, poorly fit golf clubs, gloves that don’t fit, the pro shop being out of their brand of golf balls, mud on the ball, wind changing directions, lifting their head, bad range finder readings, poorly marked sprinklers, bad bounces, people honking car horns, improper warm up, confining shorts and pullovers, mystery injuries, halitosis, hemorrhoids and post nasal drip all put together.

How often have you played with this guy?…or maybe it’s been you.

First tee, hook. “Oops, better hold on to it longer on the next one, maybe I better swing more to right field as I came over the top of that one.”

Second shot, thin. “Well, better keep my head down.”

Pitch, chunk. “Got a little flippy there, better hold my angle.”

Tee two, slice. “Wow, better roll my wrists.”

Second shot, block, “Hmm, must have been aimed right.

When the day is over, it was literally 25-40 different swing thoughts and intents. Let me ask you guys this: regardless of skill level, what are the odds that a golfer could satisfy all of the following:

1. Proper diagnosis of swing fault that caused the bad shot.
2. Coming up with the correct fix for that fault.
3. Actually implementing the fix correctly on the next swing.

I am putting that number as being the same as Mr. Blutarski’s GPA.

I can tell you what the swing flaw was on about 90% of those occasions…IT WAS A BAD SHOT!!!!!!

They happen to players at every level. Didn’t Jordan Spieth hit bad shots in a record breaking Master’s victory? Sorry to sound like a jerk, but when you try and adjust your swing after every bad shot, it’s ridiculous, arrogant and stupid.

You shouldn’t adjust anything until you hit the same bad shot 3,4, 5 times in a row…and that should be a small setup or ball position adjustment. Unless you play golf for a living, in round swing adjustments are the equivalent of seeing a dime on the road and trying to open your car door at 70 mph to try and pick it up.

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14 Comments

  1. John

    Love this post! Smart as usual, Monte. I play my best golf when I am thinking about nothing, well, since it’s impossible to think about nothing I will say when I am thinking about ANYTHING but golf. What was the Angels score last night, is much preferable to did I lead with my right elbow?

    As a professional basketball player said to me once, “If I think, I stink.”

    Reply
  2. 12PackAbs

    I’ve been doing this since the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. Not out loud with playing partners, I know how annoying that can be, but in my head. Hard to just ignore a bad shot without trying to figure out what I did or didn’t do to cause it.

    As someone who fights the urge to beat the cover off the ball, lately I just keep repeating “relax” in my head after a bad shot. I seems to help when I actually listen to myself and relax.

    Reply
  3. Jake G

    Dime on the road analogy is priceless. LMAO

    Reply
  4. Paulp

    This is me. I have many different swings. 2 weeks ago I played 9 holes, I had three approx 100 yard pitch shots. 2 slide off the face to the right due to a very open club face and the third went left on me (imagine that).
    I agree with you, more or less.
    I have two one-hour lessons with you when you come to Chicago this weekend, luck you 🙂

    Reply
  5. pcb_duffer

    I’m guilty of often uttering an analysis of my swing error. What people don’t understand is that I usually say “So make your good swing, fool!” under my breath.

    Reply
  6. Mike

    This is a tremendous post. How true is this? Yeah, I can be that guy. But actually last time I was out (first time on the course this season) when I hit bad shots I just went back to what I’ve been working on and what I’ve been trying to do. Good advice, Monte. I’m going to sile this one away in my thick skull.

    Reply
  7. Geoff Dickson

    Well what are we supposed to do you moron?

    Reply
  8. Geoff Dickson

    …and just before anyone takes offence at my post above, please note I am just channelling Stork.

    Reply
  9. David

    He told you in the last paragraph ^^

    Reply
  10. Joey

    I agree that swing changes mid round are troublesome. But….if you practice often and know your tendency toward a certain swing fault then it seems like the only real option. IE I pull a tee shots 50 yards left (which is my common miss) and feel myself transitioning poorly from the top. I will spend the next 2 or three tee shots trying to figure out a bandaid. If I’m successful I may salvage the round. If I’m not then I might end the round with 3-4 OB penalties and a round that makes me want to quit playing.

    Reply
    • Monte Scheinblum

      Right. It’s the same miss and you are familiar with the adjustment. That’s not what I’m talking about.

      Reply
  11. James G

    Spot on as usual Monte! I was taught way back when not to diagnose a bad shot on the course and instead revert back to set up. Set up is really the only thing you can actually control. Trying to manipulate and control the swing is impossible. So, if you take a few extra seconds and attempt to set up properly every time you get the best chance of hitting a good shot. Just my 2 cents

    Reply
  12. Greg Tellis

    Monte! Stop talking about me.

    Reply
  13. Joel Harinstein

    Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no! You have made golf fun for me again. Keep these videos and blogs alive! Have you done one on Newton’s law of Motion yet? 🙂 Good work Monte.

    Reply

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