Golf Is Really Hard!!!


Posted by Dexter Francois | Posted in , , , | Posted on Monday, July 5, 2010

I just finished viewing the latest episode of The Golf Fix with Michael Breed and this is what I learned. GOLF IS REALLY HARD! I mean, I already knew this, but after watching tonight, it is easy to see why so many people struggle to improve their handicap. Golf is really really hard.

Breed explained how to play a variety of shots around the greens using his wedges. As we have discussed before, most of the shots during a round happen from 100 yards and in. It is important to learn many different shots around the green in order to be successful.

Golf is really a game of inches. There are so many variables that can make a difference from stroke to stroke. If your ball rolls one more inch it can go from being a good lie to becoming a bad lie. That inch changes everything about your next shot. The club selection. The trajectory. How hard you hit it. Where you want to land the ball. How far will it run if I hit that spot.? If I miss the spot, then what? Then, depending on the weather conditions, everything changes.

My goal for 2010 is to break 80. I have come close, and yes it was a matter of inches. I missed a few putts during a round in which I shot an 81, but those putts were not the reason I did not break 80. It was the ugly chip shot the only went a foot. It was the shank out of the sand bunker that ended up in the bunker on the other side of the green.

The difference between me and the pros is that they make mistakes but they do not compound their mistakes. They may hit an errant approach shot into the bunker, but more than likely they get it up and down to save par. Myself on the other hand...Like I said, sometimes the balls ends up clear across the green and now I am hoping for a two-putt to save double bogey.

I was a fan of the last Haney Project with Ray Romano because Ray and I have similar games and similar goals. Breaking 80 for a double digit handicapper is difficult. Everything has to go perfectly. When I shot my 81, I definitely got lucky with a few chip-ins and a couple of long putts. I want to get from shooting lucky 81's to shooting consistent 81's.

According to Tinou Bao, Ray and I have no chance. Just substitute my name for Ray's name and you will get the idea. This is what he had to say:

Romano(Dexter) claims to be a 15-18 handicapper(I'm currently at 13.7). The odds of 15-18 scoring 79 ranges from 1 in 1,138 to 1 in 37,000. On a typical course (say 71 rating/125 slope) Romano would need a net differential of 8-10 to score 79. Base on this USGA chart the odds of that happening are not good.

I think the biggest misconception about the golf handicap index is it represents some kind of average or typical score. But you only shoot to your index 20% of the time. So if Romano's index is 15 he scores 87 only 20% of the time. If Romano averaged 87 then breaking 80 wouldn't be that big of a deal. But when he only scores 87 20% of the time taking 8 strokes off (even for just a single round) becomes very unlikely.

So should I just give up? I don't think so. I believe anything is possible if you put your mind and heart into it. Just like with anything else in life that one wants to get better at, it takes practice. Practice is the only way to reach your goals. We may get lucky from time to time, and while it's good to be lucky, I would rather be consistently good. But until then...GOLF IS STILL REALLY HARD!

Have a good round and always hit your target.

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