Manage Your Performance Expectations on the Golf Course

October 17, 2012 | Mark Rummings

Must See Golf Videos

It's not unusual for an amateur to hit the green with a shot but react with disgust. The same thing happens when a drive is missed slightly off the face, but harmlessly sails down the fairway. The explanation is simple—unrealistic expectations.

Much frustration caused by unrealistic expectations comes from watching the PGA Tour on television. People do not understand that when they watch weekend tournament telecasts, they are seeing the 70 top players in the world at their best. Half of the field goes home Friday night. I can assure you that they hit some poor shots that were not shown on television.

During the weekend, the TV producers behind the scenes focus on the top eight players who are in fine form and leading the tournament. These players are the best in the world, and to be in their current position on the leaderboard, their swings are clicking and their putts are dropping. All of a sudden, the telecast cuts to a player off the leaderboard with a 50-foot putt. Before he even addresses the ball, you know it's going in. Why else would they be showing a player seven shots off the lead? This continues for three hours, and the telecast becomes a highlight reel of great shots.

This does not represent real golf for most players. It is easy to assume that every shot you see on TV is going to be great. This has the effect of raising our expectations for our own game. We then expect to hit every shot down the fairway, onto the green and into the cup. Watching the pros gives us a warped view of true golf the way it is played in the provinces.

The reality is that golf is a game of misses. Ben Hogan said that he would only hit four perfect shots per round. To put it another way, the current 100th-ranked Tour pro hits six out of 10 fairways and a similar percentage of greens in regulation. He makes putts from 10 to 15 feet approximately three out of 10 times.

If you are not more realistic with your expectations, it will crush your confidence on the course and you will play worse. Instead, look at some key statistics after the round, such as fairways and greens hit. Do it after the round, because otherwise it will affect your demeanor on the course. Remember to work on your weaknesses on the range and not mid-round. That way, you can build and gain confidence rather than psyching yourself out with unrealistic expectations.

Instead of getting angry, develop your skills through drills and workouts from the pros on STACK's Golf page.

Topics: GOLF
Mark Rummings
- Mark Rummings is a golf coach and business unit manager at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He is a PGA Class “A” Member, Senior Certified...
Mark Rummings
- Mark Rummings is a golf coach and business unit manager at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. He is a PGA Class “A” Member, Senior Certified...

Featured Videos

Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Path to the Pros 2015: Devin Smith Views: 182,224
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,271,129
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 81,017
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,781
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,195,981
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,321
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,437
Dustin Pedroia on Training Dustin Pedroia on Training
Views: 10,921,007

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Does Home Field Actually Confer an Advantage?

Do teams win more at home than on the road? Could it depend on the sport? Or the geographical location of the home team? The answer is yes and no. The...

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

The Holistic Approach to Impactful Sports Coaching

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

Can a Faster Brain Increase Sports Performance?

4 Tips for Building Confidence

4 Tips for Building Confidence

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

What's Your Backup Plan When 'Plan A' Fails?

Tips for Keeping a Tennis Journal

Tips for Keeping a Tennis Journal

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

Positive Affirmations for Athletes

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

How Clayton Kershaw Gets in the Zone

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Using Sports Imagery as Pre-Performance Routine

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

Overcome Your Fear of Failure

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

6 Ways Sport Parents Are Doing It Wrong

A Coach Describes What It’s Like to Cut Players

A Coach Describes What It's Like to Cut Players

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

Why You Should Be Training Instead of Exercising

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

How to Improve Mental Focus on the Baseball Diamond

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Mental Warm-Up: How to Build Confidence Before a Game

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Stress Exposure Training for Basketball

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

Study: Athletes Think Faster, More Accurately Than Non-Athletes

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Athletic Performance

3 Strategies to Reduce Stress and Increase Athletic Performance

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

5 Tips for Playing Mentally Tough Tennis

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

How Mental Flexibility Boosts Your Game

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

Home Field Advantage Is Real, Says Science

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

5 Tips to Becoming a Successful Athlete

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The Art of Strength and Conditioning Coaching

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

The One Word You Should Never Say to Yourself

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

Why Athletes Must Focus on Developing Their Own Identity

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

5 Steps to Becoming a Better Coach

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

Q&A: How to Deal With a Tough Coach

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

How to 'Keep Your Cool' on the Football Field

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Growth Mindset: How to Think Like a Champion

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Overcome the 5 Most Common Mental Mistakes in Sports

Unlock Your Full Athletic Potential

Unlock Your Full Athletic Potential

How Mentally Tough Are You?

How Mentally Tough Are You?

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

Build Mental Toughness in the Weight Room

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

How Mental Performance Affects Your Workouts

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

Regain Your Confidence by Getting BIG

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

4 Reasons Your Team Is Losing

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Get Tough on Your Goals to Get Fit

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

Use Sports Psychology Against Your Opponents

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

The Athletic Brain: How to Learn to Anticipate

YardBarker