Watching golf on TV is fun especially if there’s a great match on television. When a golf match gets down to the last few holes with a few Players around the lead, you get to see many fantastic shots.
But, because most of the time these Players in contention are in the “Zone” or as we like to say – they’re on a Good Streak – you only see the best Golfers playing at their very best. And in a way, this is unfortunate because it would actually help your game if you’re able to watch the other Golfers in the tournament that are having more of a struggle.
Because you would see how Players who are hitting it all over the place are still able to score well. You’d be able to relate more to the Golfer that’s hitting their Tee shots into the trees than the Golfer hitting their Tee Shots in play every shot. You’d be able to see how they recover and score versus watching a Golfer that plays a totally different game than you and I.
What I mean by this is that the Players you’re being shown on television during the broadcast are the 10 or 12 players of the 72 that are playing their best that day.
You don’t get to see the ‘Reality of Golf’. You don’t get to see the many bad shots that the Pros are hitting because the TV people only show you the good shots. Now I guarantee someone is saying to themselves “Yeah Marc, so what’s the big deal about only seeing the good shots, I don’t want to watch the guy in last place messing up all over the golf course.”
And I agree with that statement – but at the same time by only seeing great shots all the time – it may be affecting your game in a negative way!
Why do I say this?
It influences you to set ‘Unrealistic Expectations’ for your golf game. Of course you understand that you’re not going to hit the golf ball like the Pro does, but at the same time, you virtually never get to see them hit multiple bad golf shots. This is because they only show the leaders of the tournament and the leaders are probably in “The Zone” at that point – meaning they aren’t going to hit many bad shots.
I’ll give you an example – Ernie Els was the star of the Honda Classic two weeks ago. And all the announcers proclaimed that “The Big Easy is Back!” And – “Ernie has found “it” again! He’s getting ready for The Masters!” Where were these announcers this past week when Ernie shot 73, 73 to miss the cut for the weekend by a couple of shots?
If Ernie found “it” two weeks ago – does it mean he lost “it” last weekend?
The point is about your ‘Expectations’.
Let’s continue with Els – Ernie has probably only had maybe 6 weeks where he’s played well over the last 60 weeks he’s played Tournament Golf. Now, if you played well once in every 10 weeks – how many of you would say the following (or some variation of the following): “I stink. I’m so inconsistent. I’m not enjoying myself. I’m thinking of giving up the game”?
But, getting back to golf on television –
This is for you to understand that even the best Players in the world struggle with their games and they struggle often! Just imagine if Els came out in five weeks after missing four more cuts and won another tournament. The announcers would surely say something like – “Ernie Els, what a consistent Player. He’s always lurking around the leader board and you can never count him out.”
Yet, with all this praise that would come to Els (or anybody else who struggled one week then won a few weeks later), most people would assume Ernie is playing fantastic every time he steps on the golf course because 99% of the people that saw him win, didn’t even know he played in the last five tournaments (because he missed the cut and didn’t play on television during the weekend).
‘Out of sight – out of mind’ – and this contributes to you feeling like you should be much more consistent.
We only see what I call ‘Highlight Golf’. We only see the best shots that are played and we’re led to believe that the Pros are playing shots like this all the time. So that when we go to the golf course, we put unreasonable standards on our golf game. And when we don’t meet these standards – we get upset and maybe even disappointed with ourselves and our scores reflect this.
It’s like the Golfer that struggles to break 100. We go on the golf course in the afternoon and he/she hits a pretty good drive about 215-yards (which is about 15-yards longer than their usual Drive), but about 3-yards right of the fairway. Now I say “Good shot.” And they look at me like I’m an idiot and say “No that isn’t! It’s not where I aimed.”
The Expectations that many Golfers set for themselves are amazingly unrealistic. And I believe golf on television is a significant contributor to this problem because all you get to see is the best Players playing at their best and making it look so easy!
Imagine a Golfer that struggles with their game and admits to struggling and the need to get better – complain about being only 3-yards off their target and totally ignoring the fact that they hit the golf ball farther than they have in the past.
Another example of how inconsistent the Pros can be – Jeff Maggert was playing close to the best golf he can play on Thursday at the tournament in Tampa last week when he shot 66 – then maybe close to his worst on Saturday when he shot a 77. That’s an 11-stroke difference. Lee Janzen shot a 65 on Friday and a 75 on Saturday. That’s a 10-stroke difference.
But even though they struggled on those bad days – I doubt that they’ll go back home and try to rework their golf swing. I’m sure they’ll just put that bad day down as a bad day and leave it at that.
Do you do that? Do you get frustrated because you’re inconsistent? To excel in this game, you must accept some inconsistency! When you can truly accept that, you’ll be ready to take your game to the next level!
I could also mention Steve Stricker who shot 75 on Saturday and 66 on Sunday or Steve Elkington who shot 68 on Friday and 77 on Sunday. Or I could mention –
The Monkey is watching golf on television and setting their Expectations based on watching the best Players playing at their best
The Player understands that if Steve Stricker has a 9 stroke difference from round to round – they should accept a much higher stroke differential from time to time
Go ahead, Be a Player!
Marc Solomon – Your Instructor For Life