Golf Made Simple Blog

Why Golf on TV is Hurting Your Game

Watching golf on TV is great especially if there’s a great match going on like they did last Sunday at the Honda Classic in South Florida. When a golf match gets down to the last few holes with a few Players around the lead you get to see all the great shots and all the shots that don’t go as great – or as the golfer watching on TV says when the Player goofs-up “Hey that looks like me, I could’ve done that.” But, because most of the time these Players that are in contention are in the “Zone” or as we like to say – they’re on a streak of good shots – you only see the best golfers 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 best Players In The World struggle a little bit.

I haven’t had much chance in the last 5 years or so to watch golf on TV – or maybe I should say I don’t have much desire to watch golf on TV anymore because the TV networks are showing their version of the golf match and not what’s really happening. What I mean by this is that the Players we’re being shown on TV are fantastic, the best in the world, but they also hit a lot of bad shots during their rounds. Yet, you don’t get to see them hit bad shots 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 is affecting your game in a negative way! Why do I say this? Because it influences you to set unrealistic expectations for your golf game. Of course you understand that you’re not going to hit the ball like the Pro does, but at the same time, you virtually never get to see them hit a bad golf shot. This is because they only show the leaders of the tournament and the leaders are probably in “The Zone” at that point – meaning they’re aren’t going to hit a bad shot.

I’ll give you an example – If you got to watch the Honda Classic on TV on Sunday – How many shots did you get to see Davis Love III play? I say this because Davis is one of the best Players in the world and you’d expect to see a few shots from him, wouldn’t you? But he wasn’t playing good, so you didn’t get to see him play. Now the reason I’m writing this isn’t to start a petition to NBC saying I want to see more than just the leaders – 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 Davis Love III came out this week and won at the next tournament at Bay Hill in Orlando. The announcers would surely say something like – “Davis Love, what a consistent Player. He’s always lurking around the leader board and you can never count him out.” And then what happens on Monday is millions of golfers go to the driving range to start practicing to make their swing more like Davis Love’s swing. Or as we say – they start to “Fiddle” with their swing.

Yet, with all this praise that will come to Davis Love (or anybody else who struggled one week then won the next, I’m just using Davis Love’s name because he didn’t have a good tournament), most people would assume Davis is playing fantastic every time he steps on the golf course because 99% of the people that see him win, didn’t even know he played in the last tournament. And this contributes you to feeling like you should be much more consistent.

But we only see what I call “Highlight Golf”. We only see the best shots that are played and are led to believe that the Pro’s 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 – what do we do? We get upset and maybe even disappointed with ourselves and our scores reflect this.

It’s like the golfer that comes to see us that struggles to break 100. We go on the golf course in the afternoon and he/she hits a pretty good drive about 175-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.” Do you know what I want to say to this golfer at this point when they say something as ridiculous as that? The standards that many golfers set for themselves are amazingly unrealistic. And I think golf on TV is a significant contributor to this problem because all you get to see is the best golfers playing 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 then they have in the past. But, I don’t blame this golfer as much as I find fault in the golf we see on TV. Because by only seeing the best Players as they’re playing their best, makes many golfers set their own standards too high. And when your standards are set too high, you’ll be disappointed with your results 9 times out of 10.

I’ll give you another couple of examples of what I’m speaking about above when I say that the Pro’s are more inconsistent than most golfers think – Geoff Ogilvy was playing maybe the best golf of his life when he shot 64 on Saturday and then maybe close to his worst on the last 4-holes of the tournament when he shot 73 on Sunday. That’s a 9-stroke difference! Lee Janzen shot a 64 on Friday and a 76 on Sunday. That’s a 12-shot difference. So why am I pointing this out to you? Because it shows you 2-successful golfers that went out one day and played great (they were on a good streak for 18 holes) and then went out the next day or 2-days later and played bad (they were on a bad streak). But even thought 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? Are you able to leave 1 or 2-bad days alone and just move on? Or do you get frustrated because you’re inconsistent? Too 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!

Or I could mention Fred Couple who shot 66 on Saturday and 74 on Sunday or Chad Campbell who shot 64 on Thursday and 80 on Saturday. Or I could mention …..

Regards,

Marc Solomon

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