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Your Game Doesn't Change Overnight

Why is it hard to play the same from one day to the next? Why is that so rare?

You know the deal. You shoot a good score of 68 one day, and the next you shoot 77. Or you shoot a good 79 one day, and the next you shoot 85. It's so rare to shoot 68 one day, and 67 the next. Or 79 one day, and 76 the next. Why?

If you don't put a lot of thought into it your first thought is because you're a different golfer than you were yesterday. Scientifically and technically speaking, that might be true. Your body is literally changing every day. But if you really look close you're the same golfer every day. Nothing about your swing can change dramatically overnight. If it were so, then that swing change you've been working on for weeks or months (or years!) would be an overnight fix. So even if you wanted it to, your swing doesn't change that quickly.

The thing that most of us just don't take into account is that we have a wider range of ability than we think.

Every player has an A game, a B game, and a C game. Or great shots, average shots, and bad shots. Or good scores, normal scores, and bad scores. Dustin Johnson has this. Sei Young Kim has this. And so does the worst golfer you know.

And the breakdown of how often each of those games happen is like this: your A game happens about 16% of the time, your B game about 68% of the time, and your C game about 16% of the time.

If you're like me, you probably feel like your C game happens way more than that. Like you just always play crummy. I think what you'll find is that what happens most often is actually your B game. Your average, run-of-the-mill game.

I challenge you to come up with a rating system for ranking your shots. Rate each shot A, B, or C based on strike quality, or distance, or proximity to your intended target. Anything. And if you rank every shot based on the same criteria, given enough time they will follow the shape of a bell curve. They'll look something like this:

Given enough shots or rounds, your results will follow this curve.

So how does this info help? You might say, "Well I still feel like I never play as good as I want to." This bell curve can be really good news. Let's say your best scores are usually around 68, your average is around 74, and your worst is around 80. You want to shoot 68 all the time, but the bell curve concept helps you be ok that you don't. Because statistically speaking you'll shoot those great scores only 16% of the time. And likewise, an 81 here and there feels like the end of the world, but you know based on the bell curve concept that those rounds really don't happen that often. So stay composed and focused and you'll be back to your average in no time.

Golfers can be really hard on themselves. I'm sure you can be really hard on yourself. Use this concept to be more ok with how you play currently. All the while working on your game to make your A, B, and C games better.


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