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The Dan Plan - 10,000 Hours to Become a Pro Golfer (Dan McLaughlin) - Page 79

post #1405 of 2300

What have we learned from this?

 

1. If you practice for 10,000 hours you can become good at anything.

 

Jk. Here are some of the real lessons:

 

1. Never follow anyone else's advice.

 

Never trust what an "expert" tells you. Unless you're dealing with something repeatable that he's seen before, he doesn't know better than you.

 

Instead: Gather data. Understand the feedback other people give you. Critically evaluate the suggestions of others.

 

Dan's mistake: Dan's golf coach advised Dan to spend months doing nothing but putting. Dan failed to critically evaluate this advice. He failed to experiment on his own. Instead, he blindly followed his coach, losing months of his life in the process. Simply pitiful. Once Dan started to practice his long game, he realized he had made a mistake.

 

2. Be willing to admit you suck (at something)

 

Many people have trouble overcoming challenges due to a weird, distorted view of the world. Often it's because they're unwilling to admit that they suck at something.

 

Instead: Realize that you're a good person who isn't perfect. Be happy with what you have and be willing to fix your problems, one at a time, in the right order. If you suck at something, don't let that hold you down, but at the same time admit it to yourself and be realistic.

 

Dan's mistake: Dan has said that every day he thinks about making it to the Tour. This isn't realistic, and it causes him to have emotional breakdowns, fail to set clear goals, ignore negative feedback and have an all-around poor mental game. (For example: mentally replaying one shot from one bad tournament round for 18 hours.) Worse yet, he may be spending years on a journey he will regret later.

 

3. Use the right metrics to measure things

 

Sociologists, journalists, writers, etc. fall prey to bad statistics. Don't be one of them.

 

Instead: If you want to use numbers, make sure you have enough data (so that you're not just looking at randomness) and don't cherry-pick statistics that make you feel good. In golf, you should be using fine-grained statistics such as strokes gained.

 

Dan's mistake: Dan constantly uses a single good round to justify how well he is doing. Dan has had one under-par round (on a short easy course he's played maybe hundreds of times) and uses it to justify that he'll get to Tour-level, but it means nothing: if you want to evaluate yourself based on the scores you shoot, you should look at averages, not the extremes, and you should ideally look at competitive rounds. To prove that Vision54 was a success, he "simulated" a round in his head (shooting a 74). Again, bullshit. The simple statistics he uses (greens in regulation, putts per round, etc.) are, combined with his poor mental game (see above), worse than useless.

 

If Dan did start using good statistics such as strokes gained, he would likely not even dare to analyze them, since they'd prove he's not making good progress.

 

4. Malcolm Gladwell is nonsense

 

Malcolm Gladwell is like a woman giving a TED Talk about empowerment. He preaches to the choir with feel-good drivel which sounds convincing to the untrained ear.

 

Repeating this type of nonsense may give you applause, a professorship and a NY Times bestseller. But their actual content (I'm talking both Gladwell's and the woman's) is destructive.

 

10,000 hours is bullshit. Some of us knew it before. All of us should know it know.

post #1406 of 2300

If I had to do a Dan Plan - I wouldn't, the premise is flawed to begin with - I'd first change the target goal. See how good one can get with 10K hours. Then I'd do research into what are the typical ways of improving and what are the deliberate practice methods that are different from the same old same old, not from academics, but from golf pros. I'd look into all the "hot zones" of teaching, visit each one, and then pick one I'd stick with. Another thing I'd do is I'd try and get to know 3-4 swing geeks - scratch or plus handicappers who don't teach, but are have done a deep dive into all the schools of instruction. This would be sort of an advisory group.

 

  1. This would be terrible marketing. It doesn't have the schtick that make it to the PGA tour does. It would never take off.
  2. No way this is affordable on Dan Plan funding.
post #1407 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post
 

 

1. Never follow anyone else's advice.

 

Never trust what an "expert" tells you. Unless you're dealing with something repeatable that he's seen before, he doesn't know better than you.

 

 

 

Nonsense.  There's certainly good and bad "advice" to be found, and it must be evaluated, but without accepting that there exist experts in virtually every arena that know more than you, you'll never benefit from teachers, coaches, or mentors, whether in sport, business, or life.....

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post
 

2. Be willing to admit you suck (at something)

 

 

 

Not quite.  Not having the talent to reach the highest levels of achievement in something isn't quite the same as "sucking" at it.  Dan's improved his game significantly.  I just don't believe that he'll reach his goal, not because he "sucks" at golf, but he seems to be lacking the extreme level of talent and athleticism required to complete at the level he's set for himself.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post

 

 

3. Use the right metrics to measure things

 

Sociologists, journalists, writers, etc. fall prey to bad statistics. Don't be one of them.

 

 

 

Agree.  Though I don't necessarily know that we learned that from Dan and his efforts.....

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post

 

 

4. Malcolm Gladwell is nonsense

 

 

10,000 hours is bullshit. Some of us knew it before. All of us should know it know.

 

 

We don't learn any such thing (note, I'm NOT defending Gladwell) from one apparent failure in one poorly contrived "experiment"......

post #1408 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

Nonsense.  There's certainly good and bad "advice" to be found, and it must be evaluated, but without accepting that there exist experts in virtually every arena that know more than you, you'll never benefit from teachers, coaches, or mentors, whether in sport, business, or life.....

 

 

 

Not quite.  Not having the talent to reach the highest levels of achievement in something isn't quite the same as "sucking" at it.  Dan's improved his game significantly.  I just don't believe that he'll reach his goal, not because he "sucks" at golf, but he seems to be lacking the extreme level of talent and athleticism required to complete at the level he's set for himself.

 

 

 

 

Agree.  Though I don't necessarily know that we learned that from Dan and his efforts.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We don't learn any such thing (note, I'm NOT defending Gladwell) from one apparent failure in one poorly contrived "experiment"......

I'll defend him ;) ... 

 

A)  The 10,000 hour theory is NOT even Gladwell's to begin with, it's Anders Erikkson's.

 

and B) The part of the theory that Gladwell mentions in his book doesn't even apply to a guy like Dan anyway.  It was developed from working backwards using a bunch of very well accomplished violinists .. not random joes who have never even seen a violin or a piece of sheet music.

 


Not at all suggesting that I think that he has a chance of succeeding, however, I just want to point out that he is BARELY past the halfway point of his experiment.  He has 4,794 hours remaining.  Think about how much you play or practice and figure how long it would take to reach that number.  Add in the fact that I expect a lot of you hope (and dare I say "plan") to get better over that time period and I think that we are probably jumping to conclusions just a hair early.

 

Me, for example:  I have been taking lessons seriously over the course of the last 2 years and have dropped my handicap by almost 4 points.  (a bit over 10 to start, 6.8 and dropping currently)  My routine is to try and practice about twice a week (one hour each) and I play, if I'm lucky, twice a month.  That is about 16 hours a month, so about 200 hours a year.

 

I've improved considerably over the course of my last 400 hours.  As much as we like to harass Dan, I think he could all agree that he has improved a ton from never having played to his current handicap (however vain it may be).  Now, consider that he's got almost 5000 hours left - the equivalent of 24 years for me at my current rate - and I think that it's still too early to make a definitive statement about his ceiling.

 

It's fair for us to be skeptical (very skeptical) but nothing is in stone just yet.:beer:


Edited by Golfingdad - 7/6/14 at 12:39pm
post #1409 of 2300
@narmno that was a nice writeup. Item 3 with his 70 round was something that at stuck out to me. When I hear about aspiring pros, a good round on a local course is in the low 60s. Tour pros need to shoot mid to high 60s on occasion on tour difficulty courses to stay high enough on the money list just to keep their cards.

I also agree with @David in FL that Dan does not suck at golf, but he'll never be even close to getting his card, much less be able to keep it through the first year.
post #1410 of 2300

I find this whole 10,000 hours claim as the only basis for expertise complete nonsense. If the writer were not such a geek (Malcolm Gladwell) and actually participated in sports as a kid and adult, he would know there are just some people who really are gifted either athletically, or psychologically or both.

I remember very clearly a couple of kids who just about do anything on the first try, and golf was one of them. This one kid I knew, literally was playing bogey golf after just a few rounds.

I remember another kid who was amazing at diving, combine complete fearlessness with unbelievable coordination.

For the rest of us, there are varying degrees of ability, and to say one package fits all, it's 10,000 hours or bust is nonsensical. For some it would come far earlier, and for others, it will never happen.

post #1411 of 2300

one more thing. If the 10,000 hour participant doesn't have superior emotional/psychological control, no amount of practice will get him to the pros.

Most of us know plenty of guys who could shoot scratch golf or better who never came close to making it to the pros.

post #1412 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post

I find this whole 10,000 hours claim as the only basis for expertise complete nonsense. If the writer were not such a geek (Malcolm Gladwell) and actually participated in sports as a kid and adult, he would know there are just some people who really are gifted either athletically, or psychologically or both.
I remember very clearly a couple of kids who just about do anything on the first try, and golf was one of them. This one kid I knew, literally was playing bogey golf after just a few rounds.
I remember another kid who was amazing at diving, combine complete fearlessness with unbelievable coordination.
For the rest of us, there are varying degrees of ability, and to say one package fits all, it's 10,000 hours or bust is nonsensical. For some it would come far earlier, and for others, it will never happen.
Read my post a couple above yours ... Your facts are off. ;)
post #1413 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

Nonsense.  There's certainly good and bad "advice" to be found, and it must be evaluated, but without accepting that there exist experts in virtually every arena that know more than you, you'll never benefit from teachers, coaches, or mentors, whether in sport, business, or life.....

 

You should certainly learn from teachers, coaches and mentors. Try things that coaches tell you, listen to your teacher, listen to feedback, etc. but you should never blindly follow the "life advice" someone gives you. You should internally understand it and then carry out what you think is best. If you do end up following the advice for a bit, you'll end up constantly re-evaluating it, stopping if it feels wrong, having some sense of control/autonomy, etc. You'll perform much better in the end.

 

 

[Edit]

 

Your other disagreement--

Quote:
 Not quite.  Not having the talent to reach the highest levels of achievement in something isn't quite the same as "sucking" at it.  Dan's improved his game significantly.  I just don't believe that he'll reach his goal, not because he "sucks" at golf, but he seems to be lacking the extreme level of talent and athleticism required to complete at the level he's set for himself

 

"Admitting you suck at something" could just mean admitting you're incapable of something. It's not easy, and I don't say you should do it constantly, but often it's something people need to do. In Dan's case, if he wants to be real he needs to admit to himself that the way his tournament rounds are going, he won't reach his goal of reaching Tour-level. Reaching scratch (on his home courses) might be a more reasonable goal.

post #1414 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

I'll defend him ;) ... 

 

A)  The 10,000 hour theory is NOT even Gladwell's to begin with, it's Anders Erikkson's.

 

and B) The part of the theory that Gladwell mentions in his book doesn't even apply to a guy like Dan anyway.  It was developed from working backwards using a bunch of very well accomplished violinists .. not random joes who have never even seen a violin or a piece of sheet music.

 

 

So Eriksson found some accomplished violonists and saw the best ones had put in 10,000 hours of work.

 

Gladwell puts this in his book and constantly references a "10,000 rule" which (quoting Wikipedia) states that "the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours." This is called saying something out of thin air. The rule has since been debunked many times.

 

It's fine to read Gladwell for his entertaining and well-written anecdotes. But beyond that it's mostly bullshit.

 

Btw, the most sad thing about Dan is the poor way he's gone about his 10k hours.

post #1415 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post

one more thing. If the 10,000 hour participant doesn't have superior emotional/psychological control, no amount of practice will get him to the pros.
Most of us know plenty of guys who could shoot scratch golf or better who never came close to making it to the pros.
I believe the author of the book with the "10,000 hour theory" came out to say that it didn't apply to all situations, such as sports or things for which someone didn't already have talent.
post #1416 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post
 

 

So Eriksson found some accomplished violonists and saw the best ones had put in 10,000 hours of work.

 

Gladwell puts this in his book and constantly references a "10,000 rule" which (quoting Wikipedia) states that "the key to success in any field is, to a large extent, a matter of practicing a specific task for a total of around 10,000 hours." This is called saying something out of thin air. The rule has since been debunked many times.

 

It's fine to read Gladwell for his entertaining and well-written anecdotes. But beyond that it's mostly bullshit.

 

Btw, the most sad thing about Dan is the poor way he's gone about his 10k hours.

Don't have permission to edit, so adding on (last post--promise!):

 

If you like reading and have spare time to learn more about Gladwell, read here: http://infoproc.blogspot.com/2009/11/pinker-on-gladwell.html  The blogger is a genius theoretical physicist.

post #1417 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post

I find this whole 10,000 hours claim as the only basis for expertise complete nonsense. If the writer were not such a geek (Malcolm Gladwell) and actually participated in sports as a kid and adult, he would know there are just some people who really are gifted either athletically, or psychologically or both.

He was, apparently, a pretty high-level sprinter at one point.

FWIW, Gladwell isn't my favorite author, but I do enjoy his books. He's an excellent writer and storyteller who, I think, overestimates his grasp of statistics and causality. He's not a scientist, but given the topics he tends to write about, people seem to think he is. Part of that is a failing on his part (he tends to be overly certaint, using "is" when "might be" is probably more accurate), and part of it lies with the readers, I think.

10,000 hours is not some sort of magical number, which is the problem with The Dan Plan. Excellence can be accomplished in 5,000 hours with the right training and background (trying not to use the word "talent" here), or you might spend 20,000 hours on something and never get there. The fact that the readers of Gladwell's books don't understand that is unfortunate.

We seem to definitively know very little about what it takes to be world-class at something - you can find a study that'll support pretty much any opinion - so I think the fact that Gladwell assigned a hard number to it was misleading.
post #1418 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post
 

 

Btw, the most sad thing about Dan is the poor way he's gone about his 10k hours.

Yeah, and this is another reason why the experiment can't prove anything;  those who believe the 10k hour rule to be legit will say he failed because his deliberate practice was anything but.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamo View Post


He was, apparently, a pretty high-level sprinter at one point.

FWIW, Gladwell isn't my favorite author, but I do enjoy his books. He's an excellent writer and storyteller who, I think, overestimates his grasp of statistics and causality. He's not a scientist, but given the topics he tends to write about, people seem to think he is. Part of that is a failing on his part (he tends to be overly certaint, using "is" when "might be" is probably more accurate), and part of it lies with the readers, I think.

10,000 hours is not some sort of magical number, which is the problem with The Dan Plan. Excellence can be accomplished in 5,000 hours with the right training and background (trying not to use the word "talent" here), or you might spend 20,000 hours on something and never get there. The fact that the readers of Gladwell's books don't understand that is unfortunate.

We seem to definitively know very little about what it takes to be world-class at something - you can find a study that'll support pretty much any opinion - so I think the fact that Gladwell assigned a hard number to it was misleading.

Yeah, I agree with this.  His books are very entertaining, and they do get you to think, but he does come across with a tad bit of arrogance that can easily be mistaken for knowledge.  He definitely tries to sound like a scientist.  Outliers was my first introduction to him and I made that mistake at first.

 

I also like reading his opinion on sports as well.  @jamo , I'm sure you've read a lot of his email exchanges with Bill Simmons ... I love those, especially when they get to brainstorming about things like the NBA lottery/draft/playoffs and such.

 

Anywho, I wandered ... sorry about that. ;)

post #1419 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Yeah, I agree with this.  His books are very entertaining, and they do get you to think, but he does come across with a tad bit of arrogance that can easily be mistaken for knowledge.  He definitely tries to sound like a scientist.  Outliers was my first introduction to him and I made that mistake at first.

I also like reading his opinion on sports as well.  @jamo
 , I'm sure you've read a lot of his email exchanges with Bill Simmons ... I love those, especially when they get to brainstorming about things like the NBA lottery/draft/playoffs and such.

Anywho, I wandered ... sorry about that. ;)

I agree. I like when he has him on the podcast too.
post #1420 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by narmno View Post

You should certainly learn from teachers, coaches and mentors. Try things that coaches tell you, listen to your teacher, listen to feedback, etc. but you should never blindly follow the "life advice" someone gives you. You should internally understand it and then carry out what you think is best. If you do end up following the advice for a bit, you'll end up constantly re-evaluating it, stopping if it feels wrong, having some sense of control/autonomy, etc. You'll perform much better in the end.


[Edit]

Your other disagreement--

"Admitting you suck at something" could just mean admitting you're incapable of something. It's not easy, and I don't say you should do it constantly, but often it's something people need to do. In Dan's case, if he wants to be real he needs to admit to himself that the way his tournament rounds are going, he won't reach his goal of reaching Tour-level. Reaching scratch (on his home courses) might be a more reasonable goal.

But neither of those are what you said in your OP.......
post #1421 of 2300
What I don't understand is if this experiment upsets you or you think it's foolish why do you continue to follow Dan religiously? Why do people care if money is being donated to him? It isn't your money so who cares.

I love how people too criticize how he began his training by just putting. Like he should've know better or something. The guy hadn't even picked up a club until 4 years ago how would he know what deliberate practice is. That's why it's called trial and error. Give the guy credit for putting himself out there and trying something that 99% of the people on here are incapable of. At least he is trying for a goal (even if it is unrealistic) instead of sitting here playing Monday morning quarterback like the rest of you.
post #1422 of 2300
Quote:
Originally Posted by beastmode87 View Post

What I don't understand is if this experiment upsets you or you think it's foolish why do you continue to follow Dan religiously? Why do people care if money is being donated to him? It isn't your money so who cares.

I love how people too criticize how he began his training by just putting. Like he should've know better or something. The guy hadn't even picked up a club until 4 years ago how would he know what deliberate practice is. That's why it's called trial and error. Give the guy credit for putting himself out there and trying something that 99% of the people on here are incapable of. At least he is trying for a goal (even if it is unrealistic) instead of sitting here playing Monday morning quarterback like the rest of you.


The main reason I stay subscribed to this thread is to look for comments from some of the other golfers, but it's always fun to watch his progress as a golfer.

 

He got to the 10 handicapper range after dedicating 2 years and 5000 hours of work. Not bad.

 

It's also fun to use him as a benchmark for comparison of your own progress. For instance, my son spent about 1000 hours over 5 years and I have spent over 2000 hours over a period of almost 4 years. We got seriously good instruction only the last year or so. My son is somewhere around a 10 handicap, and I hope to be in the 10 handicap range within another 1000 hours of work or less.

 

A more extreme comparison would be @GHIN0011458 who spent a little over 4000 hours, and is a real scratch golfer.

 

His progress makes some of us happier about our own progress. So, in a possibly unintentional manner, he makes other golfers feel really good about themselves.

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