Originally Posted by Williamevanl
Lovinitall, again I think you provide great posts but here's my reasoning. (It's late but I'll do my best :) )) BTW I wanted say some stuff about course ratings and being way over that for a given handicap but let's skip it.
I think the learning curve of golf is obviously asymptotic, ( I suspect most would agree with that to varying degrees) You can imagine it looks something like this:
This learning curve will be different for all people, a professional golfer might have had a learning curve that looked more like:
The point is that we don't have to 'wait for the finish line' to gauge the progress in anything that becomes increasingly difficult as this is not linear. It becomes exponentially more difficult as you approach scratch (hence asymptotic curve) so this doesn't have to be guess work. If we had 1000 people we could eventually get to a place where we could gauge (roughly) where each person would be after so many hours given this asymptotic regression.
When I took a crack at estimating Dan's progress at 3000 hours as being a 6.0, I just started plugging his scores into Excel to see where we were headed. That curve, however, doesn't put him anywhere near a plus handicap at the end of this thing (relative, 2-3 is what I expect).
I don't disagree with any of the above other than, with regard to this 'project', I don't think the progression curve will flatten out the way you think it will. You may be right , I may be right, we won't know for awhile.
Anyone at a 6 HC still has a massive amount of room for improvement. After all, it's a golfer that's still regularly shooting 80+. Also, there's something about the amount of real time (days/months) playing real golf that, regardless of hours practiced, plays into this somehow. He's only been actually playing for about a year. From the time he first putted until now, and from the time I started playing, I was further along than Dan, but I had 5x (maybe more) the number of rounds in that he has. That has to matter, right? If I'd taken his approach, I don't know that I'd be any better than he his.
I'm not sure if you've seen range rats that beat an unbelievable number of balls on the range, but they still can't play very well. Our club had them. I'd think, 'Man, if I practiced that much....', but really, I don't know. Something about actually getting out there and getting the ball in the hole makes a difference, and Dan doesn't have much of that yet.
If Dan's routine wasn't documented the way it is and someone said, 'Hey, this guy is a 6 HC and he played the first round of golf in his life 12 months ago.', I'd think that was pretty good. If he's not at least a 3 in the next 12 months (given that he actually plays golf 4x or more per week), I'll be far more willing to concede that he's beating a dead horse re: his stated goals. That will be two solid years of playing golf, and it's where I'd expect a very avid golfer that played or practiced everyday to be after two years. The whole 'putting for six months' is not how most (any) of us approach the game.
We'll see. Would I like to see him reach his goal? Of course I would. That would mean my mother was right when she said, 'You can be anything you want to be.'