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The Dan Plan - 10,000 Hours to become a pro golfer - Page 31

post #541 of 1720

It's a great experiment, though I personally believe that anyone with minimum physical abilities and coordination doesn't need that many hours to become really good at golf.

 

As stated before, golf is a sport that does not require extraordinary physical abilities to become really good at.

But apart from the minimum physical requirements, you also need to have the right mindset and the right way of training (not to mention a whole lot of time)

 

As a beginning golfer, I just went from playing 9-holes in an average of 65 strokes, to an average of 47 strokes in just 2 weeks of intensive practice (3 hours a day),

and the end of the accelerated progress is not yet in sight.

I expect to go further down to under 41 in the next 14 days. That would mean a 1-digit handicap, coming from 58 handicap, in just 4 weeks!

Why am I so sure about that and why am I improving so fast?

Because I have a well organised and focused way of practicing.

I don't waste a lot of time with things I know I'm sufficiently good at already, or that are not really important to lose strokes.

Instead, I analyze my game to determine the exact problems that are keeping me from good scores, and focus on them during my practice.

 

i.e: - you don't need 300 yard drives to have low scores, but you do need to hit the fairway consistently in order to prepare for pars and birdies.

     - if you're making 18 puts per round (9-holes), but are constantly shanking your irons, you should figure out why you are shanking and get rid of it,

       instead of spending 1 hour per day or more on putting or trying to drive it 300 yards!

     - make sure you have a standard shot for every club and know the corresponding distance for that shot. Only that way, you can make a decent approach shot to the green, instead of

       constantly coming short or shooting over, which will result in unnecessary extra strokes.

post #542 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipergsm View Post

It's a great experiment, though I personally believe that anyone with minimum physical abilities and coordination doesn't need that many hours to become really good at golf.

As stated before, golf is a sport that does not require extraordinary physical abilities to become really good at.
But apart from the minimum physical requirements, you also need to have the right mindset and the right way of training (not to mention a whole lot of time)

As a beginning golfer, I just went from playing 9-holes in an average of 65 strokes, to an average of 47 strokes in just 2 weeks of intensive practice (3 hours a day),
and the end of the accelerated progress is not yet in sight.
I expect to go further down to under 41 in the next 14 days. That would mean a 1-digit handicap, coming from 58 handicap, in just 4 weeks!
Why am I so sure about that and why am I improving so fast?
Because I have a well organised and focused way of practicing.
I don't waste a lot of time with things I know I'm sufficiently good at already, or that are not really important to lose strokes.
Instead, I analyze my game to determine the exact problems that are keeping me from good scores, and focus on them during my practice.

i.e: - you don't need 300 yard drives to have low scores, but you do need to hit the fairway consistently in order to prepare for pars and birdies.
     - if you're making 18 puts per round (9-holes), but are constantly shanking your irons, you should figure out why you are shanking and get rid of it,
       instead of spending 1 hour per day or more on putting or trying to drive it 300 yards!
     - make sure you have a standard shot for every club and know the corresponding distance for that shot. Only that way, you can make a decent approach shot to the green, instead of
       constantly coming short or shooting over, which will result in unnecessary extra strokes.

I have to call BS on some of this...

You went from 65 to 47 in 2 weeks? That's pretty impressive, you play 3 hrs everyday for those 2 weeks? Do you have a PGA professional helping you out?

47 to 41 in next 2 weeks? Doubtful, I think you'll find the strokes come off slower the closer you get to par. I usually only lose a couple strokes a year at this point.

To get from 65 to 47, you just need to have better ball striking, to get to par, you need to master the soft touches of the game which take years to get good at.

But hey, keep it up and in 2 months you'll be at scratch, in 3 you might as well go pro.
post #543 of 1720

I find it a little odd that so many people discount the idea of "talent".  Or at least associated with golf.  Do some people actually think that ANYONE with 10k hours of practice could play in the NBA, NFL, or MLB?

 

I've played/practiced basketball well over 10k hours in my life as it is my favorite sport and I can assure you while more than capable of standing my own in pick-up games I could never play in the NBA.

 

Sure golf might not require the same types of physical prowess of other sports but our brains (nervous system) is responsible for a huge portion of sports and athleticism.  You not only need the proper DNA for the right physique but you have to have the ability to control that physique and that is where the nervous system comes into play. 

 

Talent is real.  I think others have said but the 10k hours idea is mostly misquoted, misused or misunderstood.  The point or idea behind it is that there is some point at which you have maximized your potential.  The estimation is that it is about after 10k hours of performing that activity. 

 

While it is interesting reading and following the dan plan, it is obvious he will not turn pro. 

 

Regarding improving from a 65 to a 47 in a short time.  That is believable, but to 41 in a few weeks from there is probably a little bit out of a reach.

 

I have been seriously practicing for two weeks now myself after always floundering around the 108 range when younger.  I've now been able to score 47-49 on 9 holes several times, however I am pretty positive my progress will slow going forward.

post #544 of 1720

Did you guys see the Cracked article on Dan Plan? It was pretty mediocre (okay, maybe it was a bit funnier than that), but I thought it was great that they picked up on this story. Cracked is one of my favorite sites, but it's obviously pretty hit or miss. 

 

http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-people-who-quit-real-jobs-to-pursue-idiotic-dreams/

 

My favorite writer on the site is this guy named Jacopo della Quercia. And Dan O'Brien is pretty great too. There are a lot of good young writers on that site, but those are my two personal favorites. 

 

But DanPlan earned no.2 on their list! As I said, it's not a great write-up on him, but still. 

post #545 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogeysaurus View Post

I find it a little odd that so many people discount the idea of "talent".  Or at least associated with golf.  Do some people actually think that ANYONE with 10k hours of practice could play in the NBA, NFL, or MLB?

The same fine line between the best players in the world in all of those sports and the rest of us that can never cross that line also exists in golf.

 

It's just that more things blur that line in golf. The fact that we are playing cup cake course set ups on the same familiar courses and usually not under tournament pressure seems to slip their minds.

 

They know they can't throw or hit a 100 mph fastball or run a 4.2 40 or do a 360 dunk, and they certainly know they look nothing like an average NFL or NBA player so they have no illusions about playing those sports...But golf...They think "Hmmm...Those guys look just like me and I did shoot that 68 last week (never mind it was a cupcake course set up that I've played a hundred times), and I did hit a couple of 300 yard drives on the range the other day (never mind the other 15 balls I hit into the next county to the right). Yep, with just a little more practice I'm there."

 

Fact is nobody can simply decide to be one of the best in the world...At anything. Practice all you want, you will never cross that line unless you happen to be one of the chosen few with the talent to get to that level. It's fine to try. In fact it's fun to try, but it's a lottery ticket.

post #546 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
Practice all you want, you will never cross that line unless you happen to be one of the chosen few with the talent to get to that level. It's fine to try. In fact it's fun to try, but it's a lottery ticket.

 

Yep, this seems like such an obvious concept too.  Hard work and effort are not overrated and are honorable but talent is real.

post #547 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bogeysaurus View Post

 

Yep, this seems like such an obvious concept too.  Hard work and effort are not overrated and are honorable but talent is real.

I used to be of the opinion that I thought he could do it (maybe not win on the PGA tour but get down to a solid +3 or so) but now I am unsure if he will even make scratch. Looking at his swing and his progression he seems to be stagnating and getting caught up too much with changing clubs, instructor etc and just not getting any better. I wish him all the best but I think that now it is turning into a bit of a circus that he is trying to milk because he doesn't have enough cash to keep himself going without some external money coming in and that is effecting his progress.

post #548 of 1720

It all comes down to having the right mindset, when you talk about performing in professional competition.

 

Look, theoretically, all PGA players have more or less the same skills.

So how come that only a few of them manages to win on a regular base, or even shoot under par on a regular base?

They are all able to shoot under par, or they wouldn't be in the PGA!

It's all between the ears.

Some people can deal with the stress of a tournament better than others.

 

When it's about learning the game: off course talent plays a significant role. Someone who isn't gifted with a good hand-eye coordination will never excel in a sport like golf, no matter how many hours he or she practices.

All I'm saying is this: if you do have the required physical abilities to be good at golf (hand-eye coordination, flexibility,...) and you have the right mindset and the right way of training, you can become a very good golfer (scratch or better) and it will not take you 10.000 hours to reach that level (provided you have the time to practice on a very regular base).

Does that mean you will be successful in professional competition?

That will depend on how you deal with the stress of such events!

 

About my own improvements: I realize very well that, the closer I get to par, the more difficult it will be to get off these last few strokes.

However, playing 41 on a par 36 is still far from par!

My last 5 games were 48-47-48-45-46, and even the rounds where I scored 45-46 still had quite some stupid misses that I normally don't make while practicing.

i.e : completely missing a 20-30 yards chip (2 times), 3 foot puts lipping out the hole (3 times), topping my drive causing the ball to drop dead at 90 yards (once), chunking my 7-iron resulting in a 90 yards shot instead of the usual 150 yards (2 times).........

Therefore I assume that, if I continue to focus on those few problem areas and obtain more stability, going from 45 to 41 will come more quickly than you think.

Since I have 2 months of holiday at the moment, I have all the time I want to practice.

I'm not saying I'm gonna hit 41 every single time I play within 2 weeks, but I'm quite sure I'll hit it at least once or twice.

post #549 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by pipergsm View Post


All I'm saying is this: if you do have the required physical abilities to be good at golf (hand-eye coordination, flexibility,...) and you have the right mindset and the right way of training, you can become a very good golfer (scratch or better) and it will not take you 10.000 hours to reach that level (provided you have the time to practice on a very regular base).

 

I agree with pretty much all you are saying here but it seems like you still might be misunderstanding the 10k hours idea.  It doesn't mean you cannot be good until you have practiced that amount of time.  It is purely a theoretical and rough estimate of how long it takes for someone to maximize their potential.  Considering that progress slows down considerable as you improve someone can probably quickly reach say 85% of their potential within maybe only 1000 hours of practice and the last bit may take much longer. 


 

About my own improvements: I realize very well that, the closer I get to par, the more difficult it will be to get off these last few strokes.

However, playing 41 on a par 36 is still far from par!

My last 5 games were 48-47-48-45-46, and even the rounds where I scored 45-46 still had quite some stupid misses that I normally don't make while practicing.

 

It very well could happen that quickly for you.  I just know for myself I am trying to manage my expectations so I don't lose motivation.  Last time I shot 47 I was three putting everywhere and missed half the fairways so I too feel like there are 3-4 strokes that I can gain fairly easily.  However I also hit some beauts that day too that I might not always.  Either way good luck with your progression, I'm setting the modest goal of upper 80s within 4 months of now consistently.  We'll see :)

post #550 of 1720

Talent is overrated.  Let's take a look at one of the most "natural" and "talented" golfers in the history of golf or maybe the history of sports all together, Tiger Woods.

 

I'm borrowing this from the book "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin by the way:

 

"Wood's father, Earl, was a teacher, specifically a teacher of young men, and he had a lifelong passion for sports."

"Earl had plenty of time to teach his son and was intensely focused on doing so."

"Tiger is born into the home of an expert golfer and confessed "golf addict" who loves to teach and is eager to begin teaching his new son as soon as possible.  Earl's wife does not work outside the home, and they have no other children; they have decided that "Tiger would be the first priority in our relationship."

"Earl gives Tiger his first metal club, a putter, at the age of seven months."

"He sets up Tiger's high chair in the garage, where Earl is hitting balls into a net, and Tiger watches for hours on end."

"Before Tiger is two, they are at the golf course playing and practicing regularly."

 

"Amid all that has been written about Tiger, a couple of facts are especially worth noting.  First is the age at which he initially achieved outstanding performance at a level of play involving regular international competition.  Let's call it age nineteen when he was a member of the U.S. team in Walker Cup play.  At that point he had been practicing golf with tremendous intensity, first under his father and after age four under professional teachers, for seventeen years."

 

 

Sorry for the long read but some people forget even though this "kid" at 19 years old was amazing, it's not because he was necessarily born with talent, but he was working extremely hard for a very long time.

post #551 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Robinson View Post

Talent is overrated.  Let's take a look at one of the most "natural" and "talented" golfers in the history of golf or maybe the history of sports all together, Tiger Woods.

 

I'm borrowing this from the book "Talent is Overrated" by Geoff Colvin by the way:

 

"Wood's father, Earl, was a teacher, specifically a teacher of young men, and he had a lifelong passion for sports."

"Earl had plenty of time to teach his son and was intensely focused on doing so."

"Tiger is born into the home of an expert golfer and confessed "golf addict" who loves to teach and is eager to begin teaching his new son as soon as possible.  Earl's wife does not work outside the home, and they have no other children; they have decided that "Tiger would be the first priority in our relationship."

"Earl gives Tiger his first metal club, a putter, at the age of seven months."

"He sets up Tiger's high chair in the garage, where Earl is hitting balls into a net, and Tiger watches for hours on end."

"Before Tiger is two, they are at the golf course playing and practicing regularly."

 

"Amid all that has been written about Tiger, a couple of facts are especially worth noting.  First is the age at which he initially achieved outstanding performance at a level of play involving regular international competition.  Let's call it age nineteen when he was a member of the U.S. team in Walker Cup play.  At that point he had been practicing golf with tremendous intensity, first under his father and after age four under professional teachers, for seventeen years."

 

 

Sorry for the long read but some people forget even though this "kid" at 19 years old was amazing, it's not because he was necessarily born with talent, but he was working extremely hard for a very long time.

 

It's not a case of either/or.......both talent and hard work are necessary.  All the hard work in the world, can't overcome a lack of physical talent though. 

 

Damn....... 

post #552 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Robinson View Post

Sorry for the long read but some people forget even though this "kid" at 19 years old was amazing, it's not because he was necessarily born with talent, but he was working extremely hard for a very long time.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

It's not a case of either/or.......

Exactly.  Just looking at it scientifically, Travis, you cannot come to that conclusion.  Yes, he was working extremely hard for a very long time, but that doesn't, in any way, prove that he didn't already have talent.

post #553 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

 

It's not a case of either/or.......both talent and hard work are necessary.  All the hard work in the world, can't overcome a lack of physical talent though. 

 

Damn....... 

 

Maybe you don't work hard enough David.....a2_wink.gif..  How else do you have so much time to spend on TST??

post #554 of 1720
Bu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Exactly.  Just looking at it scientifically, Travis, you cannot come to that conclusion.  Yes, he was working extremely hard for a very long time, but that doesn't, in any way, prove that he didn't already have talent.

But how do you know that talent wasn't developed?? Biggest thing is golf is eye hand coordination and that's something that can be developed.. I played basketball growing up and was pretty good at it so I had good eye hand coordination already.. I picked up golf a year ago never ever even touched a club or a hit a golf ball before then and I've been shooting in the 80's now shooting my best of 84 just yesterday.. I have friends who started playing way before me and struggle to break 105.. I think the only reason why is because I have better eye hand coordination..

I don't know where I heard it before but I certainly believe the difference between a scratch golfer and a touring pro is between the ears.. Golf is much more mental than any other sports I've played.. With golf I believe it's 70% mental and 30% physical.. Am I saying if somebody works hard enough that thy can make it on tour?? Yes I believe somebody can do it and its been proven but it all depends on their mental makeup.
post #555 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysquared View Post

Bu
But how do you know that talent wasn't developed?? Biggest thing is golf is eye hand coordination and that's something that can be developed.. I played basketball growing up and was pretty good at it so I had good eye hand coordination already.. I picked up golf a year ago never ever even touched a club or a hit a golf ball before then and I've been shooting in the 80's now shooting my best of 84 just yesterday.. I have friends who started playing way before me and struggle to break 105.. I think the only reason why is because I have better eye hand coordination..

I don't know where I heard it before but I certainly believe the difference between a scratch golfer and a touring pro is between the ears.. Golf is much more mental than any other sports I've played.. With golf I believe it's 70% mental and 30% physical.. Am I saying if somebody works hard enough that thy can make it on tour?? Yes I believe somebody can do it and its been proven but it all depends on their mental makeup.

Mental makeup is part of the talent code.   The difference between a Mark Sanchez and Peyton Manning is mental, Sanchez is probably a better athlete but he doesn't have the work ethic and mental toughness Peyton does.  You shooting an 84 yesterday and comparing that to a pro who has a +5 handicap is a night and day comparison.  There could be a hundred reasons why your friends struggle to break 105 with one possibly being hand eye coordination.  

post #556 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by newtogolf View Post

Mental makeup is part of the talent code.   The difference between a Mark Sanchez and Peyton Manning is mental, Sanchez is probably a better athlete but he doesn't have the work ethic and mental toughness Peyton does.  You shooting an 84 yesterday and comparing that to a pro who has a +5 handicap is a night and day comparison.  There could be a hundred reasons why your friends struggle to break 105 with one possibly being hand eye coordination.  

But again how do you know mental toughness can't be developed?? I've heard of stories how Tigers father would talk during his back swing or when he was putting to help him focus more.. Most of the tour pros out there have a mental coach so that tells you right there that even the tour pros need help to develop their mental toughness..

 

You can't really compare football and golf. Football is a big team sport with many different factors that go in to a players/teams sucess.. Sure Peyton Manning is a better QB than Sanchez but that's just not mentally. It comes down to coaching and team around him as well. A big part of football is coaching. I'm a 49ers fan and i'm sure you've heard of Alex Smith. The guy was picked #1 back in the 2005.. Had 2 defensive minded head coaches the first 6 years and overall had terrible coaching. Alex was considered a bust by many but then in 2011 Jim Harbaugh was hired and he  turned Alex's career around. Sure he's not going to be in the hall of fame and he did lose his job to a more physically talented QB but he's a top 10 QB in the league IMO..

post #557 of 1720
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Exactly.  Just looking at it scientifically, Travis, you cannot come to that conclusion.  Yes, he was working extremely hard for a very long time, but that doesn't, in any way, prove that he didn't already have talent.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaysquared View Post

But how do you know that talent wasn't developed?? Biggest thing is golf is eye hand coordination and that's something that can be developed.. I played basketball growing up and was pretty good at it so I had good eye hand coordination already.. I picked up golf a year ago never ever even touched a club or a hit a golf ball before then and I've been shooting in the 80's now shooting my best of 84 just yesterday.. I have friends who started playing way before me and struggle to break 105.. I think the only reason why is because I have better eye hand coordination..

I don't know where I heard it before but I certainly believe the difference between a scratch golfer and a touring pro is between the ears.. Golf is much more mental than any other sports I've played.. With golf I believe it's 70% mental and 30% physical.. Am I saying if somebody works hard enough that thy can make it on tour?? Yes I believe somebody can do it and its been proven but it all depends on their mental makeup.

I don't!  There is no way to prove it.  All I was saying is that you can't prove the opposite either.  You can't say "Tiger worked his ass off, therefore that is the only reason why he's so good."  That was Travis' conclusion, and that is wrong.  That is the problem with this entire debate, and even as it relates to Dan.

 

I also don't know how you can say that somebody has made it on tour just by working, and that it's been proven.  For every example you give me, I can very easily say that guy had talent.  It's not measurable in any way.  As far as golf is concerned, there is no way to quantify how much of Tiger's success or Jack Nicklaus' success, or Dan's or mine or yours is from working hard, or from "talent."

 

Dan sucks now, but why?  Is it because he lacks talent or because he lacks proper instruction/direction to his practice (or simply that he's not at his 10k hour mark yet)?  Even if he succeeds, it won't prove anything, because we can say the talent was in there, just as of yet untapped.  Tiger is amazing now, but is it solely from practice, or was he born with it?  Unless you have a time machine, and can convince Earl to give up Tiger for adoption and raise some other random kid for the sake of experiment, there is no way to know.

 

Common sense tells me its quite a lot of both.  (I really want to believe that the scale tips in favor of hard work, but I can't see any proof that there isn't also a huge talent element involved) I would wager that if you could use any other successful pro in your time machine experiment that it's quite possible that guy might very well grow up to be Tiger.  If you tried it with my father-in-law?  Not so much.c2_beer.gif

post #558 of 1720

The way I look at it, at least for sports, talent is the key.  If you the natural ability and talent, then it's a matter of hard work to get you the rest of the way.  The reverse isn't true, without natural ability and talent the chances of making it on just hard work are slim.  I don't doubt for a second that Earl pushed Tiger and Tiger puts in a lot of hard work, but without the natural ability he'd never have achieved what he has as a professional golfer. 

 

Imagine if Luke Donald had Tigers athletic ability or Dustin Johnson was as committed to being the top golfer as Tiger is. 

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