• Announcements

    • iacas

      Introducing TST "Clubs!"   08/28/2017

      No, we're not getting into the equipment business, but we do have "clubs" here on TST now. Groups. Check them out here:
Sign in to follow this  
  • entries
  • comments
  • views


Sign in to follow this  
Big Lex


I took up golf when I was 23. I had played some rounds at a pitch and putt as a kid, but I didn't really get hooked on the game until I was already finished with college and engaged in post-graduate studies. It seemed I was always scrounging for time to play. Like most of us, I was hooked quickly and wanted to be a good golfer - a scratch. That made it seem like I needed even MORE time. 

In his autobiography, Jack Nicklaus describes his early to mid-teen years as a virtual gluttony of golf: entire summer days, dawn to dusk, spent at the course....hours hitting practice balls...anywhere from 36 to 63 (yup, he once played sixty-three in one day!) holes, late day short game and putting practice, etc. He says his family never took vacations, and that in those early years, he doubts if he missed more than a day or two per summer of this routine, apart from weather related interruptions. And he did it all on a top-ranked golf course (Scioto CC in Columbus), under the tutelage of an accomplished PGA pro (Jack Grout).

Did he become great because he spent all that time learning the game - simple repetition-based learning - or was it something else? Malcolm Gladwell would place Nicklaus firmly in his category of people who achieve greatness because of special opportunity: How many people have the opportunity to practice golf so much, at so young an age, on such a great golf course, with the financial resources to supplement it with teaching? Not many.

Yet how many people, given those opportunities, would have done as Jack did? For a teenager to pursue ONE activity, to the exclusion of all else, for ONE day? Sure...just about any kid can do that. For a week? A few would drop out. A month, or an entire summer? I'm sure we would be in single-digit percentages at this point, if not lower. 

Golf is a great game, maybe the greatest of all, because it challenges us in so many ways. What is the greatest challenge? Is it to have enough time? Or is it how to use the time we have?

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

This ones about as deep as my avatar!

The question seems to be (1) Quantity vs Quality and maybe there's even a little (2) how good do you want to get to be? question in there too.

Let me address the latter first. These people like you see on TV, no matter what sport, are super human. For the rest of us normal people, who today can't throw a ball 95mph, can't run a sub 4 minute mile, and can't drive a golf ball 325 yards.......it's likely we never will no matter how technically perfect we become. When you first crack the book to learn how to become a PGA teaching professional one of the first things that it says is that "people have physical limitations". It's those with all the right combinations of skills, opportunity, and desire that actually get to reach the levels of professional and even then it's not easy for most of them. Some people have the skills but they lack the desire, some have the desire but they lack the opportunity. Some even have all three but can't seem to get them in the right combination. So how does one get to become one of the lucky less than 1% of the people that become professionals in their sport? Well, I'm not saying don't try, but make sure you have a backup plan. And me? I want to get to be as good at golf as I can be, as good as I can afford to be, but without shirking my other responsibilities to family and friends. How good my game is is personal between me and myself and if along the way it allows me to get some minor recognition for my accomplishments at it, that's even better...... but I ain't quitting my day job if ya know what I mean. 

As far as Quality versus Quantity, that is a really good question. Balance I think is my answer but I think everyone's balance is what they deem right for them. I try to play good golf as much as I can, but I realize that just doesn't mean going out and playing golf. Practice and Training have a lot to do with good golf and I agree  it's hard to find the time.

I think the key is being happy with what you are able to invest in trying. 

Share this comment

Link to comment

Simple answer: it's not just quantity, but the quality of that quantity, plus a dash of "natural talent level" thrown in to boot.

Share this comment

Link to comment

"Golf is a great game, maybe the greatest of all, because it challenges us in so many ways." It also is a passion, one which affects everyone in different manners but similar to most.

What is the greatest challenge? There are many, the expense, the travel, the schedule, family, friends, health, etc.

Is it to have enough time? Generally, most will make time for any desire in life, or make plans.

Or is it how to use the time we have? I think most enjoy the opportunity when they can.

Yet how many people, given those opportunities, would have done as Jack did? Many may have the same dream, but everyone has their own journey.

I agree with iacas  "it's not just quantity, but the quality of that quantity"

Club Rat

Share this comment

Link to comment

I think if it were about having the time we would see far more people with III IV and such after their names dominating the game with family money spent at the country club golf courses.  How many of these rich kids that have every resource available and grow up on a golf course are out there doing what Jack and Tiger did (and yes I know there are a few but even they are the exception)?  As iacas has said it also has to do with the quality of the quantity and also just athletic ability in my opinion.  I had a friend who practically picked up a pool cue and just knew how to play, he was truly a natural.  Not everyone is like that and not everyone is as good no matter how much time they put in or if they have the same instructor(s).

Edited by Gator Hazard

Share this comment

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Want to join this community?

    We'd love to have you!

    Sign Up
  • Popular Now

  • Blog Entries

  • Posts

    • Those are mental things to me.   I like to use the divide and conquer method to give my confidence a boost. 1.  Making good contact
      2.  Direction
      3.  Distance
      4.  Shot shaping Making good contact and direction are key for me because tee shots are where I have the most trouble.  If I can make decent contact and get it started on line, more time than not I can keep it in play.   
    • I have the titleist 915 d2 aldila rogue 70 44 1/2". I like shorter shaft so i grip down as far as i can. Don´t have to cut it down and works beautifully. I guess from the bottom of the grips it´s now a 42 1/2". Better accurracy and almost always hitting it on the sweet spot. Less than 5 yards lost on carry distance.   Just grip it down!
    • Sure. No problem. These things come in ranges. I'm certainly better off than many people. Part of my point is that while many people don't have these sort of issues, some of us do.
    • Interesting take on it.  The mental game takes practice just as much as the physical game.  So, yes, these are all true when specifically talking about getting better at any specific activity.  Yes, we are less able to focus, less intelligent, less present, less aware, etc.  then you practice and get better. Reading it as a general insult to overall mental capability is kind of a false argument.  It would be like saying a beginner golfer hits poorly because he is just an overall klutz and has zero coordination or natural ability.  (it's true, in terms of golf, but it's not really an insult if one thinks it through). I'll leave a bad day thinking, "wow, my head just wasn't in it today".  Maybe it's reflected in my physicial performance, but it's the concentration and focus that lost it.  the mental triggers the physical.  the whole poll is kind of a fakeout.  YMMV
    • This is not a bad payout for being in the Top 30 of the FedEx Cup Playoff Race. Looks a bit top heavy at #1, but I think that's done for the publicity ... "$10m is at stake!" As stated above, it is motivation for the top players to play during the year to improve their Cup position. 1st — $10 million 2nd — $3 million 3rd — $2 million 4th — $1.5 million 5th — $1 million
      6th — $800,000 7th — $700,000 8th — $600,000 9th — $550,000 10th — $500,000
      .... 30th still gets $175k. and then #31-150 are allocated another $10m. Should it be this way? Why not? It gets top players playing and one end of year tourney has two payouts - FedEx and the Eastlake Tournament itself. Heck, I just want it to motivate my 11 yr old to play more golf. "Look, son, if he makes this putt, he gets $10m!" Son: "Really? Dad, can we go play?" Dad:" I wish you loved the game like I do, but I'll settle for this for now..."
  • Today's Birthdays

    1. CoachB25
      (60 years old)
    2. Fsgolfer
      (61 years old)
    3. Zach
      (27 years old)