Jump to content
humblepeasant

An Individual Score Is a Random Result

40 posts / 1515 viewsLast Reply

Recommended Posts

I've recently found that viewing any individual day or round as a random result greatly reduces the amount of frustration/anxiety/etc. that I feel while out on the course. It frees me up a lot more to just enjoy being out there and take in the beauty of the course, while understanding that I'm just going to do how I'm going to do.

Now of course it's not truly 100% random, but I think it's helpful to view it as such, and it might as well be with so many variables.

I think we all have days where everything's just coming together really nicely, and days where it's a serious grind. You can have a day that's a real struggle, not work on anything at all, come back out 2 days later and have your best round of the month. There are just so many variables that contribute to how any individual round goes, both internal and external, that it might as well be counted as random.

Now you can track long-term performance and have confidence in analysis, stats, trends, etc. You continue to try your best to play well, improve, practice, etc. But having the focus only on the long term results, not on TODAY, has really freed me up to enjoy the game a lot more.

I liken the idea a bit to a casino...the casino has an edge...say a 60% chance of winning, and over the long term that edge plays itself out. But any given individual play is basically a random result.

I just thought I'd share because it's helped me. It might just be how my mind/emotions work though. Any thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This doesn't work for me. My scores aren't random, and I understand what we call "Shot Zones" well enough to process the outcome of just about any shot properly without lying to myself and/or diminishing all the work I've put in by calling it "random."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I think the randomness comes from the variables that conditions bring into play.  Beyond that, it's up to me to steer the car.  If the wheels come off, it's due to my own lack of skill and/or preparation.  This is why I am putting in work to get better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

I think if you study your game carefully you will see that your rounds/shots are not really as random as you might think.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

i guess for me I'm thinking more in terms of longer-term data analysis...I haven't spent time testing it, but I'd be willing to bet that the distribution curve of a random set of data (with certain parameters) and somebody's individual golf scores would be virtually indistinguishable.

Now of course I could have a day where I'm struggling with something very specific that I know I'm doing wrong...a problem I sometimes have is keeping my weight back and hitting behind the ball with my irons. I might have a day where I'm struggling with that, and plus maybe I'm really tense when I'm putting and missing short putts, etc. So my bad score that day isn't random, I know what the problem was. But I know I'm just going to have days where I struggle with something like that, and I'm going to have days when it seems more effortless. Which day is which to me is what is more random.

And if I know, statistically, to expect to have days like that, I can just understand it's just a part of the game, and still enjoy myself.

For me often if I've had a couple really good rounds in a row, I'll start expecting to continue to do that well, and get really angry and discouraged when the bad round I should have been EXPECTING finally comes around. I guess this all comes down to having realistic expectations for me. How happy we are is usually a measure of how reality played out relative to our expectations.

That's not to say you don't continue to learn, practice, work hard to improve, take responsibility, etc. Back to the casino analogy...you're working to improve your edge! But, the edge plays itself out over the long term and, to me, it's not the best idea to put too much weight on any individual result. And obviously it's not random if a pro scores a 65 and beginner scores 120...this is more about just our own personal one set of data/scores. But hopefully I've gotten my idea across, and I understand some will disagree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, humblepeasant said:

i guess for me I'm thinking more in terms of longer-term data analysis...I haven't spent time testing it, but I'd be willing to bet that the distribution curve of a random set of data (with certain parameters) and somebody's individual golf scores would be virtually indistinguishable.

Now of course I could have a day where I'm struggling with something very specific that I know I'm doing wrong...a problem I sometimes have is keeping my weight back and hitting behind the ball with my irons. I might have a day where I'm struggling with that, and plus maybe I'm really tense when I'm putting and missing short putts, etc. So my bad score that day isn't random, I know what the problem was. But I know I'm just going to have days where I struggle with something like that, and I'm going to have days when it seems more effortless. Which day is which to me is what is more random.

And if I know, statistically, to expect to have days like that, I can just understand it's just a part of the game, and still enjoy myself.

For me often if I've had a couple really good rounds in a row, I'll start expecting to continue to do that well, and get really angry and discouraged when the bad round I should have been EXPECTING finally comes around. I guess this all comes down to having realistic expectations for me. How happy we are is usually a measure of how reality played out relative to our expectations.

That's not to say you don't continue to learn, practice, work hard to improve, take responsibility, etc. Back to the casino analogy...you're working to improve your edge! But, the edge plays itself out over the long term and, to me, it's not the best idea to put too much weight on any individual result. And obviously it's not random if a pro scores a 65 and beginner scores 120...this is more about just our own personal one set of data/scores. But hopefully I've gotten my idea across, and I understand some will disagree.

Are you saying that each player has a gaussian distribution around their average score? Or that we only have a limited amount of control over our score. Sure there are days that breaks will be bad, execution will be off and the combination will results in avery high score while others execution will be poor but luck will be with you and it won't be as bad. But ultimately a player's skill and decisions set the range.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

5 minutes ago, criley4way said:

But ultimately a player's skill and decisions set the range.

Yes, exactly...the range is your edge. Where in that range you are on any particular day is what is helpful to my psyche to view as more random. (And as you work hard and improve, that range will trend downward)

Edited by humblepeasant

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, humblepeasant said:

I'd be willing to bet that the distribution curve of a random set of data (with certain parameters) and somebody's individual golf scores would be virtually indistinguishable.

I don't think so. And even if so, those "parameters" are what make the whole thing non-random.

Look, what are you saying here: first it was a mental thing, now it's just a math problem? Or… what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Oh hell... I'm not even random from warm-up on the range to playing on the course.  I guess there is nothing random about crushing it on the range and then playing poorly on the course.  And vice-versa.  It's a fact of life for my game.  Therefore I always try to have a crappy range session...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, iacas said:

I don't think so. And even if so, those "parameters" are what make the whole thing non-random.

Look, what are you saying here: first it was a mental thing, now it's just a math problem? Or… what?

A random data set has parameters (for example, a minimum and maximum to define a range).

It's using an understanding of the math/statistics in order to improve one's mental state while on the course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, humblepeasant said:

It's using an understanding of the math/statistics in order to improve one's mental state while on the course.

A few sips from my canister of Italian Sports Drink improves my mental state... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, iacas said:

I don't think so. And even if so, those "parameters" are what make the whole thing non-random.

Look, what are you saying here: first it was a mental thing, now it's just a math problem? Or… what?

I think this is a math problem. Given enough rounds each round will fall in a normal distribution. This is what the new sandbagging software is based on. A 4 hcp will shoot between +5 and -5 of their course handicap 97% of the time. A 12 to shoot 72  once every  32 years or something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

6 hours ago, humblepeasant said:

A random data set has parameters (for example, a minimum and maximum to define a range).

It's using an understanding of the math/statistics in order to improve one's mental state while on the course.

Right, so I go back to my first comment: I don't need to lie to myself in order to have a good mental state.

The outcomes aren't random. I'm mostly in control - what little randomness is contributed is in the small minority (even with a putt).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

8 hours ago, humblepeasant said:

Now of course it's not truly 100% random, but I think it's helpful to view it as such, and it might as well be with so many variables.

I wouldn't classify it as out of our control. There is some sort of probabilistic result for each swing, but intent matters. The best golf I ever play is when my swing matches my intent for the shot. I can guarantee for certain that I will have a very predicable (not random) result.

Yea, random isn't a good word. 

I think a better view on it is to have a proper set of expectations. That requires having a proper baseline of what your ability is. Also, it's a game, so have fun 😉 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

9 hours ago, humblepeasant said:

I've recently found that viewing any individual day or round as a random result greatly reduces the amount of frustration/anxiety/etc. that I feel while out on the course. It frees me up a lot more to just enjoy being out there and take in the beauty of the course, while understanding that I'm just going to do how I'm going to do.

Now of course it's not truly 100% random, but I think it's helpful to view it as such, and it might as well be with so many variables.

I think we all have days where everything's just coming together really nicely, and days where it's a serious grind. You can have a day that's a real struggle, not work on anything at all, come back out 2 days later and have your best round of the month. There are just so many variables that contribute to how any individual round goes, both internal and external, that it might as well be counted as random.

Now you can track long-term performance and have confidence in analysis, stats, trends, etc. You continue to try your best to play well, improve, practice, etc. But having the focus only on the long term results, not on TODAY, has really freed me up to enjoy the game a lot more.

I liken the idea a bit to a casino...the casino has an edge...say a 60% chance of winning, and over the long term that edge plays itself out. But any given individual play is basically a random result.

I just thought I'd share because it's helped me. It might just be how my mind/emotions work though. Any thoughts?

It kind of sounds like you’re just trying to find a way to cope with having bad rounds, which is fine, but if you’re going to dismiss bad rounds as random, you have to also accept that good rounds are also random. Don’t get too upset over playing poorly, don’t be too happy with yourself for playing well.

Yea, I don’t buy it, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Off to bed soon, but the interesting thing here is that of all the rebuttals that have been given, I really don’t disagree with anything that’s been said (other than that I’m wrong with my assertion haha). What I would say is that the points made in the rebuttals are ALSO true, but they don’t run counter to what I was trying to say. If I think of a different way I could put it tomorrow, I’ll chime back in. I might just be crazy!
 

I will admit, the way I worded the title was intentionally provocative...I could have simply said that it’s important to have proper expectations that there are simply going to be good days and bad days, no matter what you do, and therefore don’t get too high on the good days or too low on the bad days...realistic expectations are key to enjoyment. I think people are hung up on that word “random.” 🤔 Good night!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, humblepeasant said:

I could have simply said that it’s important to have proper expectations that there are simply going to be good days and bad days, no matter what you do, and therefore don’t get too high on the good days or too low on the bad days...realistic expectations are key to enjoyment.

I believe I just responded in another thread the same way.   There is a Golf GOD thread around here somewhere.   They (GODS) give and take. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

1 hour ago, humblepeasant said:

Off to bed soon, but the interesting thing here is that of all the rebuttals that have been given, I really don’t disagree with anything that’s been said (other than that I’m wrong with my assertion haha). What I would say is that the points made in the rebuttals are ALSO true, but they don’t run counter to what I was trying to say. If I think of a different way I could put it tomorrow, I’ll chime back in. I might just be crazy!
 

I will admit, the way I worded the title was intentionally provocative...I could have simply said that it’s important to have proper expectations that there are simply going to be good days and bad days, no matter what you do, and therefore don’t get too high on the good days or too low on the bad days...realistic expectations are key to enjoyment. I think people are hung up on that word “random.” 🤔 Good night!

I think you’re making an unnecessary complexity out of....’shit happens.’

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Welcome to TST! Signing up is free, and you'll see fewer ads and can talk with fellow golf enthusiasts! By using TST, you agree to our Terms of Use, our Privacy Policy, and our Guidelines.

The popup will be closed in 10 seconds...