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Why Are Golfers Delusional?


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Had a discussion with a few golfer friends of mine.  They all seem to believe that they could be pro with the time, which is f***ing ridiculous.  Do golfers tend to believe that the "lack of athletic ability" just means it is easy?  As a jc football player I understand that there are levels to things, but none of my low level football friends thought we could make it.  From my limited experience I see more club players think they could have made it, or they just think they're better than they are.  For someone who played competitive, albeit a different sport, it is quite confusing.  What are your thoughts?

 

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This is a fact! I played beer league softball for about 20 years. Anyone who's met me knows I am no athlete. I am much better suited to teach math than PE. Having said that, I cannot tell you the

I played hockey through high school and some of college till a really bad knee injury ended it. In high school I made an all New England team. Twenty pretty elite players. I thought I was hot stuff. W

I have a nephew who was drew attention from a Colorado Rockies scout when he was 16. signed a college scholarship, and was red shirted. He played with some pretty solid pro prospects on that college t

Sounds like big dreamers with big handicaps to me. When I say big handicaps (for them), I mean 0-5 handicap. I bet that a couple of them think, or present, themselves as scratch, when in reality they are 4-8s. If the golfer friends of yours are the same handicap as you, then they are just BS crazy.

32 minutes ago, False hopes said:

Do golfers tend to believe that the "lack of athletic ability" just means it is easy?  As a jc football player I understand that there are levels to things, but none of my low level football friends thought we could make it.  From my limited experience I see more club players think they could have made it, or they just think they're better than they are.

Most regular/serious golfers should understand that golf is still an athletic sport. There are exceptions to the rule, such as Daly, the same that the exception to boxers is Butterbean. Daly played in a different time where 16 ounce curls were normal for many pros.

If they think that they can strike a ball as good as Rory, or even a non main PGA tour player (Luck is a good example right now), then they are also delusional.

Edited by Bonvivant
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Prob an American thing as nil players at my club down NEW Zealand or any other club I've played comps at do ...even our best with +1 +2  etc HC think they could be on the PGA tour or any top flight National tour.. fact is you play any really hard Championship courses that hold the Big events ...play off the TIPS and if you can put 4x sub par rounds together 4 days in a row then different story maybe your've got the game to be playing with the big boys ...

Last time I played (not off the TIPs) at a Championship hard course and easy add 6-7 shots to my score ...over my local (still not the easiest course)

So I agree delusional

Edited by NZ Golfer
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A few years ago, I was a 2, and played with a guy that was +2. I could not believe how much better he was than me! I have heard that most guys that play on tour are +5 or 6. As the ad used to say, these guys are good. I wanted to play centerfield for the Red Sox when I was growing up, but no amount of practice was going to get me there. Folks at the top of their fields in almost anything are very talented, on top of hard workers. That special talent is a gift not many have.

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  • iacas changed the title to Why Are Golfers Delusional?
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Two corrections, as I see it:

  • Tons of people think they could have been pros in a bunch of sports (baseball, football, etc.) if they had just had the time and money as a kid. Tons. I've seen studies on it, and it's ridiculous.
  • Golf is an athletic sport. If you say otherwise, you're not a golfer, or you have a very, very bad definition of "athletic."
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1 minute ago, iacas said:
  • Tons of people think they could have been pros in a bunch of sports (baseball, football, etc.) if they had just had the time and money as a kid. Tons. I've seen studies on it, and it's ridiculous.

This is a fact!

I played beer league softball for about 20 years. Anyone who's met me knows I am no athlete. I am much better suited to teach math than PE. Having said that, I cannot tell you the number of guys in that beer league who swear that they would have been playing professional baseball right now if it wasn't for a coach that screwed them over. Every team had a couple of these guys. Some teams were built entirely from these guys. 

We'd be eating nachos and drinking beer after a game or tournament and you'd hear the same story over and over again. It always went something like this "You know Alfonso Soriano?" ... "He and I played on the same team in high school. I was way better than him, but his dad was best friends with our coach. So, he got to play and I didn't. Then of course he did steroids and I refused to. That's why he played all those years for the Yankees. Otherwise, it would have been me." 

I swear to Buddy Christ I heard that story with different major leaguers in it a thousand times. Although, the Alfonso Soriano example is a real example. I played beer league softball with a dude who would swear up and down that Alfonso Soriano's dad stole his baseball career.  Which should obviously be bullshit because I'm pretty sure Alfonso Soriano is from The Dominican Republic. 

By the way, it was also true in the city league basketball I played in. Which makes even less sense. If you take one look at these guys and then look at even the lowest level NBA player, the physical differences are obvious. But its always some relationship thing that ruined their career, or a coach who "didn't like me". 

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The old Bruce Springsteen song comes to mind, "Glory Days".    A lot of people thought that they were better back in the day and think their children/grandchildren have a chance.   It's not happening!   

My new neighbors moved in and their daughter is playing soccer.   He told me she was the best on the team and she had a chance at a D1 scholarship (at 14 years old).   I've watched a few of her games and the skill level just wasn't there.    She probably won't be playing soccer beyond high school.

With golf, I really don't think that most golfers realize just how good the professionals play.     Amateurs hit a few decent shots per round from the white tees and then think they can replicate that shot any time from any conditions.    The fact that the professionals play a longer and harder course with hard pin positions completely gets over looked.   "These guys are good". 

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Maybe is just players that lowered their handicap from 15 to 5.. and think that as they did that they can go from 5 to +5 and be a PGA tour pro if they just keep practicing.

As a 1 index i know is REALLY difficult to go from 1 to 0 or +1... so getting to a +5/+6 is almost delutional. Imagine how much delutional is to do it from.. 5 or more index.   

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Honestly, I don't blame them.

Relatively good golfers (let's say scratch or the best golfer at your club, not touring pros) can play outstanding stretches of golf that can be very very self affirming. They get lead to believing that they just need to 'stretch' another 10-15% and they are there. Add to that a adulating crowd (friends, family) around them who join the chorus telling they are gods. Don't blame them, they don't know any better. 

I think they would be wiser if they spent a significant time watching actual touring pros for quite a while in flesh and blood. But who got time/opportunity for that? 

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A book I really enjoyed early in my time playing golf was Paper Tiger (Coyne).  If I had any thoughts of getting good enough to play professionally, this book got rid of them.  A very good player, who I think had played in college, devoted a year and change to getting as good as he could be.  He had some bad luck along the way, and the book has a happy ending, but it doesn't amount to him joining the PGA Tour. 

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Part of the problem is a few issues. 

First there's arrogance. Quite a few golfers feel special that they only slice the ball 10 yards less than the other guy. (I'm being a little facetious here) 

Next when we see the pros play, we only see the end results of all the hard work, and training they had to go through to get where they are. We do not see all they had to do to get, and stay at their highest level of play. What we see is the pga professional making the game look easy.

Being delusional is a good word, but being "gullable"  adds to their delusion.  They believe everything they hear about building a better game. 

Last, I don't think a lot of golfers take responsibility for their own poor play. They don't own what they did, and will find false rxcuses for their poor play. The blame it on the guy scenario. 

Pretty sure in my beginnings in this game, I did all of the above. Not so much for a long time now. 

 

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Golfers probably aren’t any more delusional than anybody else but as far as guys thinking they could compete on the PGA tour, they may have the game for competing at the local level. But, the thing that separates those that can hold on to their tour card from the wannabees, is their ability to play their best under the extreme pressure faced on tour. 

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9 hours ago, iacas said:

Two corrections, as I see it:

  • Tons of people think they could have been pros in a bunch of sports (baseball, football, etc.) if they had just had the time and money as a kid. Tons. I've seen studies on it, and it's ridiculous.
  • Golf is an athletic sport. If you say otherwise, you're not a golfer, or you have a very, very bad definition of "athletic."

Lack of athletic ability was in quotes.  I firmly believe you have to be athletic to be a good golfer.  I probably should have said that golfers look like regular guys.  When you look at sports like the NBA and NFL its harder to justify the I could of gone pro when you're 5'10 and a buck 70.

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4 minutes ago, False hopes said:

Lack of athletic ability was in quotes.  I firmly believe you have to be athletic to be a good golfer.  I probably should have said that golfers look like regular guys.  When you look at sports like the NBA and NFL its harder to justify the I could of gone pro when you're 5'10 and a buck 70.

Read above. People do it in other sports all the time.

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1 minute ago, iacas said:

Read above. People do it in other sports all the time.

Fair enough, maybe it's because I'm not really around other sports anymore that I don't hear it.  Still boggles my mind though. 

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11 minutes ago, False hopes said:

Fair enough, maybe it's because I'm not really around other sports anymore that I don't hear it.  Still boggles my mind though. 

People think they could be professional poker players, too. It's not even just tied to sports. Actors and actresses, as well. The list goes on.

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I think it was @iacas who said it, and it's stuck with me ever since, that there is a greater gap between a scratch and a pro than there is between a 10 and a scratch.

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