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The "Stop Conning Yourself" Thread


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My name is Brad, and I have spent 30 years conning myself as a golfer.  When I began playing golf in college, I conned myself into thinking that I was more capable than I really was.  I scoure

I am taking a lesson tonight, scheduled it with the Teaching Pro at the Club my wife and i joined in June.  This lesson is going out on the course to work on course management.  i wanted to take this

Short game will help, and often much faster, but also… with much less room. You can pretty quickly save a few shots by improving your putting and the short game, but the bigger gains all come from the

i did this for a few summers,  telling myself , if i just did this or eliminated that, i'd actually be a decent golfer......

but when i finally started keeping score i realized how much i actually sucked..... lol    and i think one of the eye opener's came after a weekend of golfing with my brother ( who is actually good ), he asked me how much i practiced chipping and putting.... and i said i dont.... lol

He told me i should put in some good quality time practicing my putting and chipping, which at the time, my home course was the local Univeristy's course so they have a nice area for practicing your chipping and putting..... so i spent hours working on my chipping and putting, and it was amazing at how much it helped.....

While i still suck at golf.... and dont get out to practice enough now lol....i dont sugar coat my game anymore

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I need to stop conning myself in thinking that I will improve my game without improving the mental aspect of my game.

I think golfers generally overestimate the importance of the mental game, so you may be conning yourself with the comment above. You can have a great mental game but if certain mechanics are off, it won't matter much. Mental game also tends to improve will better mechanics.

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To a certain extent I think I need to continue conning myself... The biggest con I am living is that I am improving.. Let's be real, I'm not.. Period! My friend that I play with shoots right around the same scores at me, the difference is that he had shitty clubs, has never taken a lesson, and has an ugly swing.. Me on the other hand, have nice clubs, have taken my fair share of online and personal lesson and still have an ugly swing.. I keep telling him that I'm getting better and that I'm almost there, and that I will eventually get better quickly, but I don't know if I believe that... I probably have needed that con to keep going with lessons, and most likely will.. I think it is time I wake up from the con I am living in.. But I am a sucker and will continue taking lessons and believing I am almost there, because the moment I stop is the moment I will stop playing!
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i did this for a few summers,  telling myself , if i just did this or eliminated that, i'd actually be a decent golfer......  but when i finally started keeping score i realized how much i actually sucked..... lol    and i think one of the eye opener's came after a weekend of golfing with my brother ( who is actually good ), he asked me how much i practiced chipping and putting.... and i said i dont.... lol   He told me i should put in some good quality time practicing my putting and chipping, which at the time, my home course was the local Univeristy's course so they have a nice area for practicing your chipping and putting..... so i spent hours working on my chipping and putting, and it was amazing at how much it helped..... While i still suck at golf.... and dont get out to practice enough now lol....i dont sugar coat my game anymore

[quote name="mvmac" url="/t/83857/the-stop-conning-yourself-thread/30#post_1185448"] I think golfers generally overestimate the importance of the mental game, so you may be conning yourself with the comment above. You can have a great mental game but if certain mechanics are off, it won't matter much. Mental game also tends to improve will better mechanics.  [/quote] 100% true. I am a horrible course manager, yet the "mental game" will not suddenly make me a scratch golfer. And it is all relative. I am a horrible course manager compared to better golfers but a good course manager compared to a lot of weekend warriors. I think it is like that in our pop culture, "woo believing" society we live in. The public and Hollywood always want to discount natural ability and instead point to work ethic or some kind of mental confidence or epiphany as the reason for greatness. I guess it is based on Americans' glorified view of our country and how we are told as kids that "we can be anything we want to be if we just out in the effort and believe." Instinctually we know this is fairy tale thinking but we allow ourselves to be suckered into this child like view of the world. Russell Wilson always talks about his work ethic and how he has to work harder than everyone else to be better. That is true, but he is also an elite talent. He has an elite athlete's genetics as his father actually played in the NFL too.

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The thing is, most golfers would give up the game if they stopped conning themselves. In their heads they are the player who made that perfect approach to the 16th green, rather than the player that hit only two fairways during the round. In reality, they are much more the latter than the former - but were they to acknowledge that fact, they'd have to quit because they lack either the time, or the inclination, or both, to put in the effort required to change. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a game. If you don't intend to make your living at it, it's perfectly OK to have fun and pretend to ypurself that you're not hopeless. After all, most people believe they are above average when it comes to driving a car. We all know that's not true. Overestimating one's ability to drive a golf ball is trivial, by comparison.
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The thing is, most golfers would give up the game if they stopped conning themselves. In their heads they are the player who made that perfect approach to the 16th green, rather than the player that hit only two fairways during the round. In reality, they are much more the latter than the former - but were they to acknowledge that fact, they'd have to quit because they lack either the time, or the inclination, or both, to put in the effort required to change.

And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a game. If you don't intend to make your living at it, it's perfectly OK to have fun and pretend to ypurself that you're not hopeless. After all, most people believe they are above average when it comes to driving a car. We all know that's not true. Overestimating one's ability to drive a golf ball is trivial, by comparison.


Nice post!

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I think golfers generally overestimate the importance of the mental game, so you may be conning yourself with the comment above. You can have a great mental game but if certain mechanics are off, it won't matter much. Mental game also tends to improve will better mechanics.

You might be right! Myself, I only have positive experience from improvement of the mental game (for other people and for myself in other sports)


However I consider there to be two parts of the mental game, course management and mental strength (over-thinking and bad nerves, missing simple putts for example) and I have a hard time thinking that improving the latter won't improve my own game :whistle: But maybe I am conning myself here as well :-$

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You might be right! Myself, I only have positive experience from improvement of the mental game (for other people and for myself in other sports)

However I consider there to be two parts of the mental game, course management and mental strength (over-thinking and bad nerves, missing simple putts for example) and I have a hard time thinking that improving the latter won't improve my own game  But maybe I am conning myself here as well

Course management would be better to spend your time on rather than mental game anxiety. I used to be nervous hitting pitches over bunkers because my technique sucked which lead to poor contact. Now it's a shot I'm comfortable with because my technique improved and I know I can consistently hit it solid and close to the distance I want. Didn't do any mental game work because I can't "trick" myself into being positive on a shot I know I'm not very good at.

Regarding course management and game planning, great book on that.

http://lowestscorewins.com/

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Course management would be better to spend your time on rather than mental game anxiety. I used to be nervous hitting pitches over bunkers because my technique sucked which lead to poor contact. Now it's a shot I'm comfortable with because my technique improved and I know I can consistently hit it solid and close to the distance I want. Didn't do any mental game work because I can't "trick" myself into being positive on a shot I know I'm not very good at. Regarding course management and game planning, great book on that. [URL=http://lowestscorewins.com/]http://lowestscorewins.com/[/URL]

It will be in my mailbox tomorrow. Wohoo!

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I think it is time I wake up from the con I am living in.. But I am a sucker and will continue taking lessons and believing I am almost there, because the moment I stop is the moment I will stop playing!

Your con is that you think lessons will make you better.-APPLYING the lessons with PRACTICE will make you better. You play and never practice. That is your con.

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I con myself in a few ways:

- While I know how to play smart, I rarely do. I talk about course management with my playing partners and often provide solid advice--I just don't use the same line of thinking for myself.

- I am not a good student.  I receive brilliant instruction and don't do my part to make the changes that I paid good money to learn.

- I am not actually as lousy at golf as I believe I am.  I think I still believe that I'm just on a hot streak and really should still carry a 20+ handicap.

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I am conning myself by thinking I am decent off the tee. Some days I am, and my ballflight is consistent to allow me to keep the ball in play. Other days I'm just hoping I have a second shot to play rather than a third one from off the tee again. The problem isn't consistent and I don't know exactly what causes it. I need to fix both parts of that problem so that I can address the woeful state of my chipping, which is in the same boat. On a good day I feel I can get up and down from the parking lot. On a bad day I miss up and downs from two feet off the green with 15 feet to the pin.
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I need to not con myself into thinking I am actually practicing the correct way.

Yeah me too. I need to stop conning myself into thinking that I'm actually doing something by relentlessly and more or less mindlessly pounding balls on the range. Also, I con myself all the time thinking that something has "clicked" and that I've found the magic key.

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I need to stop conning myself by thinking a magic tip will come along and change my game. I have finally admited to myself that im rubbish at golf and need to try harder.

Back to basics for the rest of the year to find "my" swing. I know i can play decent enough when i put my mind to it

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One of the biggest ways I see people Con themselves is by not TRULY playing by the rules but thinking they are actually putting down an accurate score (which makes them believe they are better than they really are).  Taking a breakfast ball off of the tee; ridiculous gimme putts (probably the biggest Con of all!); taking very generous drops from hazards, etc etc.  Usually, they are the same players that play in tournaments where they really have to play by the rules and score way worst than "they usually score" and attribute it to a "bad day" or some other Con excuse.

I con myself by not practicing properly.  At times on the range, I beat balls and while I'm hitting them "well," I'm conning myself into thinking I'm having a good range session.  It's artificial and in most times, ineffective practice.  My practice should be more creative and purposeful.  Hitting to different targets.  Switching clubs more often rather than hitting 20 9irons, 20 7irons, 20 5irons and so on.  I should be taking a more routine approach before hitting each shot on the range (stepping back behind the ball, focusing on a target, and stepping into the shot like I would on the golf course).  I should be focusing harder on aligning myself to target rather than again, beating balls.  I'm conning myself by thinking NOT practicing this way, every time (not just sometimes) is a way to get better.

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The thing is, most golfers would give up the game if they stopped conning themselves. In their heads they are the player who made that perfect approach to the 16th green, rather than the player that hit only two fairways during the round. In reality, they are much more the latter than the former - but were they to acknowledge that fact, they'd have to quit because they lack either the time, or the inclination, or both, to put in the effort required to change.

And there's nothing wrong with that. It's a game. If you don't intend to make your living at it, it's perfectly OK to have fun and pretend to ypurself that you're not hopeless. After all, most people believe they are above average when it comes to driving a car. We all know that's not true. Overestimating one's ability to drive a golf ball is trivial, by comparison.

This is true. Everyone cons themselves to make themselves feel better. It's basic human survival, which evolved into its modern form. Many people I play with take gimmes, foot wedges and other such things then think their score is what they got.

As far as I'm concerned if it gets them out on the golf course to play more often, then let them do whatever they please.

Other people feel better about themselves by saying very few people play by the rules and are not real golfers, etc. like the example below:

One of the biggest ways I see people Con themselves is by not TRULY playing by the rules but thinking they are actually putting down an accurate score (which makes them believe they are better than they really are).  Taking a breakfast ball off of the tee; ridiculous gimme putts (probably the biggest Con of all!); taking very generous drops from hazards, etc etc.  Usually, they are the same players that play in tournaments where they really have to play by the rules and score way worst than "they usually score" and attribute it to a "bad day" or some other Con excuse.

That's fine too, if it makes them feel better about themselves to put down others and gets them out on the course more often, great.

The bottom line for me is that whether someone else thinks you are conning yourself or not is irrelevant. If you want to improve, you need to know your weaknesses and stop conning yourselves. Otherwise, this thread is irrelevant.

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I guess my unconscious con always was that I had conveniently somewhat ignored the value of sustenance in ball striking. Once I realized this, my scores started making more sense.

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