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The "Stop Conning Yourself" Thread

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On 9/15/2015 at 12:55 PM, Ongle said:

No it's just a really hard game! There are no other sports out there where every playing arena is so different and with so many outside factors that can vary the outcome! Golf seems like it should be simple, it's just "hit the little ball into the hole!", only it's not simple, it's that variety of influences that helps make it so difficult, along with the fundamentals of trying to perfectly align a little flat bit of metal to a little ball at 100mph. I think the reason golf hooks people is because a.) there is no "perfect game" and b.) we are all capable, on any given day of hitting shots a top level professional would be proud of hitting! I've stuck a 200yrd 3i punched cut to 6in before! I've sunk monster double breaking 35ft putts too! And it's that which gets you out again; they might be lucky to come off considering you're handicap and a low % shot, but I've done it. So in my mind it's proved to me that I can play this game! The rest of the round might be crap, but it's those few great shots you play that make you believe and get you out for that next round. I know I'll never be a pro. Hell, I doubt I'll ever be a single figure handicap, but I'm gonna enjoy the challenge to see what I can do. And those great shots/holes along the way are what makes it all worth while.

I's hard because, in all other sports where you hit or catch a ball or other object, the ball is moving, and your reflexes take over and you react to the ball. in golf, that little white SOB is just sitting there, laughing at you, and giving you plenty of time to think of all the things that can go wrong when you swing at it. It's daring you to hit it.

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On ‎6‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 4:22 PM, millsan1 said:

I have no delusions of adequacy.  I know how far I have to go to become decent.

On the flip side, I have played with more than a few people who say things like "I usually shoot in the 90s" or something like that.  Then, when you go out on the course, you realize how they "shoot in the 90s". 

Bad tee shot?  Hit another, no penalty. 

Bad lie?  Kick it out to a better lie. 

5' putt?  "that's a gimme". 

OOB?  Drop, no penalty.

etc.

And then there is the creative stroke count.  They shoot a 7 and record a 5, somehow forgetting how many strokes they took.

Was playing 9 the other day (I've been trying to break 90 forever).  At around the 7th hole, one of the guys in the foursome says to me, "you probably shoot in the mid to low-80's."  Told him I can't break 90 but thanks.  He couldn't believe it, said I hit the ball way too well for those scores.  This is a refrain I hear a lot, even from my pro.

I told the guy I count every stroke, no mulligans, etc.  He said he does too.

On the last hole, I push my tee shot into the next fairway.  Wound up hitting another (knew what I did wrong) and bomb it 265 in the rough but a good lie leaving me about 60 yds to the pin (short downhill par 4).  Pitch on about 10 feet to the pin.  Getting ready to putt, I tell the guy it's my 5th stroke cause I re-teed.  He looks at me and says, "c'mon you're not gonna count that first tee shot..."

I manage to 3-putt for 7 leaving me with a 47.  Very typical round for me.  On the practice green I can drain 10 footers or at least leave myself an easy clean-up putt but on the course I seem to leave myself with a difficult 4 1/2 footer all the time.

I'm not getting on this guy as he was pretty cool and told me I'm a much better player than my score which motivated me.

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I try not to con myself, (as indicated by my index), because I played for years in a league where the guys would call you out on any infraction, e.g., shoe wedge, fluffing your lie, etc. I also use a strike counter now because I once missed a stroke when walking off the green and turning my count in, (and it was pointed out to me). I don't play in that league since I retired but I'm in another league and some money is on the line. I still see so many guys breaking the rules, mostly fluffing their lie.

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I agree.  Let's not have any positive thoughts....it only serves to make what in reality is a game more enjoyable...we can't have that now! 

When I teach folks I tell them they stink because I don't want them thinking for a second that they've achieved an iota of progress.

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16 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

I agree.  Let's not have any positive thoughts....it only serves to make what in reality is a game more enjoyable...we can't have that now! 

When I teach folks I tell them they stink because I don't want them thinking for a second that they've achieved an iota of progress.

That's not what the topic is about.

The topic is simply about being honest, not about turning away the positive and only looking at negative.

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22 hours ago, iacas said:

That's not what the topic is about.

The topic is simply about being honest, not about turning away the positive and only looking at negative.

Erik, you put up a topic about folks not conning themselves, but also added "we don't do that as instructors".  So I respond that I disagree with that approach, then you tell me I'm off-topic.  While that approach may work for the top high school golfers who come to PSB because they think they can make the tour, it's not a good approach for 35 year old Joe Smith who wants to have fun learning golf.  The "12 HCP" guy was obviously a blowhard, but that event is hardly indicative of all golfers....and I would say a majority would say they stink at golf.

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2 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

Erik, you put up a topic about folks not conning themselves, but also added "we don't do that as instructors".

Dave and I try very hard not to "con ourselves" regarding our instruction.

2 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

So I respond that I disagree with that approach, then you tell me I'm off-topic.

No you didn't.

22 hours ago, Puttin4Dough said:

I agree. Let's not have any positive thoughts....it only serves to make what in reality is a game more enjoyable...we can't have that now!

When I teach folks I tell them they stink because I don't want them thinking for a second that they've achieved an iota of progress.

I responded that this has nothing to do with the topic.

You seem to be confusing the idea that "conning yourself" is "positive" and "not conning yourself" is "negative" or something. I don't know why you're thinking that, but that's not what's meant by "conning yourself."

The topic is simply a reminder to be honest with yourself. It's not about "positive thoughts."

Dave and I, for example, don't want to con ourselves into thinking that we've solved some problem, or are "good enough" that we get lazy. We are constantly on the lookout for confirmation bias in our own thoughts… things like that.

I don't think you understand what "conning yourself" is about. It's not about "positive thoughts" and "negative thoughts."

2 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

While that approach may work for the top high school golfers who come to PSB because they think they can make the tour

Huh? We're a Divison III school. Some of my golfers have won some city tournaments, and that's about it.

2 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

it's not a good approach for 35 year old Joe Smith who wants to have fun learning golf.

No, you're wrong. It's not better for him to just lie to himself.

This really has nothing to do with "positive thoughts" or "negative thoughts." It's about lying to yourself, conning yourself. That doesn't serve anyone's interests. Maybe a tiny bit, super short term.

But those who are dedicated to their games, to improving, are harming their chances of doing so if they "con themselves."

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3 minutes ago, iacas said:

Dave and I try very hard not to "con ourselves" regarding our instruction.

No you didn't.

I responded that this has nothing to do with the topic.

You seem to be confusing the idea that "conning yourself" is "positive" and "not conning yourself" is "negative" or something. I don't know why you're thinking that, but that's not what's meant by "conning yourself."

The topic is simply a reminder to be honest with yourself. It's not about "positive thoughts."

Dave and I, for example, don't want to con ourselves into thinking that we've solved some problem, or are "good enough" that we get lazy. We are constantly on the lookout for confirmation bias in our own thoughts… things like that.

I don't think you understand what "conning yourself" is about. It's not about "positive thoughts" and "negative thoughts."

Huh? We're a Divison III school. Some of my golfers have won some city tournaments, and that's about it.

No, you're wrong. It's not better for him to just lie to himself.

This really has nothing to do with "positive thoughts" or "negative thoughts." It's about lying to yourself, conning yourself. That doesn't serve anyone's interests. Maybe a tiny bit, super short term.

But those who are dedicated to their games, to improving, are harming their chances of doing so if they "con themselves."

I understand "conning" one's self.  And I also stated a majority of golfers are NOT comfortable with their swings.  I know plenty of single digit guys who don't want their swings on video.  You ran into one blow-hard and launched a topic centered on "that guy" because it annoyed you.  Yes, I've met those guys, but it's few and far between.  

This has everything to do with positive vs. negative thoughts.  

"But those who are dedicated to their games, to improving, are harming their chances of doing so if they "con themselves."  It's the opposite.  Those dedicated to the game always think they stink...they never boast about being better than they are...in fact...they under-play their true ability.

 

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Just now, Puttin4Dough said:

You ran into one blow-hard and launched a topic centered on "that guy" because it annoyed you.

Incorrect.

Dave and I have talked about "not conning ourselves" as long as we've worked together.

"That guy" might have just prompted me to write up the topic.

Just now, Puttin4Dough said:

This has everything to do with positive vs. negative thoughts.

No, it doesn't, and as the topic starter, I'd know. It has to do with not lying to yourself. That's it.

Just now, Puttin4Dough said:

"But those who are dedicated to their games, to improving, are harming their chances of doing so if they "con themselves."  It's the opposite.  Those dedicated to the game always think they stink...they never boast about being better than they are...in fact...they under-play their true ability.

I don't agree. Good golfers, dedicated golfers, can still con themselves. I see it pretty often. We have had golfers here admitting it. The topic is over three years old now… and we're on page 16. The previous 15 pages are full of golfers admitting this type of thing to themselves and others.

Not conning yourself is a way of accepting who you are and what you need to do to actually get better. Not conning yourself is going to an AA meeting after 20 years of sobriety and saying "Hi, I'm John, and I'm an alcoholic." Not conning yourself is recognizing that you've missed the last 10 of your daughter's dance recitals and then doing everything you can to attend the next 10.

And, finally, if you're not conning yourself, congrats! This topic isn't for you.

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On 8/22/2018 at 1:22 PM, easyjay39402 said:

My golfing goal for this year is a 12 HCP. 

Hahahahahahahahaha 😂

Haha haha, mine too. 🤪😂🤪

22 hours ago, Puttin4Dough said:

I agree.  Let's not have any positive thoughts....it only serves to make what in reality is a game more enjoyable...we can't have that now! 

When I teach folks I tell them they stink because I don't want them thinking for a second that they've achieved an iota of progress.

Hahaha 😂 yes, that’s a great way to motivate all your masochistic students.

”Thank you sir, may I have another?” - Kevin Bacon from Animal House Fraternity paddle 🤪

Yeah, people can really go overboard putting others down, but ultimately I think this site genuinely tries to help some people get better. 😊

 

Honestly, I think most people making actual progress and seeing the results don’t really care what some instructor or group of cyber buddies think anyway.

If they think you’re conning yourself, fine. Remember that some if not most golfers do actually con themselves. I know I did. Nowadays, I just don’t really care what people think or write. If they write something helpful, great. If they don’t, fine. If they say something negative, who gives a crap what they state anyway?

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14 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

This has everything to do with positive vs. negative thoughts.  

No it doesn’t. An instructor gives a student a piece to work on. He goes out once after the lesson, beats 30 balls half-assing the priority piece then reports to his next lesson saying, ‘ I worked real hard on this piece and just can’t seem to get it down. But I’m dedicated and really want this so I’m working hard.’

That’s positive thinking but he’s conning himself (and the instructor.)

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10 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

No it doesn’t. An instructor gives a student a piece to work on. He goes out once after the lesson, beats 30 balls half-assing the priority piece then reports to his next lesson saying, ‘ I worked real hard on this piece and just can’t seem to get it down. But I’m dedicated and really want this so I’m working hard.’

That’s positive thinking but he’s conning himself (and the instructor.)

Wrong about positive vs. negative reinforcement pending the student. 

You're correct regarding the person who doesn't do their homework.  I've worked with folks who actually gain major progress in a lesson, then the next time I see them they are right back to their old swing...or worse...they found or heard of a new "tip" that they think supersedes my instruction.  i am sure you've run into this many times.

21 minutes ago, Lihu said:

Haha haha, mine too. 🤪😂🤪

Hahaha 😂 yes, that’s a great way to motivate all your masochistic students.

”Thank you sir, may I have another?” - Kevin Bacon from Animal House Fraternity paddle 🤪

Yeah, people can really go overboard putting others down, but ultimately I think this site genuinely tries to help some people get better. 😊

 

Honestly, I think most people making actual progress and seeing the results don’t really care what some instructor or group of cyber buddies think anyway.

If they think you’re conning yourself, fine. Remember that some if not most golfers do actually con themselves. I know I did. Nowadays, I just don’t really care what people think or write. If they write something helpful, great. If they don’t, fine. If they say something negative, who gives a crap what they state anyway?

Lesson 1:  You stink...stop thinking you can do anything....that'll be $80.  Lol.

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2 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

Lesson 1:  You stink...stop thinking you can do anything....that'll be $80.  Lol.

What a great way to get someone to sign up for another lesson! 😂😂😂

Yeah, a good instructor doesn’t need to resort to negativity.

@mvmac introduced me to Dana Dahlquist and the two of them gave lessons to me and my son without any negative feedback. Even when I didn’t do what they told me, they encouraged me to continue working on my priorities and gave me new drills accordingly. Like I said earlier, this site isn’t just about the negative. Some people might need negativity to grasp a need to improve.

Agreed that most don’t, but some actually do. This thread isn’t for everyone...

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Dude, I'll say it again: it's not about "positive" or "negative."

It's about lying to yourself.

If I have a golfer come to me and they say "Yeah, I'm a good driver, but my wedges stink, and I can't make any good sized putts," and I check out their swing, and I have them hit some drivers, and I see their wedges, and then ask them to hit the putts they're talking about… and they're actually pretty good with their wedges (maybe they have completely unrealistic expectations regarding their wedges), and similar with their putts: they could use a little tuning but they're otherwise pretty good, and then their tee shots go FAR but never near their intended line… then I can educate the guy, and get him to see the facts. He's conned himself into thinking that:

  • He's a good driver.
  • He's a poor wedge player.
  • He's a poor putter.
  • The best path to improvement is to work on the latter two.

In reality, he's doing two things pretty well, but would be best served to work on his driving.

It's not about "positive" or "negative." It's about lying to yourself, and realizing what's accurate, factual, true.

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43 minutes ago, Puttin4Dough said:

"But those who are dedicated to their games, to improving, are harming their chances of doing so if they "con themselves."  It's the opposite.  Those dedicated to the game always think they stink...they never boast about being better than they are...in fact...they under-play their true ability.

You'd be surprised at how often I con myself into thinking that the 3-iron from the rough is a good idea. It just looks so appealing, like a butter knife that will slice right through that thick grass...

Then the club meets the turf and I meet reality to realize that I am not, in fact, Tiger Woods as I watch my ball scream along at knee height.

Just now, Puttin4Dough said:

I don't think the guys on here practice what they preach.

The "guys on here" have given thousands of hours of free instruction to the members of this forum without negative feedback. It's honestly a fantastic resource for golfers of every skill level.

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8 minutes ago, Pretzel said:

You'd be surprised at how often I con myself into thinking that the 3-iron from the rough is a good idea. It just looks so appealing, like a butter knife that will slice right through that thick grass...

Then the club meets the turf and I meet reality to realize that I am not, in fact, Tiger Woods as I watch my ball scream along at knee height.

The "guys on here" have given thousands of hours of free instruction to the members of this forum without negative feedback. It's honestly a fantastic resource for golfers of every skill level.

You didn't "con" yourself...you were simply having fun to see if you can pull-off a "hero shot".  You already knew the probability was <1%...and if you even dreamed of being Tiger Woods with a 3 iron out of the rough then you're supporting Erik's claim, for which I would agree with Erik.

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1 hour ago, Puttin4Dough said:

Wrong about positive vs. negative reinforcement pending the student. 

Nope. I’m gonna give you a pass because you simply don’t understand what this thread means.

1 hour ago, iacas said:

Dude, I'll say it again: it's not about "positive" or "negative."

This. Understand this then offer your thoughts.

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