Expectations vs Reality

Golf On TV Gives A False Illusion

We can not argue that the caliber of player is incredible on the professional level. They are truly amazing and it is very fun to watch. However, televised golf can give our young players some false illusions that will create unrealistic expectations.

Expectations, junior golfers, is an instrumental part of your journey to greatness. Too high of expectations and you will fail, too low of expectations and you will never be challenged and become stronger.

There are so many areas we could cover, and we will over multiple articles, but this one is going to be the 3 most important stats for junior golfers to know and how to set your expectations of yourself based on these.

Approach shots from 75-100 Yards

When asked, most young players will say that professionals will average somewhere between 5-8 feet from the hole on shots between 75-100 yards.

Truth: 17 Feet

The Illusion: Golf shows us the highlight shots, so we are always seeing players stick it close. This is not always the case. Players that are having great days, yes, but the average is 17 feet.

Your Expectation: Inside 20 Feet is good. Inside 17 Feet is Tour Level

Percentage of 10-15 Foot Putts Made

Most players believe this percentage is way higher and they should make more putts from here. The guess is usually around 50-60% Ultimately this leads to a lot of practice from this distance which is not the best solution. See Why

Truth: 30%

Your Expectation: If you had 5 of these putts per round and made 1, you are doing good. 2 is great and 3 or more is outstanding.

Illusion: There is a strong illusion that pros make every one of these putts. Again, golf is just showing us the highlight stuff. They make a few but it only accounts for around 10% of all made putts for the year.

This is where stat tracking for yourself is so important because you will see how many actual attempts you have at these. The truth is you do not have many 10-15 foot putts. If you have these, one of two things is happening. Either you hit the green with tremendous accuracy (hitting better than tour pros), or your short game is suffering and leaving your chips way too far away.

Solution: Practice 6 feet and in for makeable putts. Practice 20 feet and beyond for lag putts and 2 putting. Pros do not make as many as we think but they DO NOT 3 putt. Very rare.

Greens In Regulation

This is another major topic to know what to expect from yourself. The typical answer we get when asking players, “what percentage of GIR do the professionals hit?” 14-18 is the range we get,

Truth: 66% = 11.8 GIR per round.

Illusion: We always see the players on fire and having great rounds. That is not the average. Tour pros are hitting around 12 greens per round. However, they have outstanding short games and can usually save par when needed.

Solution: Give yourself a break if you miss a green. Even the players on fire are missing a green here and there. Have to allow for this part of the game and sharpen your short game to prepare because you will need it. Players in general spend way too much time working on technique of swing alone.

These are some must know statistics and a guideline of how to start building your expectations of yourself. This can also help set up your practice and what to practice.

A few short game challenges we use at Champion Ways

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