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Golf: Simple advice from a golf coach, suitable for any player. Lesson 8:

Updated on December 3, 2010


Another piece of advice that has nothing to do with technique, it’s about ‘attribution theory’. This means the reasons you give for the result of your shot. The classic bad example is the golfer who blames a bad shot on the fact that they had to wait a long time in between shots. Unless you are extremely lucky, you are going to have to wait between shots again in the future, often if you’ve got caught up behind a slow group or a packed course, you’re going to have to wait several more times that same day. So if you’ve said that the only reason you played a poor shot was because of the wait, the next time you have to wait, logic dictates that you will play a poor shot again. Don’t put the blame on something completely out of your control, this puts you in a state of helplessness. Instead, after a poor shot, say something like the reason for that poor shot was I didn’t focus on my tempo, or I didn’t pick a good target, or I didn’t watch the ball until it disappeared. Make it something that you control and can do better next time. That way when facing your next shot after a wait, you can say to yourself, as long as I focus on my tempo this time I’ve got a much better chance of hitting a good shot.

Bad examples of attribution theory by golfers are almost limitless, blaming weather, playing partners habits, bad bounces, quality of the greens, etc, etc, etc.


Today’s lessons: Take responsibility for your poor shots, give yourself the control over hitting a better shot next time.  


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