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Managing Your Expectations

I'm sure we've all been there when one of your playing partners hits their approach shot onto the green to which they let out a groan of disappointment with the finished result. Hey, I'm sure we've all been there ourselves. Another example would be someone complaining that they missed seven 15 foot putts for birdie today and how they should have at least holed five out of the seven. I want to discuss how we can shift our expectations and begin to understand what we should be aiming for.

Here's a question for you. From the fairway, 100 yards away, how close to the hole does the leader on the PGA Tour average? 6 feet? 10 feet? Byeong Hun An leads the PGA tour average from this distance at 15'7 feet (2017 season). This is the best player in the world at this distance and from a perfect lie in the fairway he will average just inside 16 feet. Justin Rose averages 22'7 feet. If Justin were to have an 'average' round of golf, he would never hit his ball inside 20 feet from a perfect lie in the middle of the fairway from 100 yards. Just think about that for a second, Justin Rose, Major winner, has just won two European titles back to back and averages 22'7 feet from 100 yards away! Yet, we as club players, throw the toys out the pram when our ball finishes 20 feet away.

For the 'I should have holed five out of those seven 15 foot putts guy', Kevin Na leads the 15-20 ft putts stats at holing 28.57%. Kevin Nah has putted on perfect greens and still misses 71.43 of his attempts from this range. Hideki Matsuyama is 190th on the stat list with only holing 9.09% of his putts. In his 2017 season, he faced this distance 99 times and made only 9 putts. Feeling better yet?

By understanding the stats we can now start to place more realistic expectations on ourselves when playing. By adopting a 'no expectations' approach you wont place as big a value on certain putts and probably end up making a better effort. Treat it like a challenge. The next time you have a wedge shot to the green (roughly 100 yards), imagine a 25 foot circle. Anywhere inside this I would consider to be a good shot for mostly all club players.

It's worth baring in mind that these are the stats of the best male players in the world. They don't necessarily transfer over to you but a great benchmark for you to work off. When designing practice routines and skills test for my students, I like to work off the 100th man on the PGA tour lists. You can check out the PGA Tour stats page here

Go easy on yourself out there folks...

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