Set Realistic Expectations by Wally Armstrong

"If you're serious about improving your play, be brutally honest with yourself." - Greg Norman

One common trait I see among a lot of average weekend golfers is unrealistic expectations of their game. They often have full-time jobs and families to take care of, yet they want to play like the pros.

I tell average golfers to take a close look in the mirror and ask themselves some tough questions about their game: How much time do I really have to put into my game? And what are some realistic expectations of my scoring abilities based on the time I have to put into my game?

Once players discern the true potential of their game and honestly assess the amount of time they should be putting into it, they are equipped to put together the best practice plan to help them reach that goal. The key is balanced practice that takes all of these factors into consideration. When you understand your limitations of skill, abilities, and time, you can better plan your practice, prioritizing your time on the driving range and the chipping and putting green accordingly.

When weekend golfers plan their practice, almost without exception they decide to spend much of their time on the range practicing their short game and putting—chipping around the green and getting in close to the pin. Nothing helps average golfers lower their scores more quickly than learning how to get up and down from around the green.

As I've often said to my students, "Unbridled expectations ruin many a pleasant round."