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What Kind of Golfer Are You?

>> April 13, 2009

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/volleynerd/61150961/)

Recently, Golf is Hard TV ran a survey asking how aggressive you are on the golf course. Do you typically lay up, go for it or always play safe.

The results were:

  • Risk taker: I always go for it 26%
  • Moderate: I tend to lay up 65%
  • Safe: I always lay up 8%

For me (this is Marc posting), in almost all cases, I think the answer is "it depends." In asking myself this question however, I started to think about my own playing habits, and in some cases, the decisions I make off the golf course. I'm wondered if my risk taking on the golf couse matches my poker playing style, my approach and work, and in life in general.

In sports, gaming and fun, I tend to be a go for the glory kind of guy. There is nothing like that feelng of hitting a bottom of the 9th bomb to win it all or sinking a last second 3 pointer to win a game. Similarly, it's an enormous amount of fun to double down in blackjack, and is there a person on the planet that wouldn't get a thrill from saying "I'm all in." Doubtful! I also happen to be a notoriously aggressive chess and monopoly player!

In my personal and business life, I tend to play it a tad safer, but I've certainly taken my share of big career and personal risks as well. I've taken jobs that paid thousands of dollars less because I saw opportunities for the future. I got married early, went to college thousands of miles away from home and risked being a "goddamn independant" instead of joining a fraternity in college.

What does it mean for me on the golf course? It means when the time is right, if you are playing against me, I'm probably pretty easy to bait into doing dumb things for the thrill of it. There is one shot in particular I can't seem to avoid trying... anything over water or a long iron shot into the teeth of a bunker. In my head, that's a shot at glory... something I can't seem to resist!

What about you - are you a risky golfer? Does your risking taking of the course match how you are off the course? Let us know!


Scott 4/15/2009 4:22 PM  

Good post Marc.

I would classify myself as a risky golfer. If there's a 20% chance of punching my ball successfully through the trees and ending up 150 yards down the fairway vs a 100% chance of chipping out but not advancing the ball, I'm usually taking the chance. But I have to admit that this is a bad strategy most of the time, at least for me.

I think it has to do with the perception of my success so far in the round. If I feel there are too many bogies (or worse) on my scorecard I'm more likely to take the chance, which usually compounds the problem.

For example, I play a fun little 9-hole course sometimes. It has 4 par 4s, some water, and plenty of ways to get into trouble, so you can definitely use all the clubs in your bag. But some of my best scores have come when I simply use an 8 iron and a putter, Tin Cup style. That takes all the risk out of the round; just keep it straight and play to have the best approach to the green every time.

Marc 4/18/2009 1:51 AM  

Thanks for the great comment Scott! I totally agree with you that it's a bad strategy, but it's so much fun to think you can pull off a shot through the woods and onto the green. I love the thrill :)

Keeping it simple (in life and in golf) seems to be the best strategy time and again.


About Marc and Coach Dave

Marc's a hacker and Dave knows what he's doing after teaching for 7 years. We're both passionate golfers and committed to having fun with Golf is Hard TV.

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