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The Tail Light

An interesting question was posed at a seminar I attended some years back:

“How do you know if your tail light is out?”

Virtually everyone in the room that answered exclaimed with great enthusiasm “Someone needs to tell you!” The speaker seemed to agree with them, but I was puzzled why no one disagreed. I raised my hand and suggested, “Put a brick on the brake pedal, get out, and look for yourself.” My logic was quickly dismissed…

It didn’t seem as if anyone was really giving credit to the concept of an individual utilizing their own sense of objectivity. Because golfers are often on their own and forced to internalize a lot of information, being objective in your own analysis regardless of skill level is essential for growth.

The real point of the broken tail light analogy is to emphasize that every so often golfers need to pull themselves out of the driver’s seat, relinquish control, and assess things from a new perspective.

I recently did a brief interview with a junior golfer who had an atypical performance in the last 36 hole tournament, but described the driving and iron play as “pretty good.” After pressing for more details and taking the player out of the driver’s seat, we saw not just one, but two broken tail lights. They came in the form of 9 very questionable iron approach shots and 4 drives that went out of bounds.

Without having had this discussion, the prioritization for future practice sessions that would yield lower scores may have been misdirected. Having this discussion about objectivity in assessments could have made it very easy for the player to berate their last performance. However, it was very clearly stated that objectivity is an opportunity to grow exponentially rather than linger in a state of stagnation.

No one knows a player’s golf game better than the player himself. Consider your objectivity after your next round and keep a brick handy. It could come in handy for throwing through the nearest window, errr, I mean, keeping the brake pedal down while you pull yourself out of the driver’s seat. In the words of Will McAvoy…

Thank you for reading

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