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The Performance vs. Results Paradox

A player's dispersion defines their consistency. Its location defines their performance.

Two players are standing on the green before they go play. Player A makes 5 breaking putts in a row from 6 feet. Player B only makes 3 of the putts, but each of his misses finishes about a foot past the cup.

Whose results were better?

Whose performance was better?

It’s time to define the difference between results and performance and identify what that means for your putting.

The “Result-er”

We’re all trying to make more putts. By that logic, Player A would have both better results and performance. However, there’s one glaring error with this logic that plagues thousands of golfers. Most of them aren’t even aware it’s an issue.

Player A isn’t taking into account how the ball was holed.

No, the scorecard doesn’t take pictures, but your golf ball is very smart. It knows that a faster capture speed, or how fast or slow the ball is rolling, means it has to go in very precisely.

Player A was told to “see the ball go in” before playing. Unfortunately, he’s so focused on creating that result, he has forgotten that there is a combination of speed and line that is optimal and maximizes the size of the cup. Player A uses a very fast capture speed.

While his strategy produces a good result on the practice green, the 1st hole has other ideas. His 6 foot par putt to start the day grazes the low edge. It goes 6 feet past. Then, he hits the second putt too hard and has 4 feet coming back. For the icing on the cake, he viciously lips out that one, and taps in for a 4-putt triple to start his day…

But results are all that matter in our warm up and practice…

The Performer

Player B’s warm up has a different purpose. He knows that managing capture speed is an essential skill and isn’t concerned about whether or not the putt goes in during his warm up. He is trying to create consistent capture speed and knows that a quality missed putt is defined by the following:

— Effective read and process

— Effective capture speed

— Effective start line

The missed putts only traveled a foot past the hole. The ones that were holed poured in gently and didn’t crash into the back of the cup.

Player B finishes his 9th consecutive round without at 3 putt. Performance is what matters in our warm up and practice…

The Paradox

You’ve likely figured out the paradox here. I’d rather you make fewer putts in exchange for better capture speed.

Put your eyebrow back in its normal spot. And wipe the incredulous look off your face. There’s a good reason for it.

Improved capture speed makes the hole bigger, so you’ll make more putts.

Improved capture speed keeps the misses near by, so you don’t 3 putt.

Improved capture speed means smaller dispersions and more predictability on breaking putts.

But more on that next week. Until then, click below to start making your dispersions smaller and improving your consistency.


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