It’s been done before. Hell, it’s practically been done to death. The Dan Plan, The Back Nine, Paper Tiger: An Obsessed Golfer’s Quest to Play with the Pros. The story of an amatuer with little to no competitive history dreams he can golf for a living.
This is not that story.
I can understand why so many average joes imagine going pro. For one, there are few gatekeepers in the sport. You can play the same courses as the guys on TV. You can buy their same equipment. Every once in awhile you might even hit a shot just like them. You don’t have to be a specimen of fitness. You don’t have to get drafted by a team. In fact, you don’t have to rely on anyone else (except maybe course maintainers).
So my goal is not to play with the pros necessarily (though one round with a PGA professional is on my bucket list). My goal is to lower my handicap enough to be eligible to play in a U.S Open qualifying tournament by 2020. That’s it. (kind of underwhelming huh?)
Let me properly introduce the writer and golfer behind the Subpar Golf Blog.
My name is John. I’m 28 now, grew to 6’3” (maybe 6’4”) and weigh-in at about 185 lbs. I’m playing out of Dallas-Fort Worth, so I’ll have a long golf season for improvement. Other than having a few more soft spots than hard muscles, I wouldn’t be too upset rolling that statline for a create-a-golfer.
Up until the summer of 2015, I had never held an official handicap and only carried the general idea that I was probably a bogey-golfer. Once I started tracking, my handicap dropped from a 12.2 to a 6.4 (where it is today). Averaging 6 fewer strokes per round isn’t a small feat. And I’m looking to do it again.
Why would I want to do this?
Besides golf, I also enjoy learning and growing. Writing the blog holds me accountable and also gives me the opportunity to share everything I learn along the way: what works, what doesn’t. I’m writing the blog I would have wanted two years ago when I was first started seeking improvement.
If the above is a proverbial who, what, when, where, and why, then all that’s left is the how. That’s where my articles come in. The short answer is data tracking and deliberate practice, but the long answer will take several years, countless experiments, and never-ending data to share. And that’s a good thing!
I’m going to be brutally honest, based on the facts I find. There will be some theory, but if I don’t challenge my own golf world then I won’t get better. This won’t be easy, but I promise it will be fun. Humility is hilarity combined with sincerity. This will be embarrassing and motivating, and it’s here for your enjoyment.
Finally, if you’re reading this and thinking, “I could do that. Who’s this chump?” Let me be the first to tell you to go for it! There is plenty of golf out there, plenty of growth to be had, and plenty of reasons to work at something you enjoy. We all start somewhere and improve at our own pace. I’m just doing it my way.
In the next post, I’ll go in-depth into my plan for improvement. I’ll touch on improvement resources, practice ideas, and how I’ll apply them to my own routine.