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Will I have one Marshmallow or Two, which one are YOU?


Many of you may have heard of the famous Stanford University marshmallow experiment done in the late 1960’s and early 70’s by Walter Mischel on delayed gratification.

The gist of the experiment was that 3 to 5 year olds were left in a room with a Marshmallow for 15 minutes with no distractions.

They were all told that if they wait until the researcher came back into the room they would get two Marshmallows.

Only about a third waited.

The interesting part is the follow up research years later on all the kids that took part in the experiment.

Those that waited for two generally fared better in life.


Ok so how relevant is this to golf?


The expectation of instant gratification after a couple of hours coaching is rife in golf.

However the golf industry is to blame for this, we on the inside are to blame.

Golf coaches sell 30 minute lessons.

Golf Club Manufacturers promise you will hit it longer and straighter if you buy their product.

Any golf magazine you open offers a quick tip.

You tube…..don’t even get me started on that!

Golf on Television is filled with commentators filling space overanalysing the golf swings of the best players in the world. Then having quick segments on how they can help you with your slice.


All Instant Gratification!


However I get it from your point of view, you the golfer. You are confused on why you hit the shots you do. You want clarity.

In times of chaos many of us look for certainty.

Experimental psychologists have shown our quest for certainty ebbs and flows over time and for many is peaked in times of chaos.

So we the golfing industry, we are to blame.

We play on your insecurities and your search for certainty.

We sell you certainty

We have sold you a lie.


Instant Gratification.


We have sold you a lie that the Golf Industry is completely different from any other walk of life when it comes to long term plans/improvement.

The resulting effect of this environment can be heard from many a weekend warrior.


Such as:

Anyone ever heard this from a friend that has had a slice for as long as you have known them?


‘I’m going to go and get a golf lesson out and he/she is going to sort my slice out’


Let’s reframe this.


You have some money to invest.

‘I’m going to go and see my Financial Advisor for an hour and he is going to make me rich’


You hire a personal trainer

‘I’m going to go and see my personal trainer for an hour and he is going to sort my beer gut out’


You want a promotion and your boss asks you why you merit one

‘I did an hour course last night on….’


You get the gist.


If the 1 Marshmallow rings true for you what can you do?


Treat your golf game like a business, you are the CEO, however you have a board of directors.

When you are thinking about looking for certainty in times of chaos consult your board of directors for advice.

Someone you trust and can talk through the potential courses of actions you are about to take.

The board of directors could be close friends/wife/husband/golf coach etc.

So if you find yourself in a short period of poor form and are thinking about making major changes, such as a swing or equipment change consult your board and then make a business case for these changes.

Justify them.


It would be my pleasure to be a member of your board :-).




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