“Let me try that…”
“Wow, that feels nice, I mean really nice. I think I’ll give it a proper go today and see if I can put a decent score in”
I’m standing in the club shop of a Silves golf club in the Algarve, Portugal. I’ve just spent five days playing golf on some beautiful courses, in glorious weather with great company.
Portugal is something of a mecca when it comes to golf. There are literally hundreds of courses. I was going to count them all but got bored at around 120.
“Do you think I should invest in a new driver? It’s only about £300 quid in proper money. The pro said it will add at least 30 yards to my tee shots”
“Yeah, go on – it’s not like you don’t need it!”
I hear these conversations all the time. People looking for new kit, new equipment or new tips from pros or better golfers to improve their game.
Even out on the course, you’ll hear it. People will even borrow equipment off partners because they’re convinced it will improve their game.
In the quest to be better, distance is king.
People spend thousands every year to find an extra ten yards, on equipment, on the kit, on stuff that they believe will turn them into better players – quicker.
Manufacturers are so aware of this desire for distance that all their advertising focuses on that one point – distance. There are ads with rockets, with flames, with balls arching through the clear blue sky and landing further that you’ve ever hit the ball before – if you just buy their latest club with the latest technology.
Anything to convince you that with their latest piece of technology in your hands, your ball will travel further.
What they don’t tell you though, after spending all that money on shiny new stuff is that you’ll have to spend time learning how to use it.
Standing in that golf shop last week, I realised that if I just changed the setting, I may as well be listening to a bunch of business owners.
Replace Putter with app and driver with “insert any new shiny piece of technology here” and it’s the same conversation.
You see, we all want distance too. And we want it now.
And we spend thousands on shiny new stuff in the hope that it will get us to where we desire to be.
Here’s the thing though. Pro golfers don’t mess around changing equipment or kit. In fact, ask a pro to change his driver and he’ll run away. They get protective over them.
You can ask the same of most elite athletes. Ask a (pro) tennis player to change racket and you’ll have a fight on your hand.
One of the guys I was playing with last week, let’s call him James because that’s his name, was using a set of clubs that are over 20 years old. Twenty! He knows how to use them and use them well.
Back to us, the business owner.
In our quest to get to our goals with as few steps as possible, we jump at the chance to try new stuff that we believe will get us there quicker. What we don’t do is spend the time learning how to use that new technology to master it. We remain amateurs and then when it doesn’t work, we discard it and try something else.
There are amateur golfers all over the country with clubs they tried in the loft, in the garage, under the stairs.
There are business owners with the technology they tried in the loft, sitting on servers, in desk drawers.
Amateurs try stuff, play with it, dabble and make excuses that it doesn’t work. Pro’s keep things simple, repeat it, consistently and recognise that any equipment is only as good as the person wielding it.