Matt Perryman

“Goofy Golf” game turns local man into instant PGA pro

By Matt Perryman

Yesterday afternoon, a crisp but clear winter day, the wife and I took our two girls out for a family game of mini-golf.

I don’t think I’ve touched a golf club since Clinton was in office, so I had no idea what to expect.

You know that old saying about teaching? You don’t have to know everything, you only have to know more than your students.

That turned out accurate.

Handing out golf clubs to two nine year olds was like giving them a wet spaghetti noodle.

The best part was seeing the rapid improvement as we moved from the T-Rex to the dinosaur with the big duck-bill.

I felt like Tiger Woods after a few holes.

Not that it mattered. The point was to play the game and have a good time. The competitive element is shine on the apple.

It is interesting though how quickly a skill can level up when you’ve got tight direction, instant feedback, and a time limit.

The mini-golf course is a perfect test-case of what Anders Ericsson called “deliberate practice”.

For any skill you want to improve, break it down into tiny chunks.

Practice the tiny chunks in an environment that offers instant feedback to errors.

If possible have a pair of competent eyes there to point out the errors.

Follow those steps and in 1-3 short sessions, like magic, you’re on your way to expertise.

Matt Perryman 

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