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Perfect is the Enemy of the Good

Greetings Golfers,

Our cable television provider doesn’t offer NBC … which we just found out last Sunday as we tried to watch the last round of the Players Championship.

So … we watched an old episode of “Feherty” featuring Rory McIlroy. Rory is great for golf. Such a likable guy. Yet, when he told Feherty that he doesn’t play golf for fun anymore … it made me sad … sad for Rory and sad for all of us hearing it. Sam Snead played forever … so did Arnie … they loved to play golf!

Rory also talked about how they’ve “improved” his swing over the years. Hmmmm. Rory won 3 Majors before age 25 … only Jack & Tiger had done it before Rory. I guess his swing needed “improvement”.

He shot 79 last week in the first round and wasn’t close to making the cut. He said he doesn’t play for fun anymore … well, it shows.

Rory is not a robotic person. Bryson Dechambeau is.

I’d take Rory out of the gym … get rid of his staff of “experts” … and have him start playing golf for fun … with juniors.

Probably my favorite saying is “Perfect is the enemy of good”.

Because it’s true.

Now, that’s not an excuse to not be good. Actually, perfectionism is an excuse for bad behavior … and a weapon used by mean spirited people to attack anyone and anything.

In fact, I’m thinking of posting that saying in the Clubhouse. Its message is at the heart of the desired culture at Deer Run GC.

Golf is not a game of perfect. Life is not a game of perfect.

I just finished reading Steve Elkington’s “Five Fundamentals”. One morning after putting poorly in a tournament, Elk complained about it to his neighbor Jackie Burke. So, Burke took him over to his golf course – The Champions – and had Elkington putt a few. Well, on the wet, dewy green … Elk made a 15 footer on his first try. As Burke started walking into the Clubhouse, he said “Come find me after you make another one on the exact same line”.

What Burke meant was that putting is more about speed than the perfect line. Elkington began to realize that the putt can go into the hole in different ways.


Elkington had gotten too “perfect” to putt well. Rory is trying to get too perfect … he doesn’t play for fun anymore.

Golf is more fun when we’re good … but it’s not much fun when we’re trying to be perfect. Good course, good conditions, good friends … good as it gets. Did I say perfect? No. Let the haters obsess on perfect.


Tom Abts
GM/Head PGA Professional
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Deer Run Golf Club
8661 Deer Run Drive
Victoria, MN 55386
(952) 443-2351

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