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Golf: Moving Forward Through Failure?

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Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland

‘Failure ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be,’ was Ken’s comment in his monthly golf journal which I hesitate to advise is called Men’s Golf because women readers may get the wrong idea about Ken and the purpose of his journal.

Pretty damn stupid

Ken writes, ‘It was pointed out to Jim Fuyrk, the snake-bit golfer who suffered tough losses in 2012 and 2013, that you learn more from your failures than you do from your successes. Furyk wasn’t buying it. He said, “In that case, Tiger Woods would be pretty damn stupid wouldn’t it.”

Next year will be different
Front page news on Ken’s journal advises his readers; essentially members of his home golf club, that the club’s top team had recently lost in the finals of Auckland’s top amateur team event and Ken writes, ‘Next year will be different/better’
There is no comment on how a better outcome can be accomplished other than Ken hopes they’ll be able to field their top team which does become depleted from time to time because of ill health and family circumstances.

The failure myth
Hopefully after reading Ken’s snippet on Furyk’s thoughts Ken’s golf team coach won’t drag out the cliché that they’ll learn from their recent failure.
Googling, ‘Myth of learning from failure’ I came up with Bob Giloth’s Huff Post article sub headed, “‘Does failure breed new knowledge or experience that can be leveraged into performance the second time around?’ he [Paul Gompers] asks. In some cases, yes, but overall, he says, ‘We found there is no benefit in terms of performance’.
Since Bob Giloth’s article which refers to a NYT article, ‘Try, Try Again, or Maybe Not’ are studies in business entrepreneurial experiences perhaps it may be considered not relevant to winning at golf, nevertheless the findings are worth considering.

The late, great Bobby Jones is quoted somewhere as saying he learned more from his failures than successes and more specifically, “I never learned anything from a match that I won.” However I’m inclined to think that the only thing Bobby learned from his failures was to behave himself and keep his temper.

Link to Bob Giloth

Quote of the Day
“Where does Silicon Valley’s deep-rooted belief in the value of failure come from? Mr. Gompers suggests what he calls “attribution bias” — people generalizing from anecdotal success-after-failure stories.” – Leslie Berlin


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