What Makes A Golf Champion?

Here is a simple equation that can predict an individual's golf achievement level:


So let me expand on the definitions of each term above.

TALENT is what God provides each individual player with when he or she is born. No two players are born with the same amount  of talent. And as we all know, life is not fair; so  All those variables in life that one has no control over.. Of course luck can be good or bad.


Simply put, one's golfing goals fulfilled!


Wait a minute, there is no Skill Level in the equation. That is because SKILL LEVEL = TALENT x PRACTICE. For example player A and player B may need to spend different amounts of practice to achieve a skill level of making 60% of all their 5 foot putt attempts. So, through practice a less talented player can be more skilled than a more talented opponent.

Now let's explore 'T-Nelson's Laws' about these definitions:

LAW 1: A less talented player that is willing to invest more time practicing can achieve the same level of competence as a more talented player.

LAW 2: A more talented golfer A will always be better than a less talented golfer B given they put in exactly the same amount of practice.

LAW 3: A more skilled golfer will not always beat a less skilled player. Why? Because of the 'LUCK' and 'CONFIDENCE' variables. This is why the greatest champions want to play against other great players. . . Even players they know are better than themselves. (Note: remember skill level = talent x practice.)

LAW 4: Practice is a function of TIME x EFFICIENCY. In other words, if two players A and B both spend 10 hours a week practicing, the results achieved can differ greatly based on how efficiently each player spends their time.

LAW 5:  Confidence level can only be determined by oneself.

LAW 6: One's confidence value or level can fluctuate over time, or even from moment to moment.

So let's see how this would work in an hypothetical 18 hole match between Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods when both players were in their prime. Let us assume that both have the same talent level; both players have the ability to hit equally good shots at any given time. We should also assume that they both put in an equal amount of practice. Per confidence, reality would dictate that each knows that on any given day one might beat the other. Therefore should we conclude their confidence levels are the same? Reality has little if anything to do with confidence.If Woods believes that anything could happen on a given day, but Nicklaus goes into the match believing he is truly the better player, Jack will gain the advantage. So given that talent and practice are equal, the match results will be determined on confidence and luck alone.

To conclude, players need to constantly review where they are within this equation. They should constantly ask themselves:

  • Am I practicing enough with respect to my level of talent?
  • Am I practicing the right things to achieve maximum benefit from the total time I practice?
  • How confident am I? What can I do to increase my true inner confidence level? Will playing in more tournaments right now increase or decrease my confidence level? Should I practice more? How can I practice smarter?
  • How can I better understand and learn to accept the luck factor in golf?

So there is no way to predict or accurately quantify an achievement level. But this equation should help players to be better aware of what they need to work on to maximize their achievement potential.

So, what do you think? What do you think goes into a golf champion? Add your comments below.