Posted on July 9, 2008 by Keith
Interesting article out of Purdue U on golfers’ perceptions of hole size while putting.
46 golfers were asked to estimate the size of the hole after they played a round of golf. The diameter of a golf hole is 10.8 centimeters. The golfers selected from a poster one of nine black holes that ranged in size from 9-13 centimeters. Those who selected larger holes were the same players who had better scores on the course that day.
They did some further testing in a lab and found participants who putted closer drew the circle to be bigger than those who putted farther away.
This goes to one of my favorite points – asking the right question is more important than getting the right answer since you’ll NEVER get the latter without the former. In this case, maybe someone should have asked the good putters (who may or may NOT be the better golfers) what they were looking at while putting. I can tell you from a lot (way too much, probably) of time spent putting that one really doesn’t look at the hole while putting. Great putters know that all putts are straight if they’re hit properly- it’s the green that makes them move. Because of that, one judges the line and speed and picks a spot to which you putt – it’s usually NOT the hole. Pelz Golf Institute research shows that less than five per cent of all putts are perfectly straight (the green moves them!) so you’re not aiming at the hole 95% of the time.
Another, smaller point is that of COURSE the hole looks bigger when you’re closer to it! (As an aside, as the parent of a Michigan grad, I’m really holding back on the Boilermaker comments right now…). Chances are the the better golfers were the ones putting closer to the hole as well.
Ask the right questions and if you’re in unfamiliar territory as these researchers seemd to be, ask a native for directions.
Filed under: Consulting, Helpful Hints | Tagged: business, business thinking, Consulting, golf | 1 Comment »
Posted on July 9, 2008 by Keith
Haley’s Comet was visible in the sky on the night that Mark Twain was both born and died, which right out of the box makes him someone to whom attention must be paid! Aside from being one of the most quotable authors who ever put pen to paper (OK, Shakespeare probably has him, but not by much and the Bible has multiple authors), he was a fascinating person, even without the books. Ken Burns’ film on his life is well worth watching (it’s out on DVD) and if you’ve only read “Tom Sawyer” or “Huckleberry Finn” you’re really missing the steamboat. I admit I’m awfully prejudiced on this subject since I wrote a lot of papers about Sam Clemens in college, including my senior thesis, and came to admire the man as much as the literature.
What’s making me opine about this today is the fine piece in the current Time Magainze about Twain and his relevance today:
News in the form of edgy drollery may seem a brave new thing, but it can all be traced back to one source, the man Ernest Hemingway said all of modern American literature could be traced back to: Mark Twain. Oh, that old cracker-barrel guy, you may say. White suit, cigar, reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated–but he died back in 1910, no? White, male, and didn’t he write in dialect? What does he have to do with the issues of our day?
Read the article, read a Twain book. You’ll be smarter and happier for it! Especially since, as Twain said, “Education is that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge.”
Now let’s just hope that Roger isn’t a relative…
Filed under: Helpful Hints | Tagged: Clemens, Ken Burns, Mark Twain, Time Magazine, Twain | Leave a Comment »