Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wodehouse on Golf

P.G. Wodehouse with a great description (in the wonderful old British style) of the golfing overconfidence of the mediocre:
It seemed to him that his troubles were over. Like all twenty-four handicap man, he had the most perfect confidence in his ability to beat all other twenty-four handicap men.

You could also say basically the same thing about tennis, ten-pin bowling, pool, and a number of other things. When you see someone equally rubbish as yourself, it's hard to not be disgusted at their lack of skill. This leads you to think that it must be easy to beat them, forgetting that you yourself are equally dismal.
Although there are, of course, endless subspecies in their ranks, not all of which have yet been classified by science, twenty-four handicap golfers may be stated broadly to fall into two classes, the dashing and the cautious - those, that is to say, who endeavor to do every hole in a brilliant one and those who are content to win with a steady nine.
Yep. The same is definitely also true for tennis. I think it also contributes to the earlier effect. The dashing think that their power will let them streak to the lead over the cautious. The cautious, meanwhile, are sure that the dashing will screw up and the cautious will overtake them like the tortoise.

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