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The Married Couple

Case Study A: The Married Couple

Dave and Judy have been married for 30 years. They have raised a family in that time. Both have enjoyed solid careers: Judy in school administration and Dave as a corporate finance director. Dave is a solid athlete who has kept himself in good shape. He is also a fine golfer who has had a USGA Handicap as low as 8.5. As his work has slowed down he has found more time for golf. Judy is retiring in a year. She has played a little golf here and there yet has really not taken up the game. Judy has told Dave that she would like to take up golf so that they might be able to play rounds together as they travel in the next coming years to various locations where their children and grandchildren lived.

Dave takes this request with enthusiasm and he suggests that Judy take golf lessons with a local pro. She does and they begin to play rounds together. After 6 rounds or so Judy becomes frustrated. She is playing to the best of her ability. She realizes that Dave is a more experienced and better golfer so she doesn’t compare herself to him. However, as they sit down after a round and look at the scorecard she realizes the difference and it frustrates her. She tells Dave her frustration and Dave encourages her to take more lessons. She does and sees incremental improvement yet no real ability to close the gap on the scorecard.

One day Dave heard about GPA™ from a friend. Initially he was caught by the tag line: “Happiness – One Shot at a Time…”™ since it reflected what he had been telling Judy as they played golf. (It was also a disrupting thought considering how he would leave the course feeling pretty miserable about his scoring – like many golfers!) They were together. In a beautiful setting. Travelling to great courses. Enjoying activity. Dave wanted to help ease Judy’s frustration as it would help make the overall experience more enjoyable. On the next round Dave downloaded a GPA™ scorecard from www.Golfsensei13.com and explained the scoring system to Judy. Given that Judy had spent a career in academics she immediately understood the system.   After all it was the same learning technology that she had used for years.

On the first hole, Dave hit the green on his second shot and was likely to score his customary par. Judy was sitting 30 yards from the green on her fourth shot. Normally by now Judy would get frustrated and her enthusiasms diminish. However, given that she was playing as a Level 4, she was still playing for an “A” under the system. Two strokes later she was in the hole, marked her actual score, converted it to the letters score using the GPA™ guide, and noted that both she and Dave got an “A” on the first hole! Judy was buoyant. And proceeded to play the remainder of the round with unprecedented focus and happiness. Rarely was she “out of a hole”. Even during a blow up hole she was questing for a “B” of a “C”.

At the end of the round per their custom they sat down to look at the scorecard. Dave kept a traditional card, posted the score into the club’s GHIN and Judy kept a GPA™ card. Dave shot a score of 79 this day and Judy shot 111. Normally this would depress Judy and reduce her interest in playing golf. Yet on this day she experienced something very different. For playing to the best of her ability, using the GPA™ method, she had a score of 3.89 vs. Dave’s 3.61. Dave played very well – for Dave, a Level 2 golfer. And Judy played a bit better as a Level 4. Judy found renewed enthusiasm for the game and began to see how she could improve her GPA™ by identifying gaps and working on them with her teacher or with Dave. Dave’s objective was also accomplished. He wanted Judy to enjoy the game so that they would have something to do in common.

Judy played to the best of her ability. 3.89 out of 4.0 is a very strong GPA™. As she steadily improves her Level 4 will become Level 3. The scoring parameters will tighten. She may experience a temporary drop in GPA™. She is in control of her game – not the card.


Both golfers found “Happiness – One Shot at a Time…”™

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