Master Any Skill in 10,000 Hours?

Does constant practice really make perfect, or does it come down to sheer talent?
3:00 | 07/27/12

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Master Any Skill in 10,000 Hours?
The olympic athletes who marched in london tonight have worked their slier lives to get there. One professor swears anyone can do it if they put in the hours, ten thousands hours to be specific. Neil karlinsky, meets the man trying to find out if practice does make perfect. Reporter: Never mind the skragly grounds keeper exterior, the fact that he's playing golf in the rain, or thaechb she cuts his own hair without a mirror. I do it myself. Dan is out to prove and listen carefully to this, that anyone can be a master of virtually anything. I'm the first to try after 140 attempts. Reporter: Sports, music the art dancing he can be among the best on the planet if you follow a very strict but relatively simple plan. My name is dan and I'm trying to be a professional golf we are. Reporter: He calls it is dan plan and sit ridiculously ambitious. The photographer with no golf experience quit his job taking pictures of dental equipment, saved his money, and now does nothing but golf. A minimum of six hours a day, six days a week, year round. Why are you doing this. Proving to myself what's possible and in the larger sense, hopefully demonstrating to people that they don't have to feel limited in a way that i am a creative person. I'm not a math person or I'm not good at geography. Are you really not good at it or is it just you tell yourself that so you don't have to try and it perpetuates the cycle? Reporter: The theory is it takes ten thousands hours of practice to become an expert at something. Ibm made popular by the malcolm glad well outliars. Research up to this point has been unable to pinpoint any genes necessary for someone to reach the very highest level of performance. Reporter: It's nurture triumphanting over nature and to prove it no one has gone as far as dan. But first, he needed a coach. I joked with him. You could have choenz something easier by bowling or something. You know, other than golf. Golf is a hugely challenging endeavor, really not physical ways to some extent but emotionally and mental. Reporter: Coach christopher blew dan off until he saw how determined he was playing through freezing rain, never taking a day off. He started with just one club, a putter and he spent an entire month, no more than three feet from the hole. That three feet was as far as I got away. Reporter: What did you think at this point this is a nightmare. For a little while I didn't know what I got myself into. Reporter: He stuck with it. Documenting every stroke on video for his website. Gradually adding clubs and working his way up to his first full round of golf. He's now 3,000 hours in, more than two entire years of his life. I'll always do it. Reporter: Not half way through. Does it get ma not nous. It's a job like any job. You have good and bad days. Reporter: To save money, he lives like a monk. He has two pairs of pants and uses his car as a locker. As his story caught on, nike donated clubs and shoes. Are you getting any good? I mean, I'm really hard on myself. I think that I'm nowhere near -- of course I'm nowhere near where I need to be or want to be. I'm single-digit handy cap which every golfer doesn't get that. Reporter: At his first tournament, fellow golfers couldn't believe he's a beginner. He is doing quite a bit better than I am. Dan says he doesn't have a particular interest in golf. He chose it over other per suits because it's even a concrete way to prove success or failure. 86. Reporter: He still has roughly five years to go. There's no reason why you can't continuously improve. Reporter: If the dan plan does work, and he makes it to the pga, he says the first thing he'll do is put down his club, move on, and look for a new challenge. I'm neal karlinsky for "nightline" in portland.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":16874899,"title":"Master Any Skill in 10,000 Hours?","duration":"3:00","description":"Does constant practice really make perfect, or does it come down to sheer talent?","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"Default"}