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Coping with regression

    • 2246 points
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    After spending the better part of the last two years getting instruction, busting my hump practicing multiple times a week, and playing significantly more, my game has literally fallen apart.  This was painfully apparent last night at another range session.  I could barely make a swing or keep my right hand on the club. I'm burned out.

    Have any of you dealt with something similar?  And what did you do to pull yourself out of the death spiral of misery?

    I'm taking at least a several week hiatus from golf to start.

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    kmcmellen
    After spending the better part of the last two years getting instruction, busting my hump practicing multiple times a week, and playing significantly more, my game has literally fallen apart.  This was painfully apparent last night at another range session.  I could barely make a swing or keep my right hand on the club. I'm burned out.

    Have any of you dealt with something similar?  And what did you do to pull yourself out of the death spiral of misery?

    I'm taking at least a several week hiatus from golf to start.

     

    The hiatus will surely help more than going out there and not enjoying yourself.  Take it easy, sounds like you are trying to grind entirely too hard!

    I haven't experienced a "death spiral of misery," but one summer I couldn't stop hitting the ball fat. Half of my iron shots for about 3 weeks were hit about 2-3 inches behind the ball. It was so bad that I actually hurt my wrist from continually chunking it.

    Took about three weeks off from the game until I was hungry again and went back like nothing happened.  

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    Welcome to the world of golf.....played in a tournament last weekend  and shot 84, 83 and have played 7 out of the last 10 days and shot a 96 yesterday to match the temperature, hit about 8 shanks, felt like I was in another universe, and and got blistered by my buddies and watched one of my group shoot a 66, did not make a single skin......I feel your pain......maybe too much golf, but I will be there tomorrow morning and hopefully the evil Chuck will go back into hibernation....."afterall tomorrow is just another day" and practice is overrated......   :-)

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    In my experience playing and coaching, it is normal to feel this way. Focus on the simple things, like square clubface at impact, not how you get the club to square. Taking a little time off is a great idea, the next time you pick up a club just be positive and focus on whatever you do best.

    • 5868 points
    • Posts: 1621
     

    Yep. Burned myself out. Lessons, 1000s of practice balls hundreds of hours on the range... how to magazine articles and videos. to many swing thoughts. It just wasn't fun..it really sucked. Golfers elbow, wrist hurt, lower back hurt. I was so frustrated  my game was getting worse not better. I gave up and didn't touch my clubs for 6 or 7 months. I didn't even want to look at my clubs. I quit watching golf and cancelled my magazine subscriptions, my golf buddies quit calling to play.

    One day I was doing some random chore and I found myself thinking of golf. I wanted to play and have fun playing. I had read an article about taking every other club out of your bag and playing so that you learn to hit different shots with each club. I dug around and found my Sunday bag. 3 Wood, 5i, 8i SW, and putter. I went out and played 9 holes alone. I went out in the evening when no one was on the course ...pressure no hurry ... just play.  I had a good time. My goal was to have fun again. Playing 9 holes took about as much time as hitting on the range and was more fun.

    Remember you play golf to have fun.

    • 2040 points
    • Posts: 465
     

    Ya I agree that there are days that are worse than others.  I have never had a lesson so there are days that I feel like everything is working and there are days when it goes bad it is hard to stop it.  Being a feel player that is the problem with not actually have trained the fundamental side of the game when your feeling and nerves aren't on your side.  I agree, a break can be good as well to recharge the battery.  

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    Golf, like life, has these kinds of moments where no matter how hard we try, things just don't come together. It's all natural and it really happens to everyone. I've shot the round of my life one day and the next I cant find a fairway. We have all been here.

    So my advice is a little different. Do not go cold turkey and hard stop. Go to the putting surface. Hit putts and keep your feel. Some days just go with one single ball and just chip and putt. Vary it up, but still go to the facility and have a nice little (positive of course) session.

    Just take it easy on your self out there. Golf is your hobby, not your job. It should be fun!

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    I have an idea of what you're going thought.  July has been a busy month of golf for me.  I think I played more than I worked (which isn't a bad thing)  I had several stretches of 4 days in a row of competitive golf and not many days off.  During the second round of the Club Championship last weekend I followed my Saturday 77 with a Sunday 87.  On the second and third hole I hit two worm burners in a row with my most consistent club.  I was feeling tired and wasn't as excited to play as I normally am.  I have the final round on Saturday, and today will be the first time I pick up a club.  I'm confident the hiatus will help.

    Like Randy said, I wouldn't go cold turkey, but I wouldn't sit there miserably and pound balls.  Hit some putts, chips, and just tool around out there.  Don't worry about swing thoughts or scores, just enjoy yourself and watch the ball go in the hole a couple of times.  That's what I plan to do today.

    • 2246 points
    • Posts: 481
     

    Thanks guys for the recommendations.  I think I'll stick with putting for a while.  That has been the only part of my game that hasn't abandoned me.  

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    Sounds a bit like you might be "over thinking" your game. Remember that this a a silly game invented by a bunch of drunks Scots (they also gave us curling!). Thinking and golf should never collide in the same discussion.

    Relax. regression happens to every player (even some on Tour, you know who you are) it will pass. Try to have a bit more fun with your golf and you find that you start to play better again.

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    I think we have all be at this point at one time or another.  For me, a lot of times it tends to be the result of trying too hard to make a good shot.  I just go back to the basics and make sure I am following my routine and making a good swing.  I have also had those days where I can't seem to hit a shot to save my soul.  I just chalk a day like that to being out of sync and let it go.  If practicing and making a lot of bad shots I stop because I don't want the  bad shot demons running through my head.  If this happens, I will go to the short game area where I can stick a bunch of chips and make shots that I love to gain some confidence.  If all else fails, go home, give it a rest and get back into it a couple of days letter.  Getting away and letting your mind reset can make a big difference, in my opinion.

    • 5542 points
    • Posts: 1561
     

    I feel your pain as well. Like everyone here, the mind betrays the body and the body betrays the mind and every once i a while they are in sync and golf is a lot of fun. I typically have periods where the swing is alien and when this happens I simply try to follow Jack Nicklaus's annual regimen: He used to go to see his teacher Jack Grout at the beginning f each season and they would work on building his golf swing from the grip on up. as if he'd never played the game. Back to fundamentals. So I try to do the same thing. I also work on "small swings" trying to pitch the ball well with full swing mechanics. And if the truck is all the way off the road, I go to the beach...literally...No clubs, a nice book, SPF 30, a nice chair,cool beverage and watch the world go by..

    • 981 points
    • Posts: 178
     

    I feel your pain. I am actually going through this right now. Scores just aren't what they usually are. I am taking the week of this week for the first time all year (New England Golf year) and I am hoping it will do me some good.

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    This is a great thread. I agree that the most important thing is to have fun while also being challenged. This is what we are all striving for (and a nice looking set of shoes ; ) . So if you aren't having fun, you need to find a way to make it fun again. I love the idea of the chip/putt.

    I also think that you need to have a good instructor who is able to make feel that your goals are attainable and within reach.  Golf is a tough sport and nothing comes easy. So when you reach a goal it really feels great. So perhaps setting shorter term goals that you can attain will help reinforce the positive nature.  And if the swing isn't there on a particular day, just enjoy the weather and the scenery.

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    miniwarmth
    This is a great thread. I agree that the most important thing is to have fun while also being challenged. This is what we are all striving for (and a nice looking set of shoes ; ) . So if you aren't having fun, you need to find a way to make it fun again. I love the idea of the chip/putt.

    I also think that you need to have a good instructor who is able to make feel that your goals are attainable and within reach.  Golf is a tough sport and nothing comes easy. So when you reach a goal it really feels great. So perhaps setting shorter term goals that you can attain will help reinforce the positive nature.  And if the swing isn't there on a particular day, just enjoy the weather and the scenery.

     I like that advise......."enjoy the weather and the scenery"........the birds, the live oaks, the foxes, the blue skies, the cart girl, the jumping mullet, and the squirrels being chased by that hungry redtail hawk.........oh, I forgot, I came to play golf, not really......kinda makes you relax and puts life in perspective, doesn't it........fairways and greens.......cheers.....thanks, mini.....chuck