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michaeldays

Trying too hard during matches?

5 posts in this topic

I have been shooting like crap in high school matches. We play super easy courses and should be shooting 39-41 easily. At my country club which is a much harder course i easily shoot 42-45. My dad says i try too hard in the matches to play good. Is that even possible and how does it hamper my playing? My lowest round in 3 matches is 48! I am a freshmen and i am the 4th guy on the team. The top 3 shoot around par. Is it that i am trying to impress them and that affects my playing? Any info would help greatly!!

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When you're feeling pressure your muscles tend to tighten up which have a major effect on your swing.  Pressure can also cause your body to release a lot of adrenaline which can cause an adrenaline dump during your round.  Some amateurs can't even handle the pressure of teeing off in front of strangers so we all experience it at one time or another.

Pro's pay a lot of money for sports psychologists to help them with this exact problem, so you're not alone.

While it's easier said than done, you need to just play the course and not think about the competition.  When you practice, try to simulate competition, do some fun wagers on the round where you will feel pressure to perform so you get used to how it feels.

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I have been shooting like crap in high school matches. We play super easy courses and should be shooting 39-41 easily. At my country club which is a much harder course i easily shoot 42-45. My dad says i try too hard in the matches to play good. Is that even possible and how does it hamper my playing? My lowest round in 3 matches is 48! I am a freshmen and i am the 4th guy on the team. The top 3 shoot around par. Is it that i am trying to impress them and that affects my playing? Any info would help greatly!!

Yes its possible. The drive to succeed is a pressure in it self. What it does its take you out of your comfort zone. Maybe you try to force one too many shots that you normally wouldn't do.

Are you trying to impress them? That is only something you can answer. If you are, then that is something you will have to address. That would be an unwanted pressure added to your game.

Best tip I can give you, is take every shot the same way every time. Go through the same routine ever time. Make it routine. The way I do it is, I like this tip when I read it in a golf magazine. I know golf magazine, horrible tips right, this one works for me. :-D

Basically imagine a square behind the ball were you stand to think about your shot. When you are inside this "Zone", this is the only time you allowed to think about the shot. This is were you visualize the shot shape you want, were the ball starts, how high it goes, how it lands, were it lands. In this zone I take a few practice swings to develop the feel I want for the shot. Once you step outside this zone and go address the ball its all routine from there. Its the same thing every time. Line up the club, take your stance, waggle, get loose. Take one more look from your ball to the location you want the ball to land. Then let it rip. I don't deviate from this routine ever. Its just something I developed over time.

For me, the time I spend in the designated thinking area varies. The time I take to complete my shot is very similar. This brings in routine for me. I don't give myself time to think about anything else but the shot and the feel I want to use to get my shot. If I start standing over the ball more, worrying about something, the shot will probably go bad. To me all I am focused on is the ball, the swing, and the result. No other things matter. People watching, what my score is, if I need to make birdie. All that is not there because there is no time to think about that.

Its basically practice. Every shot I do this. So I get practice every time I play. A good way to dissociate between thoughts and action is to have a key. For me its one deep breath then I walk to address the ball. Some people it might be something else. Its a psychological mechanism that helps me to clear my mind and focus. When I take that deep breath and focus on the ball it clears all all the noise around me. I've played courses were there was noise around me. I've had cars honk in my backswing. Never bothers me because I am focuses on the ball alone.

Sounds very Zen like, but that basically what a pre-shot routine does. I know a guy who picks club, doesn't do anything else but line up and hits the ball. He shoots upper  70's to low 80's. Take one practice swing, steps up and hits the ball. Just fast player. I know some guys who take forever. Will take a few practice swings, back off, then well stand over the ball for a long time. The guy shoots the same. Just find something you do EVERY time to focus on just the shot at hand.

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Agree with above and wonder......are you having fun?? if your enjoying yourself it easier to do just about anything! if your finding it a chore then maybe step back,invite a good buddy or even your Dad for a bounce game away from all the "pressure" you feel just now,someone who shoots what you do and go to a nice easy "fun" course and give each other a bit of stick,some fun banter and get back to the simple joy of flushing an iron or rolling in an 8ft putt form your buddies $$$.....Also worth mentioning If my game goes south i often play with a half set and it forces you to play different ways to get same result and "resets" my game..good luck!

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I had this exact problem during my round yesterday. I started my round full of expectation and full of confidence (at least that's what I thought), but as soon as things weren't going as well as anticipated I started to relax once I realised my score wasn't going to be as good as I wanted. What a MASSIVE difference this made, instead of trying and thinking too hard I just started to play golf. Lesson learnt hopefully, I'm just going to enjoy my round next time and let my ability determine the score I card.
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