Originally Posted by johnjm22
I find that I play my best golf after coming back from an extended period away from the game (like a month or so).
When I'm playing on a regular basis (and actively trying to improve my game), it seems like my swing slowly gets worse, less natural/fluid feeling, and I start fighting it. In order to get my game back, I usually have to stop playing for a while.
This cycle has been going on for nearly a decade. I've been playing for 20 years and I can honestly say that I'm not any better now than I was 10 or 15 years ago.
Anyone else ever have a similar issue?
Welcome to TST john!
Wacky game isn't it? I had the same thing happen to me about 15 yrs ago. I had been laid off so I had lots of time on my hands and I thought, 'Let's see how good I can get, and maybe I could redirect my career into golf' (ie, become a club pro). I went to the range every day and played 2 - 3 times per week, and my scoring avg went up. The same thing happened just over a year ago when I joined a CC for the first time and started playing a lot again. The first three months or so were pure joy, but then, as I kept playing more, my ball striking became sketchy and my scores started ballooning.
I think this clearly illustrates the impact of the mental part of the game. I have always said the no other game displays such a strong connection between the player's mental state and the performance. In this case, the mental state is one of expectation, which is a hinderance. People are different, but sports psychologists have stated that most people perform better when they have a precise, immedeate short term goal to focus on rather than broad overarching long term goals. For me, anything broader or more long term than each shot tends to screw me up. Score, index, how I compare with my buddies, etc are all distractions to the primary goal - hit each shot the best you can. That's it.
If you could graph playing quality (y axis) vs playing time (x axis), for most people, you would see a rise, then a dip, then a rise again. You are in the dip, and you have to get to the other side. Don't give up! Fight through it! Apply any and all of the corny sports motivational slogans you have heard (Winners never qui....). Good luck, and let us know how you fare.