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How do you take it from the range to the course...Mental issues????

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

  I am having a terrible time taking my swing from the range to the course.  I have pretty much decided that it is mostly mental, but I can't figure it out...any recommendations...


  This seems to mostly be with my irons.  But it is getting to the point that it is embarrassing.  I can generally hit the ball pretty well on the range, solid contact, ball first, nice ball flight going where I want it to etc, etc.  I go out on the course and I seem to get all psyched out or something.  mostly topping the ball on full shots or hitting worm burners, barely can get the ball in the air etc.  If I do get it in the air most of the time it is bullet push hooks, not the high couple yd draws I hit on the range. 

  I tracked all my shots yesterday while playing 18.  I literally made what I would consider solid contact with a iron/wedge only 3 times, two being sw and one pw.  of course all three of those flew the green by 15yds are so because I was so used to barely hitting the ball by then that I was clubbing way up to try to get it close...

  I am pretty sure its mostly mental, but I can't figure it out, I get tense, I get quick, probably start coming over the top, I can't seem to get the club face to the ball, no weight transfer etc....


  I hit 60% of fairways yesterday, with only two shots being more then a couple yards off the fairway.  Now some of those drives weren't very pretty, but all easily playable, and I play a short course...But I only hit a whopping two GIR's.  And both of these were on short/driveable par 4's where I hit great drives and only had a pitch to the green.  (btw the pitching thread has made a big difference in my short game, I flubbed a couple but that has improved a lot).


A perfect example was on a short par 5 yesterday.  I think its somewhere in the 440yd range, and it was playing down wind with a pretty big tailwind.  I hit my best drive of the day, almost perfect contact and bombed a perfect 5yd draw right down the middle.  I had mid iron to the green for second shot.  I grabbed 6 iron and barely made contact with the ball, barely catching the toe and watched it dribble out 100yds to the right, now I was behind some trees about 100yds out. Full wedge line drive 20ft off the ground straight into the trees.....when the carnage was done I two putted for a 7 when I had mid iron to reach in two......


  I am wondering if maybe someone can recommend a book or something that talks about the mental game a bit for some good reading material...Its actually quite impressive how well I can hit the ball on the range, and how horrible I hit the ball on the course... 

post #2 of 9

I posted the exact same thing last week pal. I am having the exact same issues. I feel your pain but at the moment I can not offer any advice I'm afraid. Good luck

post #3 of 9
Check out Zen Golf by Dr. Joseph Parent. I found it helpful. Also, a simple tip my instructor gave me that helped translate range success to the course... Treat every shot at the range like it's a shot on the course, and try to imagine you're on the range when you're about to hit a shot during your round. It'll help add some pressure to your practice, and help you feel a little more confident on the course. Good luck!
post #4 of 9

Yes, I was thinking the same exact thing early1981!


See, the thing is that it is very easy for you to blame it on mental issues, as I have a friend that is now on a kick that only if he focuses more he will be shooting scratch in no time (I hope he doesn't ever read this thread), but the truth of the matter is that the main reason you are unable to take your range game to the course is because you most likely do not have a swing that is correctly put together.  Let me explain my self more.. Most likely you have to make a lot of compensation in your swing to make contact, the fact that you hit draws means that you are swinging in-out so that is good, but the truth is that you end up making compensations all through out the swing so that you can make contact.  It is possible that on the range you are a little more relaxed and there is nothing on the line so you end up making those compensations easily.


Anyway, all for nothing the above really is just a quick explanation.. The only real way to translate a good range to course transfer is to actually have a good reliable swing that ensures you control the low point so that you can always assure your self of good contact!


How do you do that?  Well, start a my swing thread.. Take a chance, video your self Down The Line & from the front


How to setup a video camera to record a golf swing?
started on 07/22/09 last post 05/13/13 at 10:18am 5 replies 2927 views


Then take a look at how to really practice at the range


 65/20/15 Practice Ratios: Where to Devote Your Practice Time 


 Simple, Specific, Slow, Short, and Success - The Five "S"s of Great Practice 


I have to tell you that I was down that same road as you, and even though I haven't seen my score go down as much as I want it to, unlike my friend I know that I am heading in the right direction, while he is just wishfully thinking that he will improve by focusing or by just concentrating more!


Happy Golfing!!  I was going to say welcome to the site, but you've been here long enough I think you know the good stuff to expect when you post your swing!!

post #5 of 9

No help from me. I've always been exactly the opposite and can hit the ball much better on the course than when I'm practicing.


I think it's because in practice I'm usually thinking about things and on the course all I am thinking about is where I want the ball to go and what shape and trajectory it's going to take to get there.

post #6 of 9
It happens to a lot of people. It happens to me from time to time with either driver or irons. It's weird, I'll hit my irons dead flush every swing in practice sessions or warm up then walk 20 yards to the first tee and its like I left my game behind.
The best advise I've ever received was to practice like you play. Hit Driver, 7iron, 3wood, lob wedge, driver, 9iron....You get the picture. When I start noticing that I'm becoming a driving range pro I've usually been block practicing a lot. I get a 7 iron dialed in and set and stroke one after another. Then when it's time to hit a 3wood I'm lost as last years Easter egg. Keep practice ever changing just like a round and it will keep the "Range Pro" away.
post #7 of 9

I believe this is a very common issue, whether golfers or musicians, etc.  Anyone who practices in private then goes 'on stage' to perform is subject to insecurities. Certainly me too. A pro recently told me that what he saw me hit on the range was good enough to get me to  single digit HC.  Next round of golf, i stunk the place up.


 So what's going on?  Sure, insecurities and lack of confidence play a big part, for me. Lots of this due to poor beginnings and not just in golf but 'life' in general.  My dad, great guy  but had the bad habit of condemning every effort i made that was not perfect from the get-go. Age 8, poor golf shot = you're shit and will never be any good at anything. So this problem for me is very deeply ingrained.  Now i'm not implying that you, or anyone else, has the same issues but the ultimate fact seems to be that an exceedingly small number of top golfers did NOT start golf except at a very young age.  And started with a good vision of the golf movement and a good, positive mental outlook. 


Adults who take up golf have tons of baggage which include technique difficulties, lack of skills using those techniques and immature confidence levels. IMO a mature golf confidence means that when player takes club in hand his vision is only on the result desired, never on the motion needed to get the result. An immature golf confidence indicates a player who 'sees' his body doing something, not the final vision of the ball going to the target.


OK, swell but how to grow towards 'maturity'? For me, it's start short and expect a long, long ride. So i start on the fringe with 9i, find a circle a yard across, some 20 yards onto the green and hit balls into that circle but not caring where they finish. It's a long training to turn your mind from the habits of the past and the jumping monkeys of undesirable ideas but betterment comes with time and training coupled with acceptance.  One day, maybe, i will graduate to the long irons and driver and then have only the vision of 234 yards but for now, i'm not there. So more training is needed.  


Solution for U? Somehow, seems to me that you must suppress the bad thoughts and insert the good image, with trust that you can perform and not care about technique. Watch, and listen, for one minute to this video and accept that this guy MUST have started as a kid with good instruction and positive feedback and currently has no thought of where his hands will be going. 



Thanks for reading and best wishes. 

post #8 of 9

Had the same problem. One key thing for me was to RELAX. I worried about how I played with others looking on and whether my shots would be LONG enough, ect. What helped me was to just go out on the course and have Fun, not worrying about how I did compared to others. Before it was my turn to hit, I would take some really Deep breathes, get up there and take one more deep breath, and hit the ball. Relax and play your game, and above all..have fun. 

post #9 of 9

I have 2 tips of play.  Keep in mind, I haven't had too many good days myself in recent history.  But today I found "a plan" and stuck to it.  I based it on how I was doing at the driving range before the game.  I was hitting tons of blocks and pushes/fades when I'd swing "full speed".  I then started hitting chip shots and was able to even out my ball flight to a slight draw.  I slowly built back up to normal swing speed and found that when I got to that speed, the blocks/pushes/fades came back.  This was being 100% relaxed and not-frustrated, so that meant (to me) whatever flaws were in my swing expressed themselves fully when I went full speed.  This meant I either had to play a block/push/fade on the course at full speed, OR, taper down to 3/4 speed and up-club my shots.  


That being said, you are "more likely" to be "more hyped up" when in competition mode than practice mode.  This means you have to consciously take it easier.  Punch every shot on the first hole to the green. Do this for 3 holes.  After the 3rd hole, pull out your normal club and take a normal swing but try to feel that same tempo you had for the punch shot.  


Tip 1

Just before you play, take 10 balls out on the driving range.  pull out an 8,9 or PW. i say take those clubs out because they are shorter and easier to work with (imho).  hit 3/4 punch shots.  "to me" a 3/4 punch shot means you take the club back 3/4 and you follow through 3/4.  This is a "controlled" and "even tempo'd" swing (like a wedge approach shot).  No fast swings.  No hard hits.  No "going for the distance".  Feel comfortable with this swing as you're going to use it on your first approach shot on the 1st hole.  


Tip 2

On the very first hole, punch shot your driver.  It's going to feel weird, and you're probably going to draw it if the ball is played in front of your stance.  But just hit that same 3/4 punch shot with your driver type swing.  On your approach shot (assuming it's a par4), whatever club you "should " hit, hit one club longer.  On "these" shots, I usually put the ball a "tad" forward in my stance so I can hit a crisper shot through (not down on) the ball.  This will cause a higher-than-normal flight path for that specific club but it will be reduced distance and should land softer than a normal swing of the same club.


I'm making a lot of assumptions here about your ability to adapt to a punch shot.  Also, everyone's definition of a punch shot is different.  Hopefully I've made sense and added some insight on "how one might slightly change their game to be consistent with their practice round".

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