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Considering Quitting

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

About 2011, I decided to give golf a more dedicated shot, after spending numerous years in "Dad mode" doing little league sports, cub scouts, etc. The kids were getting older, so I bought some nice clubs, and started playing a par 3 course to develop the short game. I also had a 'personal coach', in the form of a friend of mine who is a scratch golfer.


We worked on fixing a sway in 2011. Then, in 2012, the company shut down and he moved. I continued on, using video feedback, fixing the next issue "hip clearing". This year, in 2013, I focused on a problem of raising up on the toes.


I finally figured the game might be 'ready' for a golf league. So I joined a league that plays 9 holes every Monday. I shot a 65 the first week, which was humiliating. I finally went down to a 57, then a 52, then a 49. Since then, a 51, 53 and 55.


I don't see any improvement anymore, and in fact, the golf game seems to just be a back/forth regression. I'll usually drop a nice par on one of the par 3s, and on one of the par 4s, I'll get up and on in 2 strokes for par. But the rest of the holes, an inconsistent mess - "hacker golf".


Here's a breakdown of my last round yesterday:

Hole 1: Topped the ball off the tee with driver. Ball went left into woods, Pitched out to fairway, pushed it down the fairway, then hit back into the woods right with a 7 iron. The pitch out failed, and I wound up with an 8.


Hole 2: Beautiful drive fairway center. 7 iron shot went right, settling at tee box adjacent to the green. Lob Wedged onto edge of green. Chipped, poorly, and then 3 putted. 6 for that hole.


Hole 3: Skulled an 8 iron shot which rolled to within 10 yards of the green. Used a 7 iron to bump/run it to green. Ball went left of hole. 3 putted. Wound up with a 5.


Hole 4: Tee shoot (driver) left into woods. Pitched out. 3 iron down fairway. 5 iron to green edge. 3 putted. Total score 7 for the hole.


Hole 5: Tee shot skulled with 6 iron, but luckily rolls enough. 7 iron bump and run goes long. First putt way too short. I sink a 10' foot to save bogey. Total score 4.


Hole 6: Nice fairway shot with 6 iron. 3 wood over lake to edge of green. Farted up the putt onto green (short). Putted too long over the hole. Wound up with a 6 on what should easily have been par. Total score 6.


Hole 7: 6 iron beautifully placed on fairway. 7 iron on green. 2 putt for par. Only decent hole. Total score 4.


Hole 8: Nice drive down fairway. 3 iron faded right into woods. 2 shots to get out of woods onto fairway. Pitch to green was short. Another pitch gets on. 3 putt. Total score 9.


Hole 9: Somehow, I completely miss ball with a 3 wood. It falls off tee. They look the other way (mulligan). I hit the 3 wood down the fairway. Pitch it onto edge of green. Pitch onto green goes way long. 3 putt. Should have been a 4. Winds up a 6 for the hole.


Score: 55.


The mistakes are as follows:


1. Poor tee shots, including topping the ball on the tee shots.


2. Chunked iron shots at the worst possible time, when I'm trying to get it down the fairway


3. Irons that just don't go straight - or straight enough.


4. Putts from the edge of the green that go 10 feet, leaving me with another 40 foot putt.


It's not fun to go out there and have this kind of erratic sloppiness - over and over and over. By now, these problems should be worked out in my mind. I play a par 3 course each Sunday to 'prepare' for the Monday round, and regularly shoot mid-70s on it. Same issue on that course. I ALWAYS blow up 2-3 holes. I record par on 4-5, and then a bunch of 4s and 5s, as I recover from mistakes - constantly.


I'm just really tired of it. Thinking of just letting go and not playing anymore.

post #2 of 51
It's a tough game we play. If you have videos of your swing, I suggest you start a MySwing thread. Sounds to me like the swing needs work.

It's probably not gonna help much if I tell you that you just have to stick with it, but if you really have a passion for the game, that's all you can do.

Film your swings, post them. Let the experts give you pieces to work on, and give it your best effort. It's not going to be easy, but few things in life are.
post #3 of 51

how much do you play?  I find that I need to practice at least an hour a day at least 4 or 5 days a week to be seeing some improvement.  I feel like if I only had time to play once a week or less I wouldn't improve, I would get frustrated, and would eventually quit. 

post #4 of 51

Don't quit.

I noticed the most of your holes included 3 puts.

Even a poor golfer can learn to be a good putter. If you spend an hour a week practicing putting your scores would lower dramatically.


If you converted most from 3 puts to 2 puts with an occasional 1 put, you'd break 50- even with your wildly inconsistent game. Second, that confidence would carry you forward to the next tee.

post #5 of 51
Originally Posted by CarlOwen View Post

Don't quit.

I noticed the most of your holes included 3 puts.

Even a poor golfer can learn to be a good putter. If you spend an hour a week practicing putting your scores would lower dramatically.


If you converted most from 3 puts to 2 puts with an occasional 1 put, you'd break 50- even with your wildly inconsistent game. Second, that confidence would carry you forward to the next tee.

This is pretty much one of the main things that's brought my scores down. I've really focused on getting myself to putt no more than 2 times a majority of the time. Most of that is learning speed control for me. I can be off line by a couple feet but if I stop the ball inside of a 3 foot circle of the hole I give myself at least a really good chance at 2 putting. Also, I have more trouble scoring well in the league I play than when I'm playing just regular rounds of golf. You may be putting too much pressure on yourself to do well, I know that's what I do.

post #6 of 51
It's a tough game!

Time for some lessons, and not from your buddy, who may be a great player, but isn't a qualified instructor. Find a professional teacher and commit to a series of lessons and at least a minimal amount of practice outside of the course. A lesson every few weeks and a range session once a week and you'll get better. Again though , this game is hard, and sadly, desire alone isn't enough.

The effort is worth it though..... a1_smile.gif
post #7 of 51
I'm going through relatively the same thing right now, although maybe on a little different level. My game has been very bad for 4 or 5 months, cap has increased by 3 strokes. Lost my swing, no idea why/how. For the 1st time, I've considered quitting. Lost my passion completely. Had a bit of a breakthrough this past weekend which got me energized again. It doesn't take much, a few good tee shots and a couple solid approaches and you'll be back. Great advice on here, definitely seek out a pro to help you with the fundamentals.

In terms of putting improvement: I can say from my perspective that I'm a decent putter with a decent short game. I've salvaged a lot of scores over the past few months with that short game. However, it just wasn't satisfying. When I stand over a ball on the tee or in the fairway and have no clue what's going to happen, it is so frustrating. So yes, by all means, work on your putting cuz that will improve your scores but focus on your swing because solid contact and some distance is the joy of the game, at least for me. I can shoot an 82 or 84 which are OK scores but if I don't hit a single good drive or very few solid irons, I just don't enjoy it.

Anyway, good luck, stick with it.
post #8 of 51

Take this for what it's worth, because I don't even keep score anymore, I just try to hit as many good shots as I can, but the more I concentrate  on the little things instead of trying to will myself to swing better, the more I improve. I am working on aim right now. Little tiny changes in setup with the club face, strength of grip, and grip pressure, seem to have everything to do with hitting right or left, at least if they are going straight.

post #9 of 51
I can sympathise with you and I was there a year or so back. Quitting seemed easier than bringing the golf moans into the clubhouse,at home or with friends. The moans are a big thing in my observations of golf. Everyone is guilty of it " what did you shoot" usually answered with should of been better if it wasn't for blah blah.
I tried really hard for 6 months through winter saying the same thing each time I was asked how did you go. I smiled and replied great I really enjoyed myself. It was this and the realisation that if I did give it up what else would I do? It turned out nothing so if its the only thing I do and I play rubbish what's the point in moaning about it.
With this new found vigour for the game and adopting an alien attitude of always being positive low and behold I got better at golf lost 4 shots and I am always welcome in four balls partner comps and team events.
In short if you think you can do with out and you subscribe to the clan of moaners then give it up. If you can't think what you will replace it with and have the courage to only be positive (even if challenged your only brag is about one shot) you should stick it out.
post #10 of 51

My advice is its all about hitting the ball solidly, center club face.     Don't swing hard if you can't do this almost every time.     Swing slower, or maybe better put "with SMOOTH tempo" - meaning slower deliberate backswing so all the moving parts are in the right place, then come down on it a bit harder, say 75% of full strength.    Only once you're hitting the ball CLEAN almost every time, ramp it up.


You'll be shocked how far the ball goes when you hit it clean with a 75% swing.     Golf is all about hitting the fairways and playing from the short grass ... back it down a notch until you really get it ironed out ... I still swing with what others say is a slow tempo & hit as far as any mid capper I know.    No fun playing from the woods or rough ... short grass is where the fun is.


Don't be afraid to choke up on the driver & long irons/woods/hybrids.   It's far easier to hit it clean with a shorter club.

post #11 of 51

As others have mentioned before:


Lessons, from an instructor.

post #12 of 51

I have struggled as well, I think most of us do just at different levels.  I believe my problem was that my swing was built on a foundation of flaws where the instructors I went to tried to patch my existing swing rather than starting from scratch.  I am just getting back to playing after spending a month sidelined with a rib cartilage injury and am struggling to get my swing back under control.


I was frustrated this past week and decided to get a lesson from my club pro while I was at the club.  We spoke for about 20 minutes about my game and current instructor, he reviewed my scores and then watched and recorded my swing.  He said he'd seen worse and that he could work with what I have but felt I'd continue to struggle with inconsistent ball striking because of some major flaws he noticed.  I told him what I'd been working on with my instructor and he was not critical of what I was told but said he's trying to mask flaws in your fundamentals so that you can play but that long term he felt I wasn't going to see major improvement.  


I like golf way too much to struggle for the rest of my golf life so I decided to scrap the season and have my club pro work on rebuilding my swing properly starting with the grip and address.   I feel like a complete newbie, the grip is completely foreign as is my ball address.  I'm hitting half swings focusing on proper grip and rotating my hips.


I, like you, got tired of taking one step forward and one or  two steps back every season but can't imagine not playing so I'd suggest you find an instructor to help you and don't give up.

post #13 of 51

Without seeing your swing, assuming grip and set up are okay, I would guess you need to keep your head from going up and down. Then probably weight shift. There's some keys or something around here that might cover this stuff. And practice putting daily. Unless you have some kind of net set up it's the only thing you can really practice at home as much as you want. So do it and quit 3 putting. 

post #14 of 51
That's quite a first post.

Slow your game down. Keep your head still.
post #15 of 51
I'll add a vote to the find a good instructor crowd. Our handicap is the same, however, I couldn't be happier with where my game is headed. I started taking lessons earlier this season and we've been slowly rebuilding my entire swing. As others have mentioned, it takes a fair amount of work and it's only been recently that I've started to see the results on the course but it's been well worth it. Certainly there are many folks out there who are great players and have never had lessons but I learned pretty quickly that I'm terrible at self-diagnosing my swing flaws and when I tried all I did was introduce new problems and/or make the old problems worse.

I'd also add that, if its doable for you, once you find an instructor you mesh with, sign-up for a series of lessons (I was going every other week early on, now stop in monthly to make sure old habbits don't creep back in). For me, I'm not sure one lesson would have been as beneficial since I had so many issues and it wasn't like I just needed to change one thing. The multiple lessons helped since I was able to slowly work on each aspect of my swing, practice it on my own at the range, and then build on it at the next lesson.

Good luck!!!
post #16 of 51

I'm not going to critique your game and provide ways that might 'fix' your swing and game.  I will comment on quitting golf.


Only quit playing golf if it's a) completely not fun at all; b) you literally don't have ANY time to dedicate to the game; c) it's getting in the way of more important aspects of your life in general.


Some guys on my league night consistently shoot mid-50s. They still have fun on Thursday nights having a few pops with the boys, enjoying each others' company, catching up and joking around ... even when they're hacking it up to the tune of a 53 or worse!


Remember, it's a game and it's supposed to be fun.  If not, then it may just be time for you to move on.



post #17 of 51

You had quite a first post, very true.


You obvioulsy have mechanical problems, but as usual in these types of threads, you need to seriously fix how you talk to yourself.




Putts from the edge of the green that go 10 feet, leaving me with another 40 foot putt.


This is obviously widly exaggerated.  There is no way you have multiple putts where you hit it 10 feet instead of 50.  Once?  Maybe.  But more than once is ludicrious.


The actual truth isn't bad enough, so you have to exaggerate it in your head.  Why say this to yourself?  It isn't true.


Hole 7: 6 iron beautifully placed on fairway. 7 iron on green. 2 putt for par. Only decent hole. Total score 4.


This is pretty revealing.  EVEN on your one good hole, you can't resist a dig at yourself - "only decent hole".  SO even when you play great, your brain twists it into a negative.


I wouldn't do anything else re: golf without reading this book:




Clearly you have mechanical problems in your swing, but if you don't fix your happiness problem on the course you have no hope.  How you talk to yourself is very important.  Cconentrate on the good shots.  Concentrate on improvement.  Don't dwell on the bad shots.   Saying stuff like "I ALWAYS (emphasis yours) have 2-3 blowup holes" basically insures you will continue to have them.

post #18 of 51

I wanted to add something about taking lessons.  I think someone mentioned it before too.



Find a good instructor, try to find some reviews maybe even youtube videos.


When you do find one, tell him you are not looking for a patch, you want to really build a solid swing that will allow you to shoot lower scores. I did that, and even though I feel like I should be a single by now, I am very satisfied with my progress at 11.


Good luck. :)

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