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Suddenly useless at golf

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I wonder if anyone has experienced this....

I have been playing for 2 or 3 years and have made steady progress. I'm a bit of a tinkerer and have paid a lot of attention to everything about the golf swing. Around 1 month ago I was shooting low 90's and could easily control trajectory, playing gentle draws and fades on command.

Then suddenly, I had 1 bad round and now I cannot hit the ball at all. It's like I've just picked up a club for the 1st time.

When I'm addressing the ball, I'm not even sure if what plane to take the club away in. I'm struggling with my wrists and I'm slicing low and wide on every other shot. I played 9 holes earlier and hit 1 good shot. The rest were scuffs along the grass, or 45 degree slices.

Please help! What has caused this meltdown.

I'm annoyed as I've worked so hard on getting better and it feels like it's all been stripped away in an instance a4_sad.gif

Thanks all
post #2 of 24

It happens to all of us.  It could be caused by a number of factors: fatigue, injury, being distracted mentally by something off the course.  Best advise is to forget about the round.  Go back to basics and what you are working on.

post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
I hope so. It happened at a time I really wanted to play well.. I was with people who I was playing with for 1st time and had been previously telling how good I was getting.

So embarrassing.
post #4 of 24
It happened to me this year ... So bad that I went and got lessons ... Looking back at the old swing, I have no idea how I managed to play at all
post #5 of 24
I just went through 2 weeks of this. I kept trying harder to hit shots and had put so much pressure on myself to play better, I made it worse. Finally I just decided to relax, swing easy and not have any expectations. After this doing this I started playing well again.
post #6 of 24

Could be anything, impossible to give a stock answer. When I go off the rails it's almost always because my backswing has gotten weird and I'm screwed before I get to the top. Post some video and maybe someone can spot a simple tweak, otherwise lessons may be required.

post #7 of 24
My uselessness hasn't been so sudden. Mine has been a slow, steadily slide into the abyss.

Sounds like the old arm swinging abyss to me. Take a bucket o the range and work on the first couple of keys at a slower pace until you're making consistent contact. Work on a one-piece takeaway.

BTW, I shoot right around par each time out and I find it hard to draw and fade at will, so you got one up on me.
post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch360 View Post

I wonder if anyone has experienced this....

I have been playing for 2 or 3 years and have made steady progress. I'm a bit of a tinkerer and have paid a lot of attention to everything about the golf swing. Around 1 month ago I was shooting low 90's and could easily control trajectory, playing gentle draws and fades on command.

Then suddenly, I had 1 bad round and now I cannot hit the ball at all. It's like I've just picked up a club for the 1st time.

When I'm addressing the ball, I'm not even sure if what plane to take the club away in. I'm struggling with my wrists and I'm slicing low and wide on every other shot. I played 9 holes earlier and hit 1 good shot. The rest were scuffs along the grass, or 45 degree slices.

Please help! What has caused this meltdown.

I'm annoyed as I've worked so hard on getting better and it feels like it's all been stripped away in an instance a4_sad.gif

Thanks all

 

In my ever so humble opinion, a relatively new, 24 hcp golfer should not be "tinkering", nor should he be trying to work the ball "on command".  Golf is a game of consistency, and at this point, I'd highly recommend working to develop a single, simple, repeatable swing that results in a relatively consistent ball flight.  Your contact will be better, and the consistent flight will allow you to avoid the dreaded "two-way miss".

 

One of the biggest challenges higher handicap golfers have to come to grips with how poorly they really strike the ball and how much of an opportunity there is for them to simply improve contact.  Since they're no longer chunking, or blading every other shot, they tend to think that they've progressed to the point where their ball-striking is relatively good, and all they need to do is refine course management, short game specialty shots, and working the ball in order to drop that handicap down to the single-digits or below.

 

Ask any 5 or 6 hcp golfer what they think of their own ball-striking, and most will honestly tell you that it's not all that good and that the biggest opportunities that they have in their own game is to hit more greens and that means improving their driving and iron play.  Not by working the ball, but by striking the ball better so as to control distance, direction, and trajectory much more consistently.......and very, very few can draw or fade the ball "on command" with any degree of consistency and accuracy.

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch360 View Post

I hope so. It happened at a time I really wanted to play well.. I was with people who I was playing with for 1st time and had been previously telling how good I was getting.

So embarrassing.

 

Now that right there is just the golf gods responding to your perceived arrogance.  Happens to us all.  Never, never, NEVER say out loud that you're "getting good", have "figured it out", or are "on the verge of a breakthrough".  You're just tempting fate and will be rewarded with a beat-down of epic proportions!     ;-) 

post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks David, good post. I think it's time to start again with quarter swings at the range.

My problem I think is that I've tried to be too creative and have tried really hard to learn all manner of shots, although haven't mastered any of them too the point where they'll lower my scores.

Maybe I've overloaded myself with swing thoughts, that I haven't now got a stock swing.

I'll post back again soon.

Thanks
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitch360 View Post

Thanks David, good post. I think it's time to start again with quarter swings at the range.

My problem I think is that I've tried to be too creative and have tried really hard to learn all manner of shots, although haven't mastered any of them too the point where they'll lower my scores.

Maybe I've overloaded myself with swing thoughts, that I haven't now got a stock swing.

I'll post back again soon.

Thanks

If you're thinking about "what plane to take the club away in,"  you are going to have issues on the course.

 

Think less.

 

On the range, think or go half speed, or no ball. Crawl before you walk, walk before you run...

 

Don't try to work the ball -- get one stock shot.

 

Good luck.


Edited by Mr. Desmond - 8/25/14 at 9:44am
post #11 of 24

Sounds like you're overthinking your swing. Take a few days off, then go to the practice range. You'll probably figure out what you're doing wrong in 15 minutes.

 

It's OK to think about swing plane during drills on the practice range. But, once you're out on the course, think alignment and hit the ball - trust your training. 

post #12 of 24

It happens to all players from time to time. It matters little on what part of the +/- handicap pole they play from.

 

Early on I found that when I had a bad round or two, I started to think too much about what I might be doing wrong. The more I thought about why I might be swinging poorly, the longer I played poorly. I found an article in a very  old golf book that described exactly what I was doing mentally. The article went on to say that instead of trying to figure out what the golfer was doing wrong, that the golfer should focus more on how to swing correctly. To focus on the basic, fundamentals, with the golfer's pre-shot routine, grip, and the take away being three of those basic fundamentals. This worked out very well for me. It did not prevent me from playing poorly, but it did shorten the time I would play poorly. More time times that not, I played much better the next round after a poor outing.

 

After a while I wanted to learn more about the various swing issues that caused poor shots. Once I knew what to to look for when I did have some poor ball flights, I could usually correct the problem while on the course, saving some of what might otherwise be bad round of golf. The knowledge associated with poor ball flights gave me a quick starting point to look for a cause, and repair. 

 

Now a days I don't worry too much about good, or bad shots, since that shot is over, and the next one is the priority. This approach also works well for me by not letting a poor swing manifest itself into something much worse. 

post #13 of 24

This exact thing happened to me and it took me well over a month to get it back together. Now I know how to fix things right away. Here's what helped me...it may not help you. 

 

1. Punch shots, practice a half swing, or hell, quarter swing so you can remember the feeling of hitting the ball flush.  

 

2. Check grip position, especially your thumb. I've cured my slices by very simply putting my right thumb more over to the left.

 

3. DO NOT think about where the clubhead is facing while swinging the club. Just trust that it will come in square at impact. This is very hard to do for me, but once I start thinking about the clubface...it's all over. I slice, top, or pull the ball. 

 

4. Play around with ball position on the driving range. Perhaps your ball could use to come back an inch or two on your wedge through 8 iron. Perhaps it could use to come forward a inch on your 5 iron. Once you hit a great shot, memorize where you played the ball and what iron you hit it with, try to see if you can replicate it. If you can, don't deviate from the set up. Golf is a game of inches...no...sometimes you're just centimeters away from hitting a perfect shot. So set up is EXTREMELY important. 

 

5. If I can get it back together, you can too. I feel your pain. 

post #14 of 24

I went through a rough patch 2 summers ago where I was just shanking the ball every single hit practically.  I couldn't hit the ball either.  Every iron shot was a straight shank maybe 10 yards off the ground and 50 yards to the right.  It was awful.  Told someone at work who played golf who told me to "take a step back, you're probably standing to close to the ball".  He was right... I took a step back, cured it lol.  I have hit a couple of shanks since then but all of us bogey golfers do from time to time. 

post #15 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

Now that right there is just the golf gods responding to your perceived arrogance.  Happens to us all.  Never, never, NEVER say out loud that you're "getting good", have "figured it out", or are "on the verge of a breakthrough".  You're just tempting fate and will be rewarded with a beat-down of epic proportions!     ;-) 

QFT.

 

This should be a sticky thread in the Swing Thoughts sub-forum!

post #16 of 24

I agree with everything David said. You also probably need another set of eyes to look at your swing. Hint: think about lessons from  a good instructor in your area or post a video of your swing on the myswing thread on this website. You need someone to identify your priority piece in your swing that needs to improve, so you can focus on that, instead of "tinkering" around with your swing. That won't work very well. 

post #17 of 24

My dad was a teaching professional.  What he'd say (whether exaggerated or not) was, '90% of the problems people have hitting a golf ball is a result of bad setup.'

 

My game/swing doesn't go that far off the tracks anymore.  When my wife can't hit the ball solidly, we go back to the basics of:  Feet shoulder width; feet, knees, hips and shoulders square; forward-tilt from the hips; ball in middle of stance; weight a bit on left side; swing club.  After 2-3 swings, she's back to getting the ball flying toward the target.  Somehow, her setup gets out of whack over time and it results in topping and rolling shots, weak fades when the ball happens to become airborne.  Like a good husband and playing partner,I don't say anything until she asks.

 

What was mentioned above might help you.  Might not, too.  Just an idea to go back to what was working previously and try to get it back.  I'm also in agreement with the response to hitting 1/2 shots off a short tee to re-groove the weight forward and rotation of the body into the swing.  That's another good way to get the 'feel' of hitting it solidly back.  Should only take about 20-30 balls to get it back.

 

dave 

post #18 of 24

This thread basically described me for the past few weeks....

 

Usually my problems arise from too much backswing. Keep it nice, short and easy. I've found that when I try to swing easy and "accept" that it won't go as far but it will be straight, I actually hit it straight and farther than usual. The comments about half swings and punch shots are helpful too.

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