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When/How to Switch On


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I’m a novice to the game (I’ve been playing for about 5 months) and I don’t really understand what type of game golf is.
 

I played a lot of football before and it was easy to get into the right frame of mind. I just needed to walk on to the pitch and I was ready to go. But with golf I find it difficult to know when to switch on. When I step up to hit I don’t really feel ready and the shot is over so quickly that it feels like I’m just going through the motions.

 

I don’t have a lot of trust in my shot and am very inconsistent. I also struggle to understand how much effort I should be putting in. I like to swing smooth and rhythmically, but there really doesn’t feel like any shift in mindset from when I’m walking up to my ball and talking with my friends to when I’m standing over the ball and doing my routine. I feel very lackadaisical. Whereas when I play football I’m competitive and energised.

 

I really want to get better at golf as I find it very interesting and I feel like I potential to be good at it. I’d appreciate anyone who could offer me some help. (If anyone even understands what I’m saying, I’m not sure I’m making sense)

 

Jay

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  • iacas changed the title to When/How to Switch On
4 hours ago, Jason_ said:

I’m a novice to the game (I’ve been playing for about 5 months) and I don’t really understand what type of game golf is.
 

I played a lot of football before and it was easy to get into the right frame of mind. I just needed to walk on to the pitch and I was ready to go. But with golf I find it difficult to know when to switch on. When I step up to hit I don’t really feel ready and the shot is over so quickly that it feels like I’m just going through the motions.

 

I don’t have a lot of trust in my shot and am very inconsistent. I also struggle to understand how much effort I should be putting in. I like to swing smooth and rhythmically, but there really doesn’t feel like any shift in mindset from when I’m walking up to my ball and talking with my friends to when I’m standing over the ball and doing my routine. I feel very lackadaisical. Whereas when I play football I’m competitive and energised.

 

I really want to get better at golf as I find it very interesting and I feel like I potential to be good at it. I’d appreciate anyone who could offer me some help. (If anyone even understands what I’m saying, I’m not sure I’m making sense)

 

Jay

Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods notwithstanding, I don't think there's any "switching on" in golf  You should start your round with your highest mental capabilities and your utmost physical skill (a warm-up range session helps).  If there's something you can add later, a kicking it into a lower gear then you are not playing the game, from the beginning, all out.  You are right, it is not that physical... you just can't become more physical later in the round, you can't start hitting your shots harder, you can't "make it happen".  Now, through adrenaline coursing around inside your body, you might hit longer drives when needed, but you cannot change your pacing or tempo.  Golf is a game of "steady as it goes" and enjoy the cocktail, bragging and monetary winnings at the 19th hole.

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5 hours ago, Jason_ said:

I’m a novice to the game (I’ve been playing for about 5 months) and I don’t really understand what type of game golf is.
 

I played a lot of football before and it was easy to get into the right frame of mind. I just needed to walk on to the pitch and I was ready to go. But with golf I find it difficult to know when to switch on. When I step up to hit I don’t really feel ready and the shot is over so quickly that it feels like I’m just going through the motions.

 

I don’t have a lot of trust in my shot and am very inconsistent. I also struggle to understand how much effort I should be putting in. I like to swing smooth and rhythmically, but there really doesn’t feel like any shift in mindset from when I’m walking up to my ball and talking with my friends to when I’m standing over the ball and doing my routine. I feel very lackadaisical. Whereas when I play football I’m competitive and energised.

 

I really want to get better at golf as I find it very interesting and I feel like I potential to be good at it. I’d appreciate anyone who could offer me some help. (If anyone even understands what I’m saying, I’m not sure I’m making sense)

 

Jay

You would really benefit from lessons. I’d suggest that first. If you’re not going to do that, screw any thoughts of ‘graceful, smooth swinging.’ Find your balance and swing as fast as you can. Your goal should be to achieve these five keys:

 

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5 hours ago, Jason_ said:

I don’t have a lot of trust in my shot and am very inconsistent. I also struggle to understand how much effort I should be putting in. I like to swing smooth and rhythmically, but there really doesn’t feel like any shift in mindset from when I’m walking up to my ball and talking with my friends to when I’m standing over the ball and doing my routine. I feel very lackadaisical. Whereas when I play football I’m competitive and energised.

Your confidence will improve as your skill does, but if you're standing over the ball and feeling lackadaisical, there's definitely a focus element you're lacking.

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Just now, billchao said:

Your confidence will improve as your skill does, but if you're standing over the ball and feeling lackadaisical, there's definitely a focus element you're lacking.

Ye I was just thinking this myself. I think I need to concentrate more and pick my target rather than just going up and hitting it and hoping for the best like I do now. 
Thanks for your advice

16 minutes ago, Vinsk said:

You would really benefit from lessons. I’d suggest that first. If you’re not going to do that, screw any thoughts of ‘graceful, smooth swinging.’ Find your balance and swing as fast as you can. Your goal should be to achieve these five keys:

 

I’ll definitely check that out and perhaps ditch the graceful swing for now. I have got some lessons and am planning on getting more in the future.

Thanks for your help

1 hour ago, Casualgolfer said:

I know what you mean. Golf isn't like most sports where it requires great physical effort. If you can sort out a good routine and keep to it, that will help you stay in it better.

Thank you for the tip

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Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott are perhaps two of the most successful teachers in the game...

Something along these lines may be helpful to help you focus. 

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One interesting way to think about how much "on" we are when playing, is to think of it like an RPM meter on a vehicle.  You want to start the round and retain a "idle." Then think of Tiger's 10 steps thing.  10 steps away from the ball, rev up the RPM. After you hit and walk 10 steps, turn down the RPM. 

I would define idle as you are warmed up and ready to golf. Reving up would be something like finding the distance of your shot, seeing how much wind, what are you thoughts or feels for this next shot, etc. Reving down is period of examination of last shot, good, bad, and why? After the rev down, you have to fully go back to idle.

For those who watched the Tiger V Phil match, both of them performed this.  You can hear that they are BS-ing and have simple chit chat as they walk down the fairway together. As they get towards their balls, they break apart and you can see it in their faces, the focus and attention turned on and randomness off. Chatter is now intentional on the shot, not random stories and BS.  They hit their shots, and go right back to BSing to the next shot.

No one can be fully "on" for a whole round, that would be exhausting.  You need to find ways, or cues, to rev up and down. Could be breathing exercises or just recognizing certain landmarks in your own game.

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4 hours ago, phillyk said:

One interesting way to think about how much "on" we are when playing, is to think of it like an RPM meter on a vehicle.  You want to start the round and retain a "idle." Then think of Tiger's 10 steps thing.  10 steps away from the ball, rev up the RPM. After you hit and walk 10 steps, turn down the RPM. 

I would define idle as you are warmed up and ready to golf. Reving up would be something like finding the distance of your shot, seeing how much wind, what are you thoughts or feels for this next shot, etc. Reving down is period of examination of last shot, good, bad, and why? After the rev down, you have to fully go back to idle.

For those who watched the Tiger V Phil match, both of them performed this.  You can hear that they are BS-ing and have simple chit chat as they walk down the fairway together. As they get towards their balls, they break apart and you can see it in their faces, the focus and attention turned on and randomness off. Chatter is now intentional on the shot, not random stories and BS.  They hit their shots, and go right back to BSing to the next shot.

No one can be fully "on" for a whole round, that would be exhausting.  You need to find ways, or cues, to rev up and down. Could be breathing exercises or just recognizing certain landmarks in your own game.

 I have been reading Breathe Golf by Jayne Storey because I like to meditate. I haven’t gotten to the part of implementing the breath into my golf game but I think this will help. Thank you for your reply it was interesting to read!

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5 hours ago, phillyk said:

.  You need to find ways, or cues, to rev up and down.

Absolutely. As I get to the last 30 yards or so from my ball I start assessing the upcoming shot, check the wind etc. My trigger to get the game face on is to put my bag down. This is always two steps to the right of my ball. Check the yardage, lie etc select shot and club and take two relaxed practice swings from about 2 steps behind the ball. Then I set up, check my alignment and play. Watch the ball down, repair divot and then pick up clubs. Switch off until next shot

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8 minutes ago, Beastie said:

Absolutely. As I get to the last 30 yards or so from my ball I start assessing the upcoming shot, check the wind etc. My trigger to get the game face on is to put my bag down. This is always two steps to the right of my ball. Check the yardage, lie etc select shot and club and take two relaxed practice swings from about 2 steps behind the ball. Then I set up, check my alignment and play. Watch the ball down, repair divot and then pick up clubs. Switch off until next shot

There are days I play better when conversing with my foursome... sometimes responding right up to the moment I draw the club back from the ball.  It's a multi-tasking thing.  If it's not working on a particular day then I go into "focus" mode about 20 seconds before I strike the ball.

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On 12/30/2019 at 12:54 PM, Jason_ said:

But with golf I find it difficult to know when to switch on.

I have learned to switch it on at least an hour or so before I tee off and I still feel like a weekend hack. Before I recently moved, I was 1.8 miles from my course and I would think about my round as I headed over, parked the car, and then grabbed a cart. I would then spend 45 minutes or more putting, chipping and hitting balls at the range while chit chatting with the guys. More focus than chit chat. Are the greens faster or slower that the other day? Have they watered the fairways too much again? which way it the wind blowing (actually I would check that on the weather website before leaving the house). The speed and direction on the ground is different that what is above the trees.

I used to feel like golf was a nice enjoyable walk with nature, but my game never improved much. I then began to focus. And when you are stressed from work/life and can then focus on one thing like golf, you can forget all of your stressors in life for a few hours and come away refreshed and feel good about your game as well.

 

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2 minutes ago, Carl3 said:

And when you are stressed from work/life and can then focus on one thing like golf, you can forget all of your stressors in life for a few hours and come away refreshed and feel good about your game as well.

 

When I play golf there is nothing else on my mind.  Everything is put on hold.  That is the beauty of the game.

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