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Hope everyone is safe and sound!

I have what I think is a very unique problem which is killing me. I'm currently playing off 14, but can't break 90. Two years ago, I was an 11, regularly playing my HC or lower.

I've battled and overcome the putting yips but can't for the life of me figure this one out.

Over the last two years, i made some ill advised swing changes ( I had a very laid off swing, an in to out oath and not enough hip rotation). One of these changes was to set my wrists very early in the back swing. 

Anyway, my trouble right now is with the driver. On the range, I can hit both fades and draws. But when I get on the course, I can't get the ball in the air. Right at the top of my backswing, a fear/dread/ anxiety takes over and if I pause too long, I can't bring the club back. And if somehow I manage to, I either top it, or hit a disgusting low snap hook b cause my hands aren't turning over or have turned too much. This goes on and on. 

Is this all mental? Sure seems so. But I can't be sure. Any advice or help will be super appreciated.

 

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15 minutes ago, aasimzkhan said:

Hope everyone is safe and sound!

I have what I think is a very unique problem which is killing me. I'm currently playing off 14, but can't break 90. Two years ago, I was an 11, regularly playing my HC or lower.

I've battled and overcome the putting yips but can't for the life of me figure this one out.

Over the last two years, i made some ill advised swing changes ( I had a very laid off swing, an in to out oath and not enough hip rotation). One of these changes was to set my wrists very early in the back swing. 

Anyway, my trouble right now is with the driver. On the range, I can hit both fades and draws. But when I get on the course, I can't get the ball in the air. Right at the top of my backswing, a fear/dread/ anxiety takes over and if I pause too long, I can't bring the club back. And if somehow I manage to, I either top it, or hit a disgusting low snap hook b cause my hands aren't turning over or have turned too much. This goes on and on. 

Is this all mental? Sure seems so. But I can't be sure. Any advice or help will be super appreciated.

 

Your mental state may be affecting your progress in correcting the problem. But the problem in the most part isn’t mental. Don’t just hit drives on the range. Develop a pre-shot routine. Limit your swing thoughts. Mark out boundaries on the range and imagine you’re teeing off on the first hole. Film this swing. When you’re on a tee..focus to repeat what you did. Pre-shot routine.., your target, swing thought, then execute.

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Hard to say what is going on with you with out seeing your swing. I recommend starting a My Swing Thread. Video a down the line view, and a face on view and post it. 

Also, it is easy to get in a rhythm on the range. You can hit 100 drives in 15 minutes. You hit 14 drives over 4 hours. You have a wide open range versus hazards on the course. 

I am weary in saying it is mental, though the fear/anxiety makes me think some part of it is. If you are struggling with fear/anxiety then you need to change how your conscious mind reacts to the subconscious fear/anxiety. No one really stands there an consciously chooses to be anxious or fearful. I don't know of any sort of tips or tricks for this.

I've read up on meditation and mindfulness. That sort of avenue would be to come back to the breath when you start feeling fear or anxiety. Try to explore them in the present.

Maybe this perspective will change how you think about things. Anxiety and fear come from the same area of the brain as excitement. So, there are two people who are getting on a roller-coaster. The first person is scared, and the 2nd person is excited. The difference is perspective, the story their brain is telling them about this situation. So, you need to change the story you are telling yourself. 

 

Edited by saevel25

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Take it from a class-A sociopath, mental doesn't hit the ball, but mental can make the physical do some awfully stupid things.

I've also been having an awful time with the driver. It only recently occurred to me how far from the ball I'd gotten on my setup when I saw my reflection in a mirror.

That's how out to lunch I am. 

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1 minute ago, mcanadiens said:

Take it from a class-A sociopath, mental doesn't hit the ball, but mental can make the physical do some awfully stupid things.

I've also been having an awful time with the driver. It only recently occurred to me how far from the ball I'd gotten on my setup when I saw my reflection in a mirror.

That's how out to lunch I am. 

Ah, the ol' too close to the ball joke... after you hit it...

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1 hour ago, aasimzkhan said:

Right at the top of my backswing, a fear/dread/ anxiety takes over and if I pause too long, I can't bring the club back.

This seems mental to me.  Don't pause too long.

1 hour ago, aasimzkhan said:

And if somehow I manage to, I either top it, or hit a disgusting low snap hook b cause my hands aren't turning over or have turned too much. This goes on and on. 

When these shots happen to me, it's usually because I have taken the club too far inside the line during the back swing.  Don't know if this is true for everyone.  My two fixes would be:

  1. Do my best to take the club down the line as long as possible during the back swing or
  2. Set up for a big fade and really open the club face and weaken the grip at set up.  Usually this produces more of a banana slice, but once you prove to yourself you can hit the ball right, you can adjust your setup pretty easily to hitting the ball straighter.   

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2 hours ago, aasimzkhan said:

Is this all mental? Sure seems so. But I can't be sure. Any advice or help will be super appreciated.

To add onto what @Vinsk said about a pre-shot routine; at the range, many people don't think about a specific target when in the moment of swinging. Bring that mindset to the course. Prior to the shot, you can think about the club selection and aim.  But once over the ball, nothing other than executing the shot matters.  It's just you, the ball and the swing, just like being at the range.  There are no obstacles, trees, bunkers, everything.  Get rid of all "noise."  Train your mind on the course to forget you are on the course, when you are hitting a shot.  You say that on the range, you can hit all the shots, so bring that confidence and tell yourself you've hit the shot before and you can do it again! Let Will Smith whisper in your ear about the empty field.

Edited by phillyk

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Echo'ing what other people have said: find different thoughts that all work for you, and if you have to think of something during your swing, only think of those thoughts.  It tends to work out better if your thought is more of a feeling (50% tempo, stay balanced, relax your right shoulder, etc..) rather than something specific to try to monitor (cock your wrists before your hands get to shoulder height, keep the club face pointed at the ball on backswing until club is parallel to the ground, etc.).  Your active thoughts ruin more golf swings than your body does once you get even a moderate level of competence in golf.  

If you can't focus on something in your swing, picture a flight path of the ball and tell your body to hit that shot.  Or tell your body to make the ball land on an imaginary line between you and some far off point.  There are a lot of ways to have your thinking brain allow your movement brain to just hit the ball the way you should and you might need to take a bit of time to figure out which ways work for you.

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Don't worry about it. I got a triple... oh wait... it was a quad on the 8th hole yesterday.... and then turned around and showed everyone in my foursome how lousy I can play and still end up with a birdie on the 9th hole.

 tiger woods win GIF

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