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humblepeasant

“Calm and Relaxed”… How?!

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For me to be playing my best, I need a feeling of *calm and relaxed*...particularly with my upper body at the top of the backswing and beginning the downswing...leaving my upper body lazy while I initiate the swing with a weight shift and power the swing with my core, whipping the club through impact.

When I’m able to accomplish this, I can do pretty well...I recently scored even par for the first time!

HOWEVER, a lot of the time, I have a hard time accomplishing the “calm and relaxed.” At my worst, I can have days I barely break 100! I’ll feel tense/stiff and yank the club down with my arms out of sequence. Sometimes it’s like I just can’t help it (even if my practice swing is good)! The tension even trickles down to chipping/putting.

I know I’ll probably never 100% eliminate a problem like this, but I’d be ecstatic if I could make 50% improvement! It spite of improving my technique over the past couple years playing golf, I feel like I’ve made virtually no progress in this area.

Any suggestions? Drills? Sympathy? 😆 Thanks!!

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To help prevent the occasional "what the hell was that?"  I think about my feet.  I take the club back by standing on my back foot...and move the club forward by standing on my front foot.  When I do that I swing better.  I don't always chose the right swing, or right club, but my sequencing is less erratic.  

Kind of like bowling.  

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I find myself more tense if I am paying attention to my score. On days that I casually write down my scores, I usually play well. As soon as I look at how I am doing, especially when I am playing well, I screw up immediately. I also don’t total up my score until the game is over.

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4 hours ago, humblepeasant said:

When I’m able to accomplish this, I can do pretty well...I recently scored even par for the first time!......HOWEVER, a lot of the time,...... At my worst, I can have days I barely break 100!

 

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Edited by Mr22putt

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31 minutes ago, Mr22putt said:

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Don't be so quick to judge. My best score to par is +5....the course is only 5100 yards and a par 71. There are 5 par 4s that are under 280 yards and the back nine doesnt have a place to lose a ball. If you put me at 6400+ yards on a challenging course, I'd be lucky to break 110. A 30 shot difference is more than possible from the same golfer if you put them on 2 wildly different courses.

I listen to a podcast where 2 guys are trying to get to scratch. They are often in the mid 70s, and sometimes on the SAME course, they don't break 90. Some days you just don't have it.

 

As far as the topic at hand goes, I just try to have fun during a round, and the more I do that, the better I feel and shoot. Work is saved for 9-5 and the only golf "work" you should be doing is on the range or whatever practice you do.

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7 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Don't be so quick to judge. My best score to par is +5....the course is only 5100 yards and a par 71. There are 5 par 4s that are under 280 yards and the back nine doesnt have a place to lose a ball. If you put me at 6400+ yards on a challenging course, I'd be lucky to break 110. A 30 shot difference is more than possible from the same golfer if you put them on 2 wildly different courses.

It's still pretty darn unlikely to go from shooting even par to shooting 100.

I mean, he did say he still breaks 100, just "barely." But anyway…

I'd be curious to know what the last 20 rounds or so have been, @humblepeasant. And the yardage and/or course rating/slope.

Par is a man-made construct and is pretty subjective. The course rating is mostly objective.

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I’m pretty old and not a really good golfer, so I use 90 for my par. I don’t golf for competition, only for relaxation and self satisfaction.

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18 hours ago, Bonvivant said:

Don't be so quick to judge. My best score to par is +5....the course is only 5100 yards and a par 71. There are 5 par 4s that are under 280 yards and the back nine doesnt have a place to lose a ball. If you put me at 6400+ yards on a challenging course, I'd be lucky to break 110. A 30 shot difference is more than possible from the same golfer if you put them on 2 wildly different courses.

 

Ya...sometimes i shoot 38 when I play miniature golf with my grandsons.😆

i'm talking about playing golf on a REAL "championship" length course with a REAL course rating & slope.

I'm sorry....for someone who says they can struggle to break 100 and then shoots even par when they are 'relaxed; has me wondering and shaking my head....others may disagree. 

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Just now, Mr22putt said:

Ya...sometimes i shoot 38 when I play miniature golf with my grandsons.😆

i'm talking about playing golf on a REAL "championship" length course with a REAL course rating & slope.

I'm sorry....for someone who says they can struggle to break 100 and then shoots even par when they are 'relaxed; has me wondering and shaking my head....others may disagree. 

I was only saying that we all have off and on days, and that if you have an on day on a shorter course, you can get close or shoot par, even if you are a 14 handicap or something like that. The OP said nothing of the type of course that they are playing on, so it could be a scenario like my own.

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Spending most of life somewhere between highly-stressed and a full-fledged panic, calm and relaxed is really damn rare. However, I will note that my best golf have come on the very rare occasions where I am calm and relaxed.Note that still isn't particular close to par.

Not sure how I'd get there. Maybe a very precise cocktail of drugs would do it. Suffice to say, it is something rarely experienced for me.

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A shorter course does not automatically mean an easier course - at least not for me. I play ~160 rounds a season at a course that’s 5300yd@69.3/124. I have had quite a few good days in my 3 years there and the best I have ever shot was a 77, worse 90. Shot par in the front/back 9, sure, but never in a round of 18. I now play a different course that’s 5900yd@73.3/140 and my best score is 79, worse 89. When I go back to the 5300yd course, I still shoot high 70s on my best days and was never close to shooting par, eventhough the course is shorter and easier. 

I have moved back one tee a handful of times @6400yd 76.1/146. Did I struggle? Hell yeah - but I still broke 90. I don’t want to know what has to go really wrong for me to not break 100...

A few guys I know have always refused to tee it forward because it’d be “too easy” they say. When they finally tried it out, they still cannot improve their scores drastically because they’d still run into trouble but just with different clubs. 

Anyway, the most challenging part about golf is between the ears. If the OP has the ability to shoot par, then his issue is not in the swing.  How did you think differently on the day you shot par? Different routine? Different thought process? How was it different from the days you barely break 100? If it is simply the feeling of calm and relax, maybe a sip (or 2) of beer will do the trick!

Edited by FlyingAce

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2 hours ago, FlyingAce said:

If it is simply the feeling of calm and relax, maybe a sip (or 2) of beer will do the trick!

*Aiming Fluid. Lol. The only time I break out a brew on course is when I'm playing poorly....so usually at the turn.

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45 minutes ago, Bonvivant said:

*Aiming Fluid. Lol. The only time I break out a brew on course is when I'm playing poorly....so usually at the turn.

I once played 18 with my instructor and he downed a 6-pack before we turned! He sure was relaxed...

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I find controlled breathing to be a great way to relieve tension. I like to use the phrase "calm focus" instead of relaxed. For instance, after I tee my, I walk behind it and gaze at my target. I take a cleansing breath to relieve tension while I focus on my target.

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Yikes, I know I've got issues if my story/problem is so extreme/severe that some people are having a hard time even believing it! To be fair, I think there's been something of a misread of my post...I said "a lot of the time" I struggle being calm and relaxed, I didn't say "a lot of the time" I barely break 100...I said "at my worst, I can have days" I barely break 100 (same course and tees). And I scored even par just one time, and it was an outlier...before that, the best I had done was upper 70's (which I have done on many occasions). I had a super day that day (just over a week ago now), which I attributed to being able to actually achieve "calm and relaxed," and I'm not even exactly sure how, which lead to my post. Normally I shoot 80's, occasionally 70's, occasionally 90's (more 90's than 80's if I'm on a bad streak). True story though, my best score of all time (72) and my worst score of the year both happened in the past 2 months...and that high score was...wait for it...108. Both scores were extreme outliers, but still! If people have a hard time believing that range, that just tells me what a serious (presumably mental?) problem I have.

ANYWAYS, that's all I want to say about that. I'm not going to respond to any rebuttals about the plausibility of my scores...if you need to, adjust the scores in your mind to what you think is plausible, then re-read it and see if anything comes to mind that might help me! 😄 

I appreciate the input I've gotten. I don't know if any bells have really gone off just yet, but I'm planning to basically make this topic my full focus in golf for the remainder of the season. I'll re-read the posts in this thread carefully, and I'll try to remember to chime back in to share if an idea really produces results that stand the test of time.

One thing I'm planning is seeing if more on-course playing lessons might help. I've had about 25 lessons over the past 2.5 years, and only one has been on-course (and it was forever ago). I think the only way this problem could even possibly be addressed with a lesson might be during a playing lesson.

Thanks!

Edited by humblepeasant
typo

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