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How to Melt Down in 3 Easy Steps


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played couple tournaments in Bend. First one was completely awful...shot the highest score for any 9 on the front nine, then found a way to be 4 strokes worse on the back. Part of it was the course...but part of it was my swing completely abandoning me. As in my 4h, Driver, 6i...at various times I dumped all of them in the irrelevant weeds no more than 40 yards from the tee box. I looked like I had never swung a club before.

 

Day 2, a course I have played multiple times, A course I love, It fits my eye, it is gorgeous, and tends to be kind to my specific misses. I always play well...as in every single "this score falls outside the golfers expected range" GHIN warning I have gotten has been at this course as I shoot lower than someone with my handicap should. 

Started out great...nearly drove the green on one par 4, ending up in the sand pin high left of the green. I missed a couple 10' putts by inches and was 3 over after 7.  Could have been 1 over with just a bounce or two this way or that. I was feeling pretty good about myself. My tempo was back, everything was rolling, I had confidence in every facet of my game...

Hole 7 is a pretty easy par 5, shade under 500 yards. A little off center on the driver, 237 down right side but very playable. A good miss, short but it is a par 5, no harm done. Water protects the middle and right of the green so I decided to go wide left, actually taking aim at a sand trap 80 yards left of the water and clubbing down. I instantly hit a slice into the water. Drop, easy wedge, still no problem...short sided green but that is okay...until I hit it a bit thin over the back of the green. Okay, I can handle this, my chipping is on today...missed my landing spot by about a foot, which normally is not a big deal, except this time that was where the fringe and green meet. the ball shoots forward with extra speed, hits the hill, rolls off the green...into the water. 

So having taken a triple with memories of the prior day in my head, I step up to the 9th tee and just crush it. 315, dead center fairway, an easy 40 yard chip.  Already planning my birdie putt...I have been practicing this exact shot a lot. Back on track! Except now I hit the chip fat. Rethink all my fundamentals, take the 8 steps forward, line it up...and thin it over the back. I end up with a bogey 5 but it was such a disappointing 5...still, a 43 on the front, I was rolling as a 15 so that was a really, really solid front, I am still feeling good. A couple bad swings, very correctable.,

But it was a complete meltdown...4 quads. A quintuple. Just one par and one bogey. I shot 25 over on the back 9, once more setting a new worst for any given nine...

 

There is a current thread on "best comeback you have ever had"...this was so completely the opposite. I found new ways every hole...18 was a classic. Drive down the middle, there is one dead tree. A hundred open yards, a 4' section to avoid. Of course I ricochet off it into the desert at an angle that I have no direct shot back to the fairway, took me two shots to get back into play...

 

The one redeeming factor to either round is in both rounds my playing partners commented on how much they enjoyed the round, but I would have obviously enjoyed them more if i hadn't played so poorly...

 

Spent the rest of the week shooting in the high 80s down in So-cal but this might be the first time in my life I choked in a tournament.  Was trying to figure out why.

Step 1) I was more laser focused on the upcoming tournament thank I have ever been. 

Step 2)  Instead of playing my game...bang it as far as possible, work out of my trouble as cheaply as possible, I started trying to play "smart golf"...instead of taking my 3h and going on a safe but aggressive line, club down, awful swing and  the ball in the drink...instead of going for the green from 230 out, decide to lay up to avoid an awkward stand of trees...then yank the pitching wedge 30 yards left of the green. Instead of trying to drive the green, go for a "lay up to a yardage" 6i which I never do, chunk the 6i and downhill from there...

Step 3)  fail to execute. I repeatedly put myself in scoring position...only to take routine, easy shots and flub them. Center of fairway, short grass, plenty of green to work with...inexcusable to take 3 attempts to get on. Wasn't the only example. On a hole with water down the right and an extremely wide fairway, I took an extremely conservative line...and rinsed one. Two different holes. I am talking missing 100-150 yards right of the intended line of play. 

 

Lesson learned? We will see...as definitely a system shock. I have been working hard on my game this year. Spent hours of block practice on chipping. On partial and full swing wedges. On alignment. On  putting after regripping my putter took it into the toilet...

 

and all that work, I have really improved*. I started the year as a 12.8 and today I am down (in reverse) to a 15.3...is that good? lol

 

 

 

 

 

* I keep using that word. It may not mean exactly what I think it does...

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I just wanted to let you know that I read that, and suspect many others did too. Like them, I don't have much to say. Everyone's likely been in a similar place.

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Yep, been there before. Best off the tee in a while, three putted half the greens and about half my short game shots I decided to need extra practice so I hit another one. 

For me, it was getting @iacas to look at my short game. I was just doing things a tad wrong. 

Yea, it sucks when things fall apart. 

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(edited)

If not divulging too much information, which courses in particular were you playing on? Had a chance to get down there a couple years back so interested if I've played them.

Edited by measureoffsetinnm
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Yep, choir member here. Ball striking is a low margin of error sport in every sense. Seemingly small mechanical variance can and do result in disproportionately terrible results. Some days are best survived with a sense of humor. 

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Has anyone else experienced the phenomenon of "can't hit a single shot on one hole"? It often happens after good play for many holes, and can often be followed by good play again (although I have to admit that was not the case earlier in my golf "career").

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On 5/24/2021 at 5:52 PM, darthweasel said:

played couple tournaments in Bend. First one was completely awful...shot the highest score for any 9 on the front nine, then found a way to be 4 strokes worse on the back. Part of it was the course...but part of it was my swing completely abandoning me. As in my 4h, Driver, 6i...at various times I dumped all of them in the irrelevant weeds no more than 40 yards from the tee box. I looked like I had never swung a club before.

 

Day 2, a course I have played multiple times, A course I love, It fits my eye, it is gorgeous, and tends to be kind to my specific misses. I always play well...as in every single "this score falls outside the golfers expected range" GHIN warning I have gotten has been at this course as I shoot lower than someone with my handicap should. 

Started out great...nearly drove the green on one par 4, ending up in the sand pin high left of the green. I missed a couple 10' putts by inches and was 3 over after 7.  Could have been 1 over with just a bounce or two this way or that. I was feeling pretty good about myself. My tempo was back, everything was rolling, I had confidence in every facet of my game...

Hole 7 is a pretty easy par 5, shade under 500 yards. A little off center on the driver, 237 down right side but very playable. A good miss, short but it is a par 5, no harm done. Water protects the middle and right of the green so I decided to go wide left, actually taking aim at a sand trap 80 yards left of the water and clubbing down. I instantly hit a slice into the water. Drop, easy wedge, still no problem...short sided green but that is okay...until I hit it a bit thin over the back of the green. Okay, I can handle this, my chipping is on today...missed my landing spot by about a foot, which normally is not a big deal, except this time that was where the fringe and green meet. the ball shoots forward with extra speed, hits the hill, rolls off the green...into the water. 

So having taken a triple with memories of the prior day in my head, I step up to the 9th tee and just crush it. 315, dead center fairway, an easy 40 yard chip.  Already planning my birdie putt...I have been practicing this exact shot a lot. Back on track! Except now I hit the chip fat. Rethink all my fundamentals, take the 8 steps forward, line it up...and thin it over the back. I end up with a bogey 5 but it was such a disappointing 5...still, a 43 on the front, I was rolling as a 15 so that was a really, really solid front, I am still feeling good. A couple bad swings, very correctable.,

But it was a complete meltdown...4 quads. A quintuple. Just one par and one bogey. I shot 25 over on the back 9, once more setting a new worst for any given nine...

 

There is a current thread on "best comeback you have ever had"...this was so completely the opposite. I found new ways every hole...18 was a classic. Drive down the middle, there is one dead tree. A hundred open yards, a 4' section to avoid. Of course I ricochet off it into the desert at an angle that I have no direct shot back to the fairway, took me two shots to get back into play...

 

The one redeeming factor to either round is in both rounds my playing partners commented on how much they enjoyed the round, but I would have obviously enjoyed them more if i hadn't played so poorly...

 

Spent the rest of the week shooting in the high 80s down in So-cal but this might be the first time in my life I choked in a tournament.  Was trying to figure out why.

Step 1) I was more laser focused on the upcoming tournament thank I have ever been. 

Step 2)  Instead of playing my game...bang it as far as possible, work out of my trouble as cheaply as possible, I started trying to play "smart golf"...instead of taking my 3h and going on a safe but aggressive line, club down, awful swing and  the ball in the drink...instead of going for the green from 230 out, decide to lay up to avoid an awkward stand of trees...then yank the pitching wedge 30 yards left of the green. Instead of trying to drive the green, go for a "lay up to a yardage" 6i which I never do, chunk the 6i and downhill from there...

Step 3)  fail to execute. I repeatedly put myself in scoring position...only to take routine, easy shots and flub them. Center of fairway, short grass, plenty of green to work with...inexcusable to take 3 attempts to get on. Wasn't the only example. On a hole with water down the right and an extremely wide fairway, I took an extremely conservative line...and rinsed one. Two different holes. I am talking missing 100-150 yards right of the intended line of play. 

 

Lesson learned? We will see...as definitely a system shock. I have been working hard on my game this year. Spent hours of block practice on chipping. On partial and full swing wedges. On alignment. On  putting after regripping my putter took it into the toilet...

 

and all that work, I have really improved*. I started the year as a 12.8 and today I am down (in reverse) to a 15.3...is that good? lol

 

 

 

 

 

* I keep using that word. It may not mean exactly what I think it does...

I second what Erik said. I know it really sucks but we’ve all had/will have days like this. I’ve had melt downs as you described yet it of course was my shanks. You wanna have your life spiral outta control? You’ll find yourself praying for a chilli dip after 5 holes of solid shanks. 
One thing I’ve contemplated has been the actual preparation for a shot the pros make compared to me/us. I mean so much thought, pre-shot routine, execution. It’s gotta count for something .

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10 hours ago, GolfLug said:

Some days are best survived with a sense of humor. 

Maybe that’s really what I need right now. My last two rounds were the worst I can remember despite all of the hours I’ve put into practice. Didn’t enjoy either round one but. Taking a short break from golf as I don’t want to lose my love of it. 

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4 minutes ago, woodzie264 said:

Maybe that’s really what I need right now. My last two rounds were the worst I can remember despite all of the hours I’ve put into practice. Didn’t enjoy either round one but. Taking a short break from golf as I don’t want to lose my love of it. 

That can be helpful. Another option is to just go to your course and practice putting. I mean put in a good solid session. I hardly ever practice putting. If you do then yeah, take a break. 

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I can relate, @darthweasel. I did something similar last Monday playing in a "tournament" with a group of guys I'd never golfed with before. I actually carded a 14 on one par 5! Accck! Ended with a 109 on a par 72 - probably the worst golf I've played in a year. Part of it was the minimal course maintenance, long grass on the tee boxes, it was raining and the grass was a bit long and wet in the fairways. And the holes were severely overgrown on the edges effectively making the holes smaller in diameter than they should have been. But, still. Most of it was me.

But, you know what? I didn't throw a club. I didn't break off a clubhead. I didn't make my playing partners wish they were in OSHA safety gear with included ear muffs. I didn't inflict further damage to the greens. I just took my beating like a man (well, like a senile, gibbering old geezer, anyway!) and will try again in a couple of weeks at the next one.

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Your experience sounds all too familiar.  When it happens for me, I start to grin and remember not take myself so seriously.   I work to remember to stick with what is "stock" for me and not "try" not to fix my game mid-round as that only tends to compound my struggles.  My son, who is my main playing partner, tends to be a "fixer" and will get bogged down if if he has a round going sideways.  I am reminded of what an old gentleman used to say when the day was not going very well, it was simply "Oh, very well."  His acceptance that it was not going according to his plan made the day workable.  Like @iacas said, all have been there at one time or another.    

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Everybody of us had this kind of meltdown. Normally in the final holes and more in big tournaments. That is just what pressure do to us. Sometimes is goes well, sometimes we crack.

I remember playing the "US amateur open" but from my country and I was killing it in the 2nd round. Even par with 5 to go in a very though course.. well.. ended up 5 over with a couple of balls in the water and of course didn't make the cut to play the matches. 
Another time playing a mid amateur, also last round was -1 on the 11th tee. Made a 10 in a par 4 with 1 ball OB and 2 in the water... proceed to shoot in the 80's.
Another time shoot -4 in the front 9 at a midAm but I meldown in the back so bad I almost shot in the 80's.

Keep grinding, keep practicing and learn from your mistakes.

"The more I practice, the luckier I get

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On 5/26/2021 at 6:01 PM, measureoffsetinnm said:

If not divulging too much information, which courses in particular were you playing on? Had a chance to get down there a couple years back so interested if I've played them.

 

Tetherow and Pronghorn.  Gorgeous courses, Had a good time anyway, just...lol what a meltdown.

On 5/27/2021 at 10:59 AM, p1n9183 said:

Everybody of us had this kind of meltdown. Normally in the final holes and more in big tournaments. That is just what pressure do to us. Sometimes is goes well, sometimes we crack.

I

that for me was the funniest part. I work hard to make sure my handicap is legit and legal...I don't record solo rounds, I don't inflate or deflate scores, I try in every round...but I consistently perform well in tournaments...until these two. Eh, if that is the worst thing that happens...been pretty good golf year.

 

F

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6 hours ago, darthweasel said:

Tetherow and Pronghorn.  Gorgeous courses, Had a good time anyway, just...lol what a meltdown.

lol I probably would have guessed those two if really pressed just based on your descriptions and reputation alone. Did not play them myself but of course heard great things about them. Maybe should prioritize at least one if I get a chance to head back there.

On topic glad you calmed down a bit and got things in perspective. Golf can be very frustrating but if you still had fun then I say you came out ahead in the end.

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I think it's safe to say, we've all been there.

Had one of the best rounds on Friday.  Then on Saturday feeling good about my swing, I played first 18 at 11 over.  Not too bad.  Then in the afternoon, on the back nine my swing was gone.  I think I was tired and was not focusing as much as I should.  It was a disaster back nine.  Everything was thinned.  Missing all my shots by a fraction.  Coming up a fraction of second too early.

No wonder golf is a four-letter word. 

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I get frustrated and rattled after several terrible shots.   Usually wait until the 16th and 17th hole to make amazing shots that sucker me right back in to keep on playing this sh***y game

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On 5/26/2021 at 6:02 PM, GolfLug said:

Yep, choir member here. Ball striking is a low margin of error sport in every sense. Seemingly small mechanical variance can and do result in disproportionately terrible results. Some days are best survived with a sense of humor. 

I take it as a point of pride that the 6 people I was matched up with the two days all went out of their way to comment on how much fun they had...I still launched an absurd number of bad jokes. Gotta have fun, concur with that. I don't need to pay to be miserable, I have a wife for that

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