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How long a layoff to escape a bad funk?

20 posts in this topic

Stuck in a bad rut lately.  I've been playing seriously for about 2.5 years and have been progressing I think at a reasonable pace from probably shooting 120+  in 2012 to breaking 100 in 2013 and, earlier this year, breaking 90.  Pretty much playing golf whenever I'm able, taking periodic lessons, reading about the game, etc. etc.  Standard OCD approach to a new challenge...

Anyway, I've been in a pretty bad way for about the last month; almost completely unable to hit the driver and struggling with enjoying myself on the course.  Frustration on the tee bleeding into the rest of my game and generally just in a funk.  I think I just need a little mental/physical break from the game to clear some swing thoughts and come back to it fresh.

I've read many posts advising people in the same position to take a break.  Question for the group is how long have you found you needed to be away to get refreshed?  I feel like I need to force myself to take at least a full week off without so much as touching a club and then maybe come back with some range and practice time for a bit before getting out and actually playing a round.  I feel right now like I"m just trying too hard on every shot and trying to will myself to get better faster and - of course- the golf god's won't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Curious to hear others' experiences with taking a step back in order to start going forward again.

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Stuck in a bad rut lately.  I've been playing seriously for about 2.5 years and have been progressing I think at a reasonable pace from probably shooting 120+  in 2012 to breaking 100 in 2013 and, earlier this year, breaking 90.  Pretty much playing golf whenever I'm able, taking periodic lessons, reading about the game, etc. etc.  Standard OCD approach to a new challenge...

Anyway, I've been in a pretty bad way for about the last month; almost completely unable to hit the driver and struggling with enjoying myself on the course.  Frustration on the tee bleeding into the rest of my game and generally just in a funk.  I think I just need a little mental/physical break from the game to clear some swing thoughts and come back to it fresh.

I've read many posts advising people in the same position to take a break.  Question for the group is how long have you found you needed to be away to get refreshed?  I feel like I need to force myself to take at least a full week off without so much as touching a club and then maybe come back with some range and practice time for a bit before getting out and actually playing a round.  I feel right now like I"m just trying too hard on every shot and trying to will myself to get better faster and - of course- the golf god's won't tolerate that kind of behavior.

Curious to hear others' experiences with taking a step back in order to start going forward again.

Depends on where you live.  In the Northeast, our season is short, so I would rather work on improving and playing through it or changing things up.  Have you tried playing with fewer clubs or other things like that?  What are you struggling with?

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I find that when I take a break, I usually play better than I think I should when I come back. Why is that? Usually I'm just thinking of not whiffing and making reasonable contact. I take more controlled swings. I think that is the point. Something that you were doing right (or at least better) has gone south. My first guess is that you're swinging to hard. Your starting to feel like you can take it to the next level and your game got a little loose. Golf is all about tempo. You have to get club head speed with tempo and balance. Pause at the top of your back swing and follow through with balance. I'm absolutely amazed how rock solid Rory McIlroy is when he finishes his swing. Work on keys 1 and 2. You'll never hit the ball consistently as long as your head is moving. BTW, I always take a week off between playing. Typical weekend warrior.
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For me a week away doesn't "wash-away" the multitude of swing thoughts and such that are wrecking my swing when I'm in a funk. It takes about 3-4 weeks off. This is where taking some good notes on what is and isn't working comes into play, I don't do a good enough job of this.

I was off the last 6-7 weeks due to some minor shoulder surgery. I was able to hit half shots about 2 weeks ago, now I've played a couple rounds but was just not hitting the ball well at all. I discovered on the range last night my grip pressure and arm tension was just over the top..mostly due to trying to "work-on" a few moves and just wasn't aware how hard I was trying. After going back to a very basic element of holding the club as lose as I could, then swing instantly started coming around.

I've found tension from working really hard on my game builds up and I need to just relax. Find out a "go-to" drill that helps you get the swing back. Mine for years has been relaxing grip pressure and hitting low punch shots..this helps tighten up the swing and re-focus my attention on impact.

A couple other things you can do is try a new instructor...play a new course...move up two sets of tee's and hit less club off those boxes to get some confidence back.

To answer your question though..I think it takes at least 2-3 weeks off to clear the mind...then it can take a week or two to hone back in.

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Will let you know. I have been in a slump all year. Snap hooking and pull hooking everything. Went to my teaching pro and still did not fix problem. I have stopped playing on weekends and have two weeks of league golf left for season. I have backed out of four remaining touraments and once league golf is done so am I. Hope winter lay off and fresh start in spring will bring different results.

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I think it's an individual thing. It could be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I don' t think there is any rhyme or reason to the time line. I know when it would happen to me, a few days were usually enough. During those few days, I did nothing associated with the game of golf.

One time I was having problems with one of my more important clubs. Just could not figure out what was going on. My remedy was to take that club out of my bag and put it in a dark corner of my garage. After playing a few rounds with out it, I returned it to my bag, and I played it like nothing had ever happened.

I am fortunate that I can play year around, multiple times each week. Most of the time if something goes wrong, based on the ball flight, I can usually fix the problem during that same round.

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I live in more or less in the same climate as @boogielicious so I usually just play (or hack) my way through a funk. On the rare occasions that I will actually take a full break, I find two weeks to be just what the doctor ordered.

I rarely take a break though, just shift expectations and remember to have fun. Focus on the other great things about golf, hanging with buddies, enjoying the outdoors, getting away from responsibilities and the pressures of life. I literally went through a 2-3 weeks period where my swing was non-existent, could't get the ball in the air and probably wasn't breaking 150+ (I dunno because I sure as hell  wasn't keeping score during that epic funk). I have a full membership though so I kept playing my early morning rounds and some night golf with buddies. Didn't let it get me down, just had fun. 3 lessons with Evolvr got me back on track. The closest I came to taking a break was a 10 day vacation when I only brought my 6iron and a wedge and worked on drills for an hour everyday. Actually, come to think of it, I did play one round during those 10 days, at a par 3 with my sister.

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BTW, I always take a week off between playing. Typical weekend warrior.

A point worth expanding......

How much time off is really "time off" depends a bit on how often you play.  If you play once a week, 3, 4, or even more weeks may be what it takes.  If you play every day, a week or 2 may be all it takes.

I seldom take a break, even when I'm struggling, but if I do, a week without playing is usually the limit of the exile that I can stand to impose upon myself.  The key for me is to make sure that I find something else to do on the days that I would have been golfing.  Just sitting around wishing that I was on the course doesn't help, it just frustrates me.

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My very consistent pattern:

When I play like crap I almost always quit the game forever !!!!! :mad:

Then by the time I get home I decide to hit a few balls in the yard, trying out the things I thought about on the way home, just to give golf one last shot.

Without fail I hit the ball great at home, everything I thought about works like a charm, and I always decide to un-quit the game.

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My very consistent pattern:

When I play like crap I almost always quit the game forever!!!!!

Then by the time I get home I decide to hit a few balls in the yard, trying out the things I thought about on the way home, just to give golf one last shot.

Without fail I hit the ball great at home, everything I thought about works like a charm, and I always decide to un-quit the game.

I have the same pattern with drinking and hang-overs.

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My very consistent pattern:

When I play like crap I almost always quit the game forever!!!!!

Then by the time I get home I decide to hit a few balls in the yard, trying out the things I thought about on the way home, just to give golf one last shot.

Without fail I hit the ball great at home, everything I thought about works like a charm, and I always decide to un-quit the game.

I have the same pattern with drinking and hang-overs.

Ha, I was thinking the same thing. "This sounds familiar..."

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I'm actually in the middle of a break... My story is rather similar to yours and I reached a point of frustration where I was all but certain to turn in my clubs. I haven't played a round in over a month. What I did do was go to the range a few times and record my swing. I noticed a few obvious flaws that I couldn't quite feel while playing, and having addressed those, I'm currently practicing the modified swing so that hopefully it wont disintegrate by the 4th hole next time I go out. Not sure when I'll return to an actual course... maybe in the next couple weeks.

My advice to you is take as much time as you feel you need, then add a few extra days to it.

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If you had a problem with driving your car you would not put it in the garage over the winter bring it out in spring and hope that the problem had resolved itself.

Taking time off is not going to fix your game, neither is playing through it.

You need to find out what part of your game is costing you the most shots and that's the part where you focus your lessons and your practice so that  when the season starts again you are ready to play good golf.

(Edit: No spam please)

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Usually takes me about 4 days if buckle down and focus on the reasons why I am playing crappy in the first place. Looking at your misses and determining what your flaw is and correct it. Yips, shanks or chunky fat shots, mostly due to head movement or getting off your front foot too much. Keys 1 and 2 like previously stated.
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Kitchen passes should never be wasted.  If I have the chance to play, I'm going to take it no matter how bad of a funk I'm in.

When things are going bad for me, I usually try to find a single thing about my game to focus on.  I'll go get a lesson which will both depress me and give me hope for the future.  Usually I will then have 1-3 things to work on and will no longer be overly concerned with my performance--instead I'll be concentrating on solidifying the changes.

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Curious to hear others' experiences with taking a step back in order to start going forward again.

I never step away from the game.......... I play my way through funks.   I feel that by playing through these rough patches, something can be learned and gained from it.  Time not playing is time wasted.

my 2 cents..

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I never step away from the game.......... I play my way through funks.   I feel that by playing through these rough patches, something can be learned and gained from it.  Time not playing is time wasted.

my 2 cents..


Yup.....!

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