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Thornfinger

Horribly Frustrated

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Wondering if anyone might be able to provide me some insight.

I started playing approximately 3.5 months ago, at that time I was able to consistently drive off the tee, albeit with a strong pull to the right. Comfortable with drivers, comfortable with irons, and thought I was doing well. Over about a month of playing I was able to straighten out my drives, and felt confident with my progress.

This is where the frustration starts, over the last month or so I've been battling with even hitting the ball. I either top the ball, or end up hitting it extremely low with no height. I've tried teeing up higher, teeing up lower. Moving my feet, changing my position but still no luck. On the rare occasion that I do hit the ball solidly it's a great hit.

The problem has also carried over into my short game. Sorry no swing videos, as the last few times I've been out on my own as it's incredibly frustrating and painful to play.

Does anyone have any ideas, or suggestions?

Thanks

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Try going to the range with a friend and have him hold your head still while you swing a pitching wedge. The less your head moves around, the easier it is to make contact. Hope that helps

^start out with half swings on this, and buy your friend a beer

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If you're not hitting the ball, the first thing that comes to mind is that you're moving your head and/or swaying. If you were to take your stance over the ball and only turn your shoulders (no lower body and keep your head still and eyes fixed on the ball), you then should be able to make solid contact. This is not how you want to play, but you need to convince yourself that you need to keep your head still and not sway. Take some half swings until you make solid contact.. The point is that it doesn't take a wild Remax Long Drive completion swing to play golf. Tempo is the key. Smooth takeaway, pause at the top, keep your arms nice and loose on the downswing. You'll be amazed at the crisp shots and distance. Here is one of my favorite videos. [Video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKUfskqzOPQ[/Video] Work on NOT transferring you weight to your back foot. Watch his head and sternum. At about the 1:20 mark he makes a practice swing. Look at his head with respect to the clouds. His turn axis doesn't sway. He doesn't move his weight back and then forward. Work on that, then you can start working on you legs and land and....... It looks so simple when these pros do it, but we all know it takes time and practice. This is the Stack and Tilt swing, the same thing that's promoted by the pros on this site. The 5 Simple Keys deal with the same thing in this video. I just like British accents. :-D Good luck and take it slow. Your swing is sick and it needs some TLC.

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You might consider taking a break from the game for a few days. When I get into a slump that's what I do.

If you are topping the ball you are raising the bottom of your swing arc some how with regards to the ball placement.

Perhaps you are swaying too much one way or the other, which can move the bottom of the swing arc.

Maybe you are stooped over too far at the waist. When you start your down swing, you raise up, which pulls the arms, and hands up.

Your right knee might be straighten too much on your back swing.

I also believe  that a swing that is too steep, can cause topping especially with higher lofted clubs.

You might be leaving your weight too much on your left leg on your back swing, which can cause the your left side to dip. Once it dips, it will want to raise up on your down swing.

Raising your head can also cause topping. Then again, something else might be raising your head. You can raise your shoulders with out raising your head.

I have not topped a ball in a few months now. After writing all this I will probably top 10 balls tomorrow. :-P

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Go back to the beginning.  Start with short/small/tiny swing until you make good contact serveral times.  Increase slightly until you make good contact.  Increase slightly again.  When you miss hit more than twice, go back to the beginning and work up again.

If you had a good swing to begin with, this will get you back on track.  No full swings until you have worked up to it from the beginning.

That is my suggestion as it has worked multiple times for me.

Good luck and hang in there.

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You might consider taking a break from the game for a few days. When I get into a slump that's what I do.

If you are topping the ball you are raising the bottom of your swing arc some how with regards to the ball placement.

Perhaps you are swaying too much one way or the other, which can move the bottom of the swing arc.

Maybe you are stooped over too far at the waist. When you start your down swing, you raise up, which pulls the arms, and hands up.

Your right knee might be straighten too much on your back swing.

I also believe  that a swing that is too steep, can cause topping especially with higher lofted clubs.

You might be leaving your weight too much on your left leg on your back swing, which can cause the your left side to dip. Once it dips, it will want to raise up on your down swing.

Raising your head can also cause topping. Then again, something else might be raising your head. You can raise your shoulders with out raising your head.

I have not topped a ball in a few months now. After writing all this I will probably top 10 balls tomorrow.

No offence to OP but I think thats a bit much for a guy who's only played 3.5 months lol

reminded me of this

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Man, I feel you OP.

I started playing golf again 2 months ago after not playing for over a decade!

...and while I'm not doing as bad as I was day one coming back...I'm not making great advances.

Part of the problem is outside stress - it's weird...but I can't seem to enjoy myself while playing golf if I have a lot of outside stress affecting me. And if I'm not enjoying golf, I get frustrated more easily, and start making bad shots more frequently. Today I swung three times and completely missed the ball! WTF?

Part of the problem is the weather - since I walk in order to get a cheaper membership rate, a sunny/humid day will wipe me out by the 6th or 7th hole...and if I try to do 15-holes or more in one afternoon, I'm a zombie.

Part of the problem is the course - it's a pretty tough one for a newbie with only four Par 3s and several holes featuring gigantic hills to overcome, meaning you HAVE to get air.

Part of the problem is I can't drive - every time I use a driver, it flies wildly to the right. I suck currently, and have been using irons instead, so at least I can get better at them for the time being.

Part of the problem is I seem to forget "what works" between rounds. By the end of a 9-hole round I'll have finally started to get "into the groove" of swinging properly and a day or two later, it's like I'm an empty vessel. I keep an Excel spreadsheet of all my rounds and a breakdown for each hole...and no lie - the first two holes of every day are typically among my worst.

Part of the problem is just me. And this may just be something I can't fix.

I'm doing my best to stick with it, but today was rough and I considered not renewing my membership for next month...but, I'll sleep on it. It doesn't help that September has been one of the most stressful months for me in years, with multiple pets dying, blowing through tons of money on things that came out of the blue, etc. - in fact today was the first time in THREE WEEKS that I set foot on a gold course.

Stress is the killer man...if I can lessen that, maybe my brain and body will start helping me absorb golf better.

Good luck OP.

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Thank you to everyone that has posted suggestions.

Brice: I think you may be right that it's my head that is moving.

Vangator: Again, head movement may be the issue here as well. I appreciate the video and it's definitely something to take into consideration.

Patch: Thinking about what I'm doing and what you have said, specifically. "stooped over too far at the waist",  I think you may be on to something here as well. And all of the above looks to be a way of correcting it. Thinking out loud here, but now that you mention it something that I did change was bending my knees instead of staying upright which is likely what is killing me.

Bste: Loved the video, thank you for giving me a laugh this morning. I needed it.

Scott: I can agree that it's outside stress and my own mental game. I start thinking too much about my swing, or about what I'm doing and then end up where I'm at. Even now, if I'm thinking too much about my swing I think it carries over between holes as well, because I'll think to myself well I did this this and this right, but I did this wrong, so I'll go to the next tee box trying to correct that and only end up more frustrated. I'm almost the same way as you though, I'll start the round poorly and then hit an amazing shot on the 9th, but by then it's too late. I was at the point too of only using my irons since I couldn't hit a driver to save my life, and it's now carried over to the irons.
I love the game, and I'm an extremely patient person, so perseverance will pay off on this, but there are days that I want to give it all up. Next season will include lessons. I'm not giving up yet.
Some days it feels like this
h

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There's a lot of advice in this thread. Probably too much advice, really, for somebody just starting out, especially considering none of us have seen @Thornfinger 's swing. @Thornfinger , if you want to get swing instruction that is relevant to your swing, please film it and start a swing thread. Otherwise, we're all just speculating. If you're really frustrated, I'd consider signing up for Evolvr or finding a good instructor near you and get some lessons. You're new to the game, and golf is hard. Don't beat yourself up over it.

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Man, I feel you OP. Part of the problem is the course - it's a pretty tough one for a newbie with [U]only four Par 3s [/U] and several holes featuring gigantic hills to overcome, meaning you HAVE to get air.

You are a newbie :-)

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Thank you to everyone. I looked more in to stack and tilt and realized that a lot of where I was at when I first started was very similar. I play Friday nights with my wife and mother in law, so had a chance to try some things out. It started out a little rough at first, but by about the 4th hole I was starting to hit more consistently. Height and distance included. 7th to 9th on the green. First time I've hit the green in a month. I'll be going to the range probably this week to work at it more. Thank you so much to everyone. I've had my confidence restored.

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Thorn, You are way ahead of the game if your confidence can be restored that quickly. I came to this forum because I was ready to quit, after 30 years of hacking combined with a recent resolve to improve (or quit).. Advice I received, particularly to seek professional instruction, has helped in making long term improvements. I still backslide periodically, but I now can often make adjustments mid-round to get back on track (or at least closer).

The real point is, if you are like me, you are going to occasionally get frustrated, and sometimes even furious. If I could not at least try to put that behind me, and go on to the next shot, I need to quit, or at least take a break. Generally, there is no substitute for a positive attitude, especially in this game.

More specifically, I found that inconsistency, for me, often stems from sliding my hips as opposed to turning. It's easy for old, bad habits to creep back in.... The good thing for you is you can't have any old habits, having just started a few months ago. You have a lot yet to look forward to. Hang in there.

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I was in your exact situation 3 months ago, albeit I had been playing for 1.5 years. It's bound to happen to any beginner. Here's what I did to fix it, and I've been playing great golf ever since.

Experimentation, if you don't have a coach, you need to experiment. Go to the range and play around with your grip. I fixed my problem simply by moving my right thumb more over to the left...just a tiny bit. It allowed the clubface to turn over in just the right spot.

Experiment with your swing, really exaggerate coming in on plane with your practice swings. I know it sucks and you really want to get on the course, but until you fix your horrible shots...you're best to stay on the range until you get it squared away. Get on the driving range and slow everything down. Take your damn time, experiment, exaggerate, and slow down.

If you don't end up fixing it in the next few weeks, you need to take vid of your swing.

Note: I'm still a hacker but I now shoot consistently in the low 90's and have a consistent shot. This is just what worked for me. Good luck and update us.

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I am indeed! Golf is freakin' hard :P

I say that because the nominal number of par 3's on a course is 4. Same for par 5's. And yes it is hard.

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This site is very helpful OP, I bombarded myself with videos and found myself thinking way too much instead of of swinging. As mentioned before The 5 simple Keys are extremely helpful. Really simplifies it for you hence the name. I've been striking the ball better than before now with the help of the drills it has to offer. I guess my advice is keep it simple and don't stress out. I myself am new to this game and I'm loving everything about it

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Note: This thread is 2007 days old. We appreciate that you found this thread instead of starting a new one, but if you plan to post here please make sure it's still relevant. If not, please start a new topic. Thank you!

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