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Does it get worse before it gets better????


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This is my 4th season as a regular golfer and I have improved greatly every year until this one.  I went from 100s, to 90s and I was regularly in the 80s and even broke 80 a few times last year.  It seems like every time I tighten up an area of my game that is lacking, another area gets into trouble.  This year, its my driving accuracy.  I have not been able to hit anything in play and its ballooning my score every round I play.

Has anybody else been in a season long slump and what did you do to get over it?  I have lost confidence on the tee and I have been dedicating more range time to the driver but its not helping so far.  The misses are both ways and its very frustrating.  Do I need to change the way I practice?  Do I just need to stick with it and try to gain back some confidence?  Anything that anybody could add would be helpful.  The drop in confidence is killing the mental game and its getting harder to concentrate on golf for 18 holes when things are going badly.

Thanks

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While you are a heck of a lot better than I've ever been, I can share you pain to an extent. Like you, I'm in the fourth year and have had a really rough time of it. Without the benefit of lessons (budget limitations), I've been trying to sort out a swing on my own. A goal this year was to lengthen my swing and I've had a lot of consistency issues as a result. Every round something is out of order. Obviously, I can't help you. If I could I'd help myself, but you aren't alone anyway.
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I'm coming off about a ten year stretch of "bad" golf due to back problems from a car accident. How I got over it was I made it a priority to play this year. Not a lot of practice but tons of playing. Going from about 2.5 rounds per week to about 4.5 made a big difference.

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This is my 4th season as a regular golfer and I have improved greatly every year until this one.  I went from 100s, to 90s and I was regularly in the 80s and even broke 80 a few times last year.  It seems like every time I tighten up an area of my game that is lacking, another area gets into trouble.  This year, its my driving accuracy.  I have not been able to hit anything in play and its ballooning my score every round I play.

Has anybody else been in a season long slump and what did you do to get over it?  I have lost confidence on the tee and I have been dedicating more range time to the driver but its not helping so far.  The misses are both ways and its very frustrating.  Do I need to change the way I practice?  Do I just need to stick with it and try to gain back some confidence?  Anything that anybody could add would be helpful.  The drop in confidence is killing the mental game and its getting harder to concentrate on golf for 18 holes when things are going badly.

Thanks

I would think on your road to a 12 capper you'd have hit some slumps.  Why not take a lesson or post some video here of your driver swing and get some professional advice.

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This is my 4th season as a regular golfer and I have improved greatly every year until this one.  I went from 100s, to 90s and I was regularly in the 80s and even broke 80 a few times last year.  It seems like every time I tighten up an area of my game that is lacking, another area gets into trouble.  This year, its my driving accuracy.  I have not been able to hit anything in play and its ballooning my score every round I play.

Has anybody else been in a season long slump and what did you do to get over it?  I have lost confidence on the tee and I have been dedicating more range time to the driver but its not helping so far.  The misses are both ways and its very frustrating.  Do I need to change the way I practice?  Do I just need to stick with it and try to gain back some confidence?  Anything that anybody could add would be helpful.  The drop in confidence is killing the mental game and its getting harder to concentrate on golf for 18 holes when things are going badly.

Thanks

I have. I was a 10 early last year and then struggled for a long time off the tee. I am finally getting back. I would recommend filming your swing and posting in the Members Swings section or joining the on-line service Evolvr if you have the budget. It has helped me a lot.

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I took some lessons and even went to a golf school at Greenbrier to help get to where I am now but nothing this year.  The lessons have been incredible for my game and I have used them to help specific parts of my game.  Last year when I was driving well, I struggled to get on the greens anywhere near the hole and was consistently scrambling for bogeys.  Took the wedge lesson and worked on that a lot this spring and I am hitting a lot more greens and even getting some shots close. The problem now is that I am punching out to get that wedge shot.  I think I will try to video some swings and see if I can get them posted.  Thanks for the comments.

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Originally Posted by Hellstorm

This year, its my driving accuracy.  I have not been able to hit anything in play and its ballooning my score every round I play.

You will need to regain confidence with hitting the tee shot for starters.

I suggest spending several practice sessions working on basics of hitting your driver and 3 wood.

Start with 80% controlled swings, where you make good contact and hitting your shots at your target.

Don't wear yourself out, take a short break between swings, also hit the 3 wood on a tee during practice session.

Basic's to check.

1. full shoulder turn

2. club swing path

3. keep left arm/elbow straighter on takeaway, check to make sure it does not bend excessively

4. proper wrist hinge at top of swing

5. tempo

6. long club arc radius, sweep the club low, both on takeaway and during swing

Club Rat

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Just remember that the better you get, the harder it is to improve. 100 to 90 and 80 to 70 might both be 10 shots, but would be very different journeys.

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Golf is erratic for the high handicap amateur. I've had a rough summer scoring but not much has changed. For me the difference between a good day and bad day is slim, say 5 strokes and typically it's a couple of bad holes not an entire day of bad golf. In fact it makes my scorecards look really uneven. I can shoot a half decent score like 81 and it will be something funky like 44/37. The two doubles I make on the front will be a score killer and unbelievably random. Last week I shot that exact score and it went something like this. I par the 1st hole with all good shots. I get to 2nd tee and toe it straight up in the air and right and the ball lands about 5 feet from the 1st green. Real WTF stuff that leaves me bewildered because in 4 years I haven't hit a shot like that. It leads to double and makes keeping it together for the remainder of the front tough. Insult to injury is typically a bad bounce a few holes later that makes me want to scream. On that day I had a ball roll into a fairway bunker not usually in range but the dry conditions let it roll about 40 yards longer than it should have because where rough should be is pretty much bare ground. I get to the ball and it jammed against the lip and can only punch it out and it leads to a bad luck double. Also good scores dropping out of the ten best can mess with your head if it takes you a few updates to replace them. You may be just a few strokes higher than your previous best rounds but it looks like you are trending up quick but nothing has really changed, across the board your average score is probably still the same. You just have to gut it out until a few good rounds come.
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Do you have a pre-shot routine?

One may assume that every player does, but I have plenty of friends who don't really adhere to one and they're erratic off the tee.

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Do you have a pre-shot routine?

One may assume that every player does, but I have plenty of friends who don't really adhere to one and they're erratic off the tee.

I have worked on getting a routine but in all honesty, if I do have one, its terribly erratic to the point that its not a routine.  I do really need to buckle down and develop a good routine.

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These are all good points.  I know the pace of improvement will slow down the lower the score gets but I am going backwards.....that's the rough part.  I feel like I am right there though.  I have been hitting more 3 woods off the tee and that goes ok most of the time but then for whatever reason I go back to the driver and hit some OB.  One of these days I will figure it out.

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I've heard various people refer to the idea of scores going backward at points before they get better. Basically, a step backward (score-wise) to go forward. I hope that is where we both are and better days are ahead. As far as the pre-shot routine question. I do have one and follow it unless I've completely come unglued. Realistically, it can surely be better like everything else.
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These are all good points.  I know the pace of improvement will slow down the lower the score gets but I am going backwards.....that's the rough part.  I feel like I am right there though.  I have been hitting more 3 woods off the tee and that goes ok most of the time but then for whatever reason I go back to the driver and hit some OB.  One of these days I will figure it out.


Confidence off the tee is all mental. You might try taking on the attitude that if you hit a tree, then you hit a tree. At your handicap, I would imagine that a bad drive is not going to kill your hole, it just means a longer scramble? It is for me at least.

Think "scramble" and don't worry if your driver is going off line a little bit. That attitude has helped me. I had a horrible round yesterday, but just plodded on and hit longer clubs for my approaches. Still shot 49 on 10 holes and my typical is around 45 or 40-41 on 9 holes. Those 4 extra strokes were all from bad tee shots, but I just didn't really let it get to me.

This small change in attitude should make you more comfortable on your tee shots, and possibly hit less bad ones? Bad driving days will always happen, too. Not a big deal, just move on.

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Just remember that the better you get, the harder it is to improve. 100 to 90 and 80 to 70 might both be 10 shots, but would be very different journeys.

QFT... Improvement becomes exponentially more difficult the better you become. In the meantime, this may be helpful.... [CONTENTEMBED=/t/54840/simple-specific-slow-short-and-success-the-five-s-s-of-great-practice layout=block][/CONTENTEMBED]

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This year, its my driving accuracy.  I have not been able to hit anything in play and its ballooning my score every round I play.

Has anybody else been in a season long slump and what did you do to get over it?  I have lost confidence on the tee and I have been dedicating more range time to the driver but its not helping so far.  The misses are both ways and its very frustrating.

Yeah, something similar happened to me.  For the past few years I've been driving the ball fairly consistently.  Then last July my season ended due to a severe foot injury.  (My foot never did recover completely.  My left foot is a half size larger in shoe size now than it was before.  lol)

This spring, as I was starting to play again, I struggled mightily off the tee.  No consistency at all.  No rhyme or reason to my misses.  I could hit a snap hook at one tee, and slice it into the woods on the next hole.  And we all know how difficult it is to play a round if you can't hit a fairway.  It really takes all the fun out of golf.  So I started hitting the range, working solely on my driver.  It took about 15 jumbo buckets over the course of a month, but I've finally grooved a tee shot that holds up during a round.   I don't really have any swing thoughts or hand manipulations now, but I do pay more attention to setup/alignment and follow through.

Good luck, man!   I feel your pain. :-D

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This has happened to me the last few years as I got much better at the game.  Going from a 25-30 HC to a single digit in a 5 year span has had lots of bumps and bruises.  This year alone I have not played well as I have hovered around the 11-12 HC zone.  My best score was a few days ago where I shot a legit 76.  Seems like this time of the year the past 2 years I all of the sudden start hitting the ball much better and I tend to creep around the 8-10 HC zone.

At least for me, my biggest issue has been taking a lot of time off after October and spend all winter in the gym.  By the time I get back out in April, my swing has gone to pot and it takes me several months to regain my swing and confidence again.  This time around I am going to change it up some and not lift weights as much and spend more time on the range, course, or at home hitting balls to keep the feel in order so when March/April comes around I am not playing catchup again.

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