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edhalsim

Frustrated Golfer Syndrome

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Like me, does this sound like you?  No matter how hard you work on your game you never see any significant improvement that lasts?  You get anxious over shots because you may blade one over the green or miss a three footer?  You feel helpless which leads to anger, then self hatred because you feel like a failure?  Other family members can't understand why you get so upset over a game that you're supposed to enjoy?

Many of you have probably seen this:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-is-he-thinking/200904/frustrated-golfer-syndrome-causes-and-cures

I really struggle with this.  I'm not one to throw clubs or throw a tantrum, but I do get enraged and after 2 or 3 bad holes during a round, usually when I hit a shot that I couldn't hit on the range even if I tried.  My biggest problem is putting.  I know I have a good stroke (I can drain 50-75% of 12 footers in my garage all day long), but when I'm over a three footer on the course I feel like I'm putting on a knife's edge that will cause the ball to miss unless I hit it right along the edge;  like there's an invisible wall blocking the hole.  Of course, I get more upset when I see my friends routinely drain 15-20 footers.

My head is really preventing me from playing at the level I know I'm capable of.  If you've been there and have discovered something that's helped you, I'd love to hear from you.  Thanks.

 

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First, set realistic expectations.  Nobody "routinely" makes 15 and 20 footers.  Others know the statistics better than I do, but I'm pretty sure that the tour players make just about half of their putts from 8 to 9 feet.  For an 8 or 9 handicap, I think you should realistically expect to make half of your putts when you get to 5 or 6 feet.  Half.  From 10 feet, you're simply going to miss most of your putts.  From 20 feet, you're going to miss almost all of them.  Its a lot like hitting in baseball, if you define a failure as not getting a hit, or as missing a 15 foot putt, you're going to fail most of the time.  For me, success on a 20 foot putt is a tap-in on my second putt.

The other part of this is to focus less on the result, and more on the process.  Pick a line and speed, and then execute that.  If you do it right, hit it on your selected line, and the ball finishes a little past the hole, and it still misses, you've made a good stroke.  Remember that success when you're getting ready for your next putt.  And if you're not doing one of those well, not hitting your chosen line, or not getting the speed right, you know what you need to work on.

Last, try the serenity prayer.  

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference.
 

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First, GOLF IS HARD! 

Second, I would say 99% of the time it's your golf swing not your mental game. 

In the end, the mental game is a very small aspect of the golf game. To many times people don't realize it's just their golfing ability that is holding them back. They only focus on the good shots and don't realize that the bad shots are part of their swing faults and not their mental game. 

Still, in some regard golfers can be over analytical when playing golf. This is something I struggle with. Here are two good threads on that. 

In the end you are playing at the level of golf you should be playing at. If you struggle with putts inside of 5 feet then practice them till they don't become a weakness for you. 

21 minutes ago, edhalsim said:

Like me, does this sound like you?  No matter how hard you work on your game you never see any significant improvement that lasts?  

Are you truly practicing to improve a single aspect of your golf game or are you just hitting ball after ball with no specific purpose? You should ask yourself these questions every time you go to practice,

What is my priority piece in my swing or singular aspect of my game I am going to work on? How am I going about working on it? Here are two good threads on how to practice, 

Practice should always be done with the intent on improving a specific item in your golf swing or singular area in your golf game. It should be done with purpose and focus. 

32 minutes ago, edhalsim said:

You feel helpless which leads to anger, then self hatred because you feel like a failure?  Other family members can't understand why you get so upset over a game that you're supposed to enjoy?

Then don't get upset. You can control your own emotions. 

 

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37 minutes ago, saevel25 said:

Then don't get upset. You can control your own emotions. 

I believe a lot of people have real difficulty in controlling their emotions.  Emotions, desires, attractions, lots of these are involuntary.  What we HAVE to learn to control is our reaction to emotions.  

For me, controlling my goals and expectations is a way of managing, or maybe manipulating, my emotions.  I'm trying to define success, in advance, as something I can realistically achieve a good percentage of the time.  If I succeed, even if the result isn't perfect, I can still be happy and confident moving to the next shot.  

I still fail, golf really IS hard, so I try to define myself not by whether I "fail" on a particular shot, but by how I react to that "failure."  So I make a bad stroke on this putt, or I make a poor choice by taking on too much risk, I can't fix that, I can just try to plan the next shot correctly and then hit the shot correctly.  

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Just have to get out there and have fun and play. If I start getting overly serious all it takes is reminding myself golf isn't my job and a couple strokes here and there isn't going to ruin my day. Whether I shoot 75 or 85 reality is it's not like I am playing at a crazy high level. Swing to swing those rounds probably look nearly identical it's just a couple bad choices and bounces that end up being the difference.

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That's a tough one. .how not to get mad at something that makes you mad . . . .

You already know the answer - just don't get mad about it.  Easier said than done.  Golf is not something that makes me mad but I have my issues elsewhere.  If I were a pro, I assure you golf would make me mad.  Lucky for me I totally suck. 

 

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I was listening to pga tour radio, a session about formal practice. To write down what you are going to work on , bring it with you to the range.They suggested us amateurs practice haphazardly, try one thing, it results in one bad shot, we change our approach and then hit 10 shots differently.No baseline, no method to see if we are improving.

Then the brain sits in and I get pissed.

Tried that yesterday, (I'm currently working on grip and club face) to get an idea how only two variables effect my strike. Wrote down what to work on, brought it with me, 10 balls each position, wrote down the results. got a baseline. It was difficult to stick with the exact same position 10 shots in a row, especially when I hit a shot that didn't meet my idea of success . 

I'm gonna try and stick with the most successful result (7/10) for a month see how it effects my HC and then revisit my next worst mistake in the same fashion.

Playing more golf, the same way, with the same, results and then being pissed is insanity. Its a freaking hard game

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Note: This thread is 1658 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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