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Hello all, I have been golfing for 7 years and playing competitive golf for 4 years and for the past 8 months i have been almost unable to drive the ball of the tee. Used to be a +1 handicap and now shooting in the 80's losing 4 balls a round. Not only with my driver, but also my 3 wood or even hybrid. My misses are crazy left, starting left and turning left. Unplayable. But on the practice range, i hit my driver fine. I even hit my 3 wood and hybrid fine on the course just not on the tee box. i have noticed that my grip feels strange and sees the grip changes at the end of the swing. does anyone have any idea what this might be?
I need some mental coaching...OK, OK...my friends would say "So what's new?" Here's my issue. My practice swing is full, smooth, and gives a powerful swoosh. Put a ball in front of me and my full swing turns into a short, quick, jerky movement. Over the past two years I have lost about 30 yards on my drives. My greens in regulation on par 4's are about zip. If it wasn't for the fact that I have a solid short game, I couldn't break 90 whereas before I was knocking on 80 regularly. It only effects my driver and fairway woods swing. My research says that I have a 'hit impulse' not 'full swing yips' as in Charles Barkley yips. I still shoot mid-80s but it is frustrating to give up so much distance off the tee. I have tried dropping my practice swing to reduce thinking too much (too many mechanical swing thoughts) and just taking aim and swinging. I have tried humming while swinging through the ball. Now I realize I need some mental coaching to get past this. Just hitting balls on the range doesn't work well but my swing on the range is better than on the course. Yes, I know, added pressure and that is the next part. Put a hazard, lake, trap or long carry in the mix and I am hooped. I might as well just throw the ball in the hazard and move to the drop zone. If you have any tips or know of some mental exercises that might work...I am willing to try. I have looked at the work of Dr. Patrick Cohn and David McKenzie but haven't taken that step yet as their programs are expensive. Maybe later.
Over the last few months, I have developed a major problem in my game. I tend to get frozen over the golf ball, and it feels like it takes FOREVER for me to be able to pull the trigger to start my swing. I have been taking lessons since mid November, and I believe they may be the cause of my issues. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely happy with both my instructor and the results I am seeing. My distance is up between 1.5 and 2 clubs, and my shot shape/trajectory/consistency/etc is far and away better than it was prior to lessons. I think my issue is that I am running too many thoughts through my head when I set up. It feels like I am conducting a pre-flight checklist every time I address the ball. I know this is making me a slow player, which I hate, and I'm sure drives my playing partners nuts. This seems to compound the mental pressure I put on myself before each shot. I make it a point to get my club selection, where I want to hit the ball, etc taken care of before it is my turn to hit, so that when I'm up I can do my pre-shot routine and hit the ball without even more delay. My preshot routine is as follows: 1) Take one practice swing 2) Stand behind my ball and lock in my target, club in left hand. 3) Sole club behind ball, and step into address. 4) Take one look at my target, and then look down to the ball. I tend to waggle the club while I do this. This is where the wheels come off... Instead of looking at the ball and then starting my swing, I get frozen. In my mind I start with the checklist, "right hip up and back, arms straight, extensor action, right elbow tight, ball first". Sometimes I can get this list down to one or two items, but it doesn't accelerate the process. While I am thinking of these things, I am setting my grip, and I wiggle my feet to get comfortable. It feels like I have to wiggle my feet about 20 times before I feel set. That part is extremely frustrating. This is driving me absolutely nuts. I just wish I could hit the damn ball instead of standing over it like a doofus for what feels like an eternity while I wiggle my feet like I'm standing on an ant hill. Have any of you had an issue like this, and if so, how did you overcome?