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Struggle with consistency terribly, looking for suggestions


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#1 mister2cool

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:28 PM

Just had a two day golf tournaments and my frustration has really reached a boiling point.
Day 1, the swing was on point, hit 11 out 14 fairways and 13 GIR. Short game was not just bad, it was non-existent, 6x 3 putts, and pretty sure there were a few more where I putted from fringe so they didn't count as 3 putt. Pitches and chips were all over the place and made 1 up and down all day! Shot 85 feeling like I left tons out there.
Day 2, swing disappeared after 2 holes. Every shot was a club and half shorter even on solid hits, chunk\thin irons,  topped 3 wood..push\pull,  you name it, I had it. If there's water somewhere, I found it somehow. then short game came back alive and had 1 bad pitch, 1 3 putt, drained one and nearly another from the fringe. Shot 89 feeling like I used all my magic not to blow past 90.

I have had inconsistencies before but never this drastic. I use to always accepted it as part of the game of a mostly weekend golfer. However, this complete polar opposite of two days really ticked me off. I am a 5 HDCP so I have a little bit of game and should be able to manage it better than this. My questions for the more accomplished players, how do you manage things being different from one day to the next and somehow find a way to adjust in order to grind out a respectable score. And when things starts to go sideways in the middle of a round, how do you control the bleeding and try to get back on track?

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Putter... Nothing Works....

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#2 MonteScheinblum

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 01:36 PM

There are three main things that improve consistency.

1.  Make your technique better.
2.  Practice/play more.
3.  Improve mental approach
Did you see him smacked up
And cracked up
With his tongue on his chin
And his club in his hand,
Swinging from the rafters
Like a real RocknRolla

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#3 mister2cool

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:10 PM

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 11 September 2017 - 01:36 PM, said:

There are three main things that improve consistency.

1.  Make your technique better.
2.  Practice/play more.
3.  Improve mental approach

Hi Monte
Thanks for the points.
Can you elaborate a little more on the mental aspects? more specifically when a part of the game leaves you, or never showed up that day, how do you try to hold things together? On day 2 I kept trying to tell myself that I just did this yesterday, I know how to do this and tried not to think about swing techniques as I know it would only make things worse.
I think I was a bit tired on day 2, early morning vs afternoon, so the swing was not as in sync as day 1 once coffee wore off. First two holes on day 2 were going great, both were par 5's and I nearly birdied both. First one was 480 with water cut off fairway, I hit 4 iron and 3 hybrid and was 5 yds in front of the green. 2nd hole my tee shot didn't clear the tip of a tree at dogleg and ended in a bunker, laid up and missed a big swinger birdie putt by 8 inches. Then it was gone just like that. I guess mentally I didn't really know how to deal with such a sudden change.

Also I want to add that I do see the inconsistency in practice as well. I go to range pretty much everyday for 1 to 1.5 hour after work. Some days I would hit great, and some days it was more garden work and I had to spend some time to figure out what went wrong.

Edited by mister2cool, 11 September 2017 - 02:13 PM.

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Putter... Nothing Works....

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#4 MonteScheinblum

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 02:43 PM

Telling yourself to do it like yesterday, not onky doesn't work, it usually makes it worse.

Each shot in front of you, do the best you can.
Did you see him smacked up
And cracked up
With his tongue on his chin
And his club in his hand,
Swinging from the rafters
Like a real RocknRolla

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#5 mister2cool

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 03:14 PM

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 11 September 2017 - 02:43 PM, said:

Telling yourself to do it like yesterday, not onky doesn't work, it usually makes it worse.

Each shot in front of you, do the best you can.

Maybe I haven't gotten what you are trying to say, but I really haven't gotten anything useful. I know you are a great instructor and have made huge contribution to people on this forum. However, what you said so far is no more than what a stranger from a Sunday afternoon group would tell me if he heard this story. I am sure you can tell me a lot more than this.

Maybe someone can share some experiences how they were able to hold a shaky round together, and any mental points or techniques to grind out a respectable score on the day only your C game showed up.

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Putter... Nothing Works....

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#6 chippa13

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:14 PM

It is very simple really; don't be thinking about the last shot but be thinking about the next shot. Pull a club that you can hit with confidence and just build from there.

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#7 MonteScheinblum

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 04:55 PM

View Postmister2cool, on 11 September 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 11 September 2017 - 02:43 PM, said:

Telling yourself to do it like yesterday, not onky doesn't work, it usually makes it worse.

Each shot in front of you, do the best you can.

Maybe I haven't gotten what you are trying to say, but I really haven't gotten anything useful. I know you are a great instructor and have made huge contribution to people on this forum. However, what you said so far is no more than what a stranger from a Sunday afternoon group would tell me if he heard this story. I am sure you can tell me a lot more than this.

Maybe someone can share some experiences how they were able to hold a shaky round together, and any mental points or techniques to grind out a respectable score on the day only your C game showed up.

I'm sure the entire forum and even the mods would not blame me for telling you where you can put your snide and dismissive remarks, but it is this dismissive thinking why you're inconstant.

This approach was repeated by the next repsndent in the thread and the two greatest mental players in the history of the game (Woods and Nicklaus) are often heard describing this.

It's more likely a technique issue.
Did you see him smacked up
And cracked up
With his tongue on his chin
And his club in his hand,
Swinging from the rafters
Like a real RocknRolla

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#8 robbohank

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 05:16 PM

If "Ranger Rick" is inconsistent I don't see how one could say it's not a technique issue. Finding a way to stay positive and deal with the next shot (rather than worrying about what's already happened) is probably the only way you have a chance of "keeping it together" during a round.

I find it hard to believe that anyone (regardless of handicap) who's worked at the game suddenly has some massive (or even small) change in their swing action during a round or even day to day. If that were the case then swing changes would be easy to make. I bet if you video taped all 85 and 89 swings they'd all look the same. Something in the motion isn't right and needs to be fixed.

Another possibility is that you were getting sloppy with your setup?  The same swing on 2 balls that are located in a different location relative to you will create a different result.

I don't need to defend Monte but please.

Edited by robbohank, 11 September 2017 - 05:17 PM.


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#9 chippa13

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 05:21 PM

Agreed, I'd say that 90% of the time when a slouch like me "loses his swing" it is really setup that is the issue. I'll remind myself to put a little more focus on ball and target alignment and then I can usually get back to a better strike.

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#10 Santiago Golf

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:04 PM

I look at my game in four round peroid with a fun 9 thrown in. A good round would be 73-75, a great round is anything lower and  normal round is 76-78, 79-83 is bad and anything higher is awful.
Great Round +2
Good Round +1
Normal 0
Bad Round -1
Awful Round -2

After 4 rounds i add up my score.  
>3, 100% performance practice
2-1, 75/25 performance/technique
0-1, 50/50
-2, 25/75
<-3 100 technique practice

After the one or two practice sessions, i will play a nine by myself working on technique and not keeping score. Then its back to the four round cycle.

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#11 mister2cool

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 07:13 PM

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 11 September 2017 - 04:55 PM, said:

View Postmister2cool, on 11 September 2017 - 03:14 PM, said:

View PostMonteScheinblum, on 11 September 2017 - 02:43 PM, said:

Telling yourself to do it like yesterday, not onky doesn't work, it usually makes it worse.

Each shot in front of you, do the best you can.

Maybe I haven't gotten what you are trying to say, but I really haven't gotten anything useful. I know you are a great instructor and have made huge contribution to people on this forum. However, what you said so far is no more than what a stranger from a Sunday afternoon group would tell me if he heard this story. I am sure you can tell me a lot more than this.

Maybe someone can share some experiences how they were able to hold a shaky round together, and any mental points or techniques to grind out a respectable score on the day only your C game showed up.

I'm sure the entire forum and even the mods would not blame me for telling you where you can put your snide and dismissive remarks, but it is this dismissive thinking why you're inconstant.

This approach was repeated by the next repsndent in the thread and the two greatest mental players in the history of the game (Woods and Nicklaus) are often heard describing this.

It's more likely a technique issue.

I meant no disrespect and certainly wasn't trying to be dismissive. I have been on this site for a long time and I know you have a great wealth of knowledge and many have benefited from your help. The points you listed seemed so abstract and generic, and I felt like they could apply to just about any question, that's why I said that maybe I didn't quite get your point because I wasn't sure how any of the 3 points would help me mid-round.

I certainly wasn't trying to tell myself that I could repeat what I did yesterday when clearly the swing wasn't there. I was trying to take my mind off overthinking the techniques, which I had also done in the past and didn't work very well either. I agree wholeheartedly that there must be some technique issue. I am no touring pro and there surely is plenty of issues. What I was trying to get to is that when things are not working out for whatever reason, what are some of the things one can do to try to hold things together, or maybe even right the ship. It seems that whatever I did hasn't worked so I wanted to hear some ideas what others have tried and had positive results. I know to keep a positive attitude and keep grinding, just wondering if there's more I can do.

Edited by mister2cool, 12 September 2017 - 09:48 AM.

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Putter... Nothing Works....

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#12 sb944

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 08:37 AM

Not an accomplished player, but had some experience from other sports.  Firstly, you need to get your confidence (or get it back).  There is no magic pill to this, it's getting on the course and knowing you are going to be on top of your game, because you have worked as hard as you can behind the scenes.  In terms of golf, that's knowing your current swing is as good as you can get it, and that you have some goto fixes if things are going a little left or right or short.  If you don't have the time or energy to get that confidence, the likely result will be inconsistency I'd think.

Secondly, if you have got the confidence to stand over the ball from your training, you need to do everything you can to hit the best shot.  Work on a solid pre shot routine, visualise the shot shape, have one or two simple swing thoughts if possible.  So now we know we can hit it well, because we've trained hard, we approach every shot the same way, in order to keep current shot nerves down.  We've now done all we can to hit the ball well.

Finally, think of emotions like a cloud in your mind, getting in between your logic and your decision making.  Whether it's a single terrible shot, or a series of bad shots that sets you off, once you get enough cloudiness in your brain, all bets are off.  This shouldn't be taken lightly, it takes a lot of work to understand where your mind is at, and there is no easy cure either.  Before I learned this in other sports, I would say emotions played way too big a part in my game, and I didn't even realise it.  I always thought I only got affected when I was at 110%, but even a low level frustration can make you do stupid things.  Take a step back and think about how you are feeling after a bad result.  More than likely, you are already pretty frustrated.  When you think of the next shot, it's not a thought of "I feel relaxed about my driver, what's a good spot to aim", it's "why do I always miss those", "I need to birdie this next hole to make up for that", "I'm going to smash this drive", etc.  It's sometimes very subtle, but extremely damaging.  

On this final point, you can't talk yourself out of the anger.  Let's say you are thinking bad thoughts at the tee box, you can ask your brain to drop it and just relax, but your brain is not listening to logic, it's filled with emotion.  You will hear this mentioned by pros sometimes, but a good technique is to focus on your breathing.  Take a minute to consciously focus on your breathing, get golf out of your brain.  You won't likely get rid of it all, but even if you reduce it 50%, you might be back to giving yourself a decent chance at a good result on the next shot.  Now go into your pre shot routine...

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#13 mister2cool

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:55 AM

Great points.I guess frustration could build even when things aren't falling apart yet. Two opening birdies that got away, building up from the frustration from the day before around the greens, probably set something off. I do recall thinking, multiple times throughout the day, that I needed to step up and get those shots back. I guess that probably did more harm than good.
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#14 Atrayn

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:35 AM

A simple lack of confidence can be a killer. Confidence comes with the proper technique.
A swing that has compensations of any kind can be a real killer especially with more than one swing fault.
There are great players that have the same problem. What separates them from average Joe is that they practice all the time and have the confidence to know that 95% of the time they will hit a good shot anyway.

Did you go to the range before you played?
Did you know what your swing that day was going to produce?
Do you have a go to shot that you know will at least leave you with a playable second?
Did you plan your shot direction for the potential bad shot?

etc
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#15 finleysg

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 10:42 AM

The variability you (and thousands of others) describe is just the nature of golf. It's a hard game. The best in the world have the same kinds of ups and downs. Their highs and lows are just way better than ours.

The advice about focusing only on the shot in front of you is absolutely spot on for tournament golf. To improve overall, pay attention to where you're leaking shots and work on those areas. Be a better ball striker. Become a better putter. The challenges to this game are endless.

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#16 glk

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 01:32 PM

Mechanic and learn to accept the results and look forward to the next shot.   I was a 5 3 years ago and I had the opportunity to take a lesson from Monte - could shoot 74 or 89, anticap was an 11.x. Posture was the only thing covered - mine was a train wreck. 4 or so more lessons - posture adjustments, transition, takeaway (club outside hands on takeaway and lots of work. Moved and went from playing 80 times a year to 15 the first year, about 25 last year, and playing plenty this year.   I dropped keeping a cap but Monte told me that he thought I could drop my upper scores  but getting lower . .. I've gained distance and accuracy.   I quit practicing and started just playing in May - since then my highest score has been an 82 heck I've been 7 over through 7 and still broke 80. Just this Sunday, played an am 9 with my wife - hadn't played in a week - 39, absolutely no warm up - was 5 yards short on our 494 yd 17th - driver, 5i - played our 420 up hiller into the wind driver, 7i to pin high.   I'm 67.   I'm having fun.

I just don't give a crap about were I hit it (easier said than done), my mechanics are so much better that I rarely hit some big stinker, I am confident even in face of a slow start or rough patch, I used to average about 1.5 doubles per round now I'm looking at a double every few rounds.   And if that scratchy round shows up then I'm still going to enjoy the day.

Edited by glk, 12 September 2017 - 01:33 PM.


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#17 Dsevans8

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 02:51 PM

I'm in a similar boat right now. Confidence has just been destroyed. Was playing some of the best golf earlier in the year and now I can't hit anything longer than 5i consistently. Really need to focus on my mental makeup and accepting what I have for the day and making that work for me.

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#18 mister2cool

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:30 PM

I am not losing confidence when the game is going south, and I do stay positive and have fun no matter what the score says. Many of my playing partners have said they were amazed how I could keep my composure and allow everyone to have a great time when most others would be cursing and throwing things. However, I just can't seem to find a way to break out a slump mid-round and that's what has really frustrated me.
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Putter... Nothing Works....

18

#19 glk

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    send it in jerome

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 03:34 PM

View Postmister2cool, on 12 September 2017 - 03:30 PM, said:

I am not losing confidence when the game is going south, and I do stay positive and have fun no matter what the score says. Many of my playing partners have said they were amazed how I could keep my composure and allow everyone to have a great time when most others would be cursing and throwing things. However, I just can't seem to find a way to break out a slump mid-round and that's what has really frustrated me.
Then you need to improve your swing

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