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How do you respond when not playing well?


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Here’s an interesting topic I’ve given a bit of thought to recently while struggling with my swing. Is it better to forget about it and maybe take some time off or go right back to grinding and practicing to work through whatever issues you’re having? I’ve seen pros on opposite ends of the spectrum. Bryson is known for heading straight to the range post round while Bubba has said if he’s off then why waste time making more bad swings. Obviously this is player specific so I’d like to hear everyone’s thoughts.

 

Personally, when I’m off, I want to go to the range. It really eats at me and all I can think about is going to the range to work things out. I really just need to hit some good shots to get some confidence before I move on. Sometimes I find something and other times I just need to reset and go back to a feel or thought that has worked in the past.

 

Last week I felt like I had lost my swing, bad enough I was embarrassed at the range. Had a lesson with my coach and felt like what he had me working on was making things worse. Couldn’t help but spend time chipping around in my backyard and was able to kind of reset my swing. Played yesterday with no expectations and was pleasantly surprised to be swinging really well. I feel like I had to reset before trying to move forward with what my coach was having me work on.

 

 

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Player dependant seems most likely. I don't think going straight to the range after a round is a good idea, unless you're confident on what you were doing wrong and know you're able to correct it. For me it's either a mental or tempo issue so I like to take a break for a day or two. 

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Interesting subject.   My answer would have been different 10 years ago.   

Personally, I don't do anything to address bad swings and poor performance other than pout.  There is a good reason for this, my body won't let me.

If I go hit a large bucket of balls and it goes badly, I just can't hit anymore balls to fix it, I'm physically kaput.   Can do short game stuff, but no more swinging.  This has actually helped my game overall.

Same if I play on the course, I might be able to go from the course to the range and make a couple of swings but it isn't worth it, the body again, I get stiff and sore.

Have to wait to the next day.  Maybe it is for the best.  My swing is never the same from day to day anyway.   Meanwhile, there are some nice cold long-necks PBRs to drink.

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Great topic, 

Wish I was better on practice after  18 holes.  19th gets in my way.  I have issue with blow up holes and trying not to let one lead to 2-3.   Slowing my walk and getting mind off the problem, helps some.   I have stopped after nine when I got totally frustrated and headed to the range to work on things.  

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  • 5 weeks later...

Agree this is a great topic, 

Trying to personally work on minimizing bad hole stretches - one shot vs 2 bad holes.  What seems to work is spending a little more time on slow and deliberate warm up swings.   Given my state is red with covid many times arrive 10 minutes before tee time and walk out- so need to be more reasonable with myself that bad shots will happen.                  

long and straight!

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I'm not much of a range rat. For me, I just walk away from a bad round. Now one thing to keep in mind is your level of play. A lower handicap players idea of a bad round is different from a higher handicap players. So for me as an example, a normal round would be 72 to 74 and a bad round could be 77 to 78.  So that change in score could be something minor over the course of the round. Green speed, deeper rough, compacted sand traps after a rain, wind, and stuff like that. Sure maybe a bad shot or two. Not typically a swing issue.

But if I felt it was a swing issue I would work on it at home. I have better tools there than at the driving range. I have a simulator and a Mevo to give me the data to analyze the problem. January and February is simulator season for me. I will try to play new year's day and then call it season until Early March. But the simulator at least lets me play all year long.

I do use the range for about 10 balls before my round. Typically five drives and five 8 or 9 irons just to warm up. 

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This is a tough one. Be careful watching what pros do though. A guy like Bryson knows his flaws. He has a coach with him at the range. He has a launch monitor at the range. They know exactly what is going and on, or have the ability to quickly diagnose it, and have worked on drills in the past to address specific issues. 

 

I generally find that when I have a poor swing, I just have a poor swing that day. Any additional practice after a round is either discouraging or reinforcing a bad motion. Better to step away unless you truly know what you are doing. Or work on something else like chipping or hitting little pitch shots were you can build some confidence and maybe that the emotion and the small technique work its way through the bag. 

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Two approaches;

If on the range and things go bad - generally a driver or wood, I'll switch to my wedges and try to shrug off the long club misses. When I do go back later to those clubs I intentionally slow down my swing and focus on technique.

If on the course, I just blow off the bad hole as a anomaly. In the past it would bug me for the next 3 or 4 holes - causing even more disastrous results. I've spent a lot of time on the mental side of the game so now I just move on and not let the previous hole bother me. My bigger issue is when I start out well, say the first 4 or 5 holes and I'm hitting them well, I start thinking 'this could be my best round ever' hmmm not.


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  • 2 weeks later...

This is something that I am working on.  Keeping my head on straight.  I played with our pro at our club this past summer and asked him to take a look at my swing and give me any feedback.  The only thing he said was to lower expectations.  As a low single digit handicap, that was tough to process.  I realized later the root point of his comment is to relax and just play take each shot as it is and play the next without the previous shot affecting you.  Which is difficult but it helped me a ton.  Played better and enjoyed the game more...I don't get paid to play this silly game that we devote so much energy to so why get upset (again easier said than done at times).

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I will add two more tangible actions during a round:

I think about slowing down.  If I see wheels are wobbling, take deep breathes, and slow down the swing (slow count 1 annnnnnnnnd 2).  I will tend to get quick when I get anxious.  

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Have had real trouble with this situation, 1 or 2 bad holes in a row or 5 had shots on the range.  Have worked on focusing more with slow practice swings (think low and slow for takeaway)  to break out of it.  Need to get better at this mental confidence sinker.   BTW, this is a great set of answers to what I believe is a very common topic, and everyone reacts differently.  My tendency has been to swing faster - a great way to add strokes.           

long and straight!

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