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A little about me, I've been playing this amazing game for 20+ years and have taken lessons on and off for years. Of course it's hard to make those lessons stick with a military schedule, but I do my best to commit useful changes to muscle memory. And thankfully I'm retiring in a year so I plan to have a much more consistent playing/practicing schedule!

My swing has never been perfect, but I mange to get around courses fine and lately I've ran into trouble trying to overcome some very obvious swing flaws. It's hard to say how I got to this current point, but here's the issue. 

Physically, I don't have anything hampering my swing, but for whatever reason when I address the ball, my body refuses to make a full turn. It's not Charles Barkely bad, but it's clearly a hacked off swing. Practice swings are fine - I'm aware the club face is typically jacked up during those swings - but my actually swing is literally 1/2 or 3/4 of my practice swing. I do the sequence drills and can do a full turn easily, but I seem to have developed a mental block when it comes to my full swing. The current coach reminds me to start my downswing when my left shoulder is over my right foot and I try to remember that, but it's as my body stubbornly refuses to cooperate. 

All that said, I'm 43, in decent shape and I'm leaving stupid distance on the table at the moment. Have any of you had mental blocks that impacted your swing? If so, what did you do to get past them? 

I appreciate any feedback and of course the inevitable snarky comments from @yungkory 😎

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43 minutes ago, mr.hicksta said:

in decent shape 

I appreciate any feedback

Decent shape is an understatement.    

I think you have too many big muscles to swing efficiently.   You need to get some couch time and let those muscles get a bit flabby 🤣

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I think you just need to stop being a lil b-word and rotate so you stop getting outdriven by my shmedium tee dad bod having ass #arccossaid320 #korywas15yardsfurther

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3 hours ago, yungkory said:

I think you just need to stop being a lil b-word and rotate so you stop getting outdriven by my shmedium tee dad bod having ass #arccossaid320 #korywas15yardsfurther

On cue 😤

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15 hours ago, cnosil said:

Decent shape is an understatement.    

I think you have too many big muscles to swing efficiently.   You need to get some couch time and let those muscles get a bit flabby 🤣

Beat me to it. If he is decent shape I am Jobba the hut. 

 

Have you tried slow motion swings? Full swings at half speed and slowly ramp up.

One thing that has helped me complete the turn is just focusing on generating power through my lower body and letting upper body follow.

Or maybe get some custom balls made with @yungkory face on them. Pretty sure the half swing would go away.

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On 7/7/2022 at 3:27 PM, mr.hicksta said:

All that said, I'm 43, in decent shape and I'm leaving stupid distance on the table at the moment. Have any of you had mental blocks that impacted your swing? If so, what did you do to get past them? 

 

...  Obviously your mental problems have nothing to do with your technique or ability. I have said many times really good athletes can have a more difficult time with golf compared to other sports because they are reactionary and golf is static with all the time in the world to have your brain sabotage your swing/game. We see excellent 3 point shooters in the flow of the game knock down 3's like a layup, bit occasionally all alone in the corner with plenty of time to line up the shot, shoot an airball because they are thinking and not just reacting. 

... About 7-8 years ago I developed the yips off the tee and it was difficult to even start my takeaway with the rest of the swing hitchy and erratic. I had to tee off with an iron for a little while to just refresh my mind. I wish I could name one thing that turned it around for me, but unfortunately it just took time and patience with a desire to fix the problem. 

... All that said the true fix is concentrating on the execution and not the results. Clearly your practice swing is basically problem free (yungkory comment here) with a full turn. It isn't until you are confronted with a ball and an actual shot that your brain takes over out of fear of a bad shot. Granted "fear" and you are probably not the best words to use but it illustrates my point. The best advice I can give and I know it was one of my solutions is simply not caring where your tee shot goes. It isn't as easy as it sounds of course because as a competitor, of course you care where your ball ends up but it is the only way to free your mind to execute your real swing like you practice swing. I saw this with too many students to count ghat took a decent/good practice swing but when hitting a ball turned into a completely different golfer. The irony is one of the things that will free you of your mental jprison is hitting some really bad hooks/slices with a free swing and full turn because you then learn to just swing and accept the consequences, which eventually leads to a freer swing and better results. We just can't say enough how crazy this game is. 

 

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When I have bad days I walk up to the ball and take my stance, I then close my eyes taking a few deep breaths and clear my mind of everything. Clearing your mind is key then open your eyes and swing who cares how far back and just be happy with it that helped me a lot. That or happy Gilmore that son of a gun 😂😂😂😂

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Your issue isn't what you think it is.  The reason you're unable to take a full backswing on normal shots is because your mind knows you're out of position and can't hit the ball correctly if you take a full swing. Your mind is really trying to help you hit the ball straight.

I promise you, if you close your eyes and swing you'll be able to swing fully... even over the ball. It may not be the result you want for the direction, but you'll be able to swing. 

If this works hit me back for more help.  In the mean time, check out the guys on AMG GOLF on YouTube. Best guys out there for help.

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10 hours ago, chisag said:

 

...  Obviously your mental problems have nothing to do with your technique or ability. I have said many times really good athletes can have a more difficult time with golf compared to other sports because they are reactionary and golf is static with all the time in the world to have your brain sabotage your swing/game. We see excellent 3 point shooters in the flow of the game knock down 3's like a layup, bit occasionally all alone in the corner with plenty of time to line up the shot, shoot an airball because they are thinking and not just reacting. 

... About 7-8 years ago I developed the yips off the tee and it was difficult to even start my takeaway with the rest of the swing hitchy and erratic. I had to tee off with an iron for a little while to just refresh my mind. I wish I could name one thing that turned it around for me, but unfortunately it just took time and patience with a desire to fix the problem. 

... All that said the true fix is concentrating on the execution and not the results. Clearly your practice swing is basically problem free (yungkory comment here) with a full turn. It isn't until you are confronted with a ball and an actual shot that your brain takes over out of fear of a bad shot. Granted "fear" and you are probably not the best words to use but it illustrates my point. The best advice I can give and I know it was one of my solutions is simply not caring where your tee shot goes. It isn't as easy as it sounds of course because as a competitor, of course you care where your ball ends up but it is the only way to free your mind to execute your real swing like you practice swing. I saw this with too many students to count that took a decent/good practice swing but when hitting a ball turned into a completely different golfer. The irony is one of the things that will free you of your mental prison is hitting some really bad hooks/slices with a free swing and full turn because you then learn to just swing and accept the consequences, which eventually leads to a freer swing and better results. We just can't say enough how crazy this game is. 

 

That's good stuff, thanks! I know some of it has to do with the fact that this is the most I've played in months, and I'm confident that once I'm able to get to the range regularly I should get back on track. And when I do get back to the range, I absolutely intend on swing with no regard for where the ball goes so I can break out of this funk!

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1 hour ago, mr.hicksta said:

That's good stuff, thanks! I know some of it has to do with the fact that this is the most I've played in months, and I'm confident that once I'm able to get to the range regularly I should get back on track. And when I do get back to the range, I absolutely intend on swing with no regard for where the ball goes so I can break out of this funk!

Yeah I wouldn't be too worried. Practice swing is perfect. Once you're able to forget the result of the shot, you'll figure it out!

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You need to fool the brain by doing something totally opposite than what you have been doing during the swing.

Warm up with 20 or so left handed swings, finishing around your body.

Then when you play, start your right handed swing from the finish position instead of the normal static position of the club behind the ball. The momentum coming back from the finish position through the normal address position should help you go back further in your back swing. This feeling will be helped because you got there with the left handed practice swings. 

You can also try addressing the ball, standing up, swinging to a full back swing, then bending forward, then finish the swing. This more awkward and less free flowing than the first suggestion, but it gets the job done.

Really anything different, but those 2 suggestions have generally worked.

Please let me know if this helps.

 

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I too had this problem, then my golf instructor told me to read a book called ZEN Golf. I thought he was crazy, but I ordered it off of Amazon and it changed my game. It is a very short book and I go back to it quite often. You will think it is a waste of time when you start, but stick with it, it's worth it.

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Lots of great advice, swing thoughts, and techniques mentioned here. What works for me might entail making a change in your swing so take this with a grain of salt.. but it works miracles for me when I feel things becoming unhinged a little. 

Something that I've been doing on my pre-swing routine is the lag exaggeration drill. When I apply this to my actual live swing, the byproduct is a very complete and effortless rotation into a posed finish,  extra distance, and perfect compression with my irons. When in my swing, I'm not even thinking about the rotation at all but am able to find an extra bit of momentum and body turn that just forces the full rotation with no extra effort. 

The drill:

Make about 2/3 of your normal back swing. The drill is not a back swing drill so much as a follow through drill. I started this drill when my back swing was getting ridiculously long and I need to shorten it quite a bit but maintain power and a full rotation with control. In the moment, you'll probably end up making a fuller back swing. I still try to keep it shorter as to not leave myself a longer turn to get lost in. 

So 2/3 back swing, and then keeping your tilt and rotating through the swing, hold off the butt end in the direction of the target for as long as you can until you just can't hold it off any longer (don't release). Take 2 practice turns just rotating from the held-off position back into your back swing and back through the held off end, and on the 3rd, complete the follow through with the same held-off feel and then release the club right at the end and into your finish. Then I go right back and do the full hold-off for 1 rotation and then 1 hold-off with a full release again.. then step into my swing position to the ball. 

You'll find that this drill really helps find more torso rotation on the back swing and takes more of the arms out of the swing as well as gets the body rotating more on the follow through before the club releases. When the club does release, you're already a half rotation ahead of where you normally would be and then the momentum of the releasing club just whips you into a full follow through and a high posing finish. 

Hopefully that didn't get lost in translation and makes some kind of sense. 😜

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would develop a simple, rock-solid pre-shot routine and use it on every shot.  Practice the routine.  Take it to the course. Develop the mindset that the only thing that matters is that you follow the pre-shot routine. The results should fall into place. 

MIne is basically this... pick a very exact, small target. Address ball with feet together, aim clubhead, step feet to full stance, waggle once, fire away. Simple, repeatable.

Concentrate on the motions and the demons will be vanquished.

Watch the pros on TV repeat their routines.

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

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This happens to me more times than I'd care to admit, and it's even worse when playing with a $4 ball with a carry over water.  Several things I've tried include..........

Taking a stance further away from the ball.  This forces full arm extension and puts focus on swing path rather than ball contact.

Pretending to lay up on the shot.  This relaxes me, slows my backswing, improves tempo, and seems to allow for good contact, and a more effortless swing.

Choking up on a wood or hybrid to mimic iron loft can allow me to hit past water and bunkers and then chip back toward the hole.  Any fear or pressure of using an iron is eliminated by blasting past trouble.   Crude, but effective.  

The last thing I'll suggest, is to walk nine holes alone with your irons, and just hit each one to gain better feel and familiarity with each.  Accept the bad shots, and build off the good ones.  I'll do this several times a year, and it's a nice refresher.  

Yes, I carry a high handicap, but it's one I can live with as a man in his sixties with shoulder problems.  Hope these suggestions help.  Good luck in your journey!

 

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Sounds like ball-bound tension. Find a way to be moving before you start the takeaway… a waggle, hovering the club and starting in front of the ball, anything except grounding the club behind the ball and starting from a static position. Also monitor grip pressure. Start light to medium and don’t increase it. These things work for me. 

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Hello. Reading your post I thought you were in your 60’s .. then you said you were going to retire in a few years at 43. Congratulations on that. Too many swing thoughts and positions to obtain ie 90 degrees shoulder turn , shallow the club etc. I am 62 and came to the conclusion that the modern swing you see on your tv or on numerous you tubers is just not obtainable for normal people. Take a look and try a more vertical minimal turn method ie Don Trahan. It has transformed my game. Ball striking has never been better. I have been playing for 30 years. 

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First off. Congrats on your upcoming retirement and thank you for your service. I retired from US Army (Hoo Ah!) many years ago and recently from my second career.  Enjoy your time, you've earned it.  I sincerely hope you are able to glean some assistance from these good folks. Play well and enjoy yourself. Have fun.

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@mr.hicksta is it more that you’re getting stuck on the way back or just making what I call a “fake turn” that’s really all arms? When I’m going bad, it is almost always due to me having too much wrist in the takeaway, which puts my arms at the top of the backswing before I’ve had a chance to complete my turn. I usually don’t realize I’ve done it until the ball starts right and moves farther right.  Two thoughts that have unlocked my swing and freed me up mentally are.

 

1) Take your time on the way back: I’m definitely on the slow side during takeaway, not Sungjae slow, but definitely on the deliberate side.

2) Stop thinking about “hitting the ball” or “putting a good swing on it” and instead simply think about your target and sending the ball to it. There’s a whole thread here on this subject that really helped me.

Keep swinging and you’ll find it!

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