Losing Your Game. What to do when it all falls apart

I searched for a topic along these lines, but couldn’t really find a discussion about what people do around here when their game suddenly evaporates for some time. I’m not talking the one round a year where you implode for some unknown reason (though I’m open to that discussion too). I am talking about those prolonged periods where nothing feels right, you’re suddenly uncomfortable everywhere, and none of the usual things and fixes you’ve picked up over the years aren’t working anymore (this includes having a tune up lesson).

Full disclosure, I’m crowdsourcing some ideas here. I had my best year ever last season, and had two solid rounds to start this season off. Since then, my swing has totally evaporated, my chipping has somehow gotten worse, and putting, which I used to be pretty good at, is now probably the area I fear most. It’s been 3 months, and I’m getting a bit tired.

So, fellow refugees, how do you clear the mechanism and get back to playing some semi-decent golf?

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Go see the pro you trust for a lesson, who has helped you in the past. Someone who provides solid vibes that puts you back in the same frame of mind you were when you were playing well.

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I haven’t experienced this particular circle of hell in golf, but I’ve played enough sports to know that the best thing I can do for myself is put the gear down for a week or two and just try to get good at something completely unrelated. Teach your brain a new complex mechanical motion to dump all of your uncertainties into and get a little more in tune with how your body actually moves around.

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I vote for the first answer you got. The one I’m replying to, @1Goodman.

I take some time off, usually a week or two, and get into one of my other hobbies. After that, I come back fresh and give the basics a good once over, alignment, ball position, overall setup stuff. If things are still off, might be time for a lesson from a trusted pro, but I find the time away and starting fresh helps me. For me when things are going really wrong and I’m just hitting it all over the map, usually I can trace the issue back to a setup error.

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Jordan, is that you?

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Taps sign.

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Buy new clubs. Play left handed. Fire everyone on your team. Buy a Vette (may be my go to advice).

Seriously though. I’m a crap golfer but when my swing completely left me every single summer I would go to this crappy muni close to me where their driving range was on shit mats over water and I’d hit two big buckets every day until the swing returned.

Something about not caring for a few balls.

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The answer depends on the resources you have available to you. Personally, I have a pro that I work with along with video and trackman numbers from times I was playing well. Obviously, for me I go to the pro and evaluate the things I’m doing differently. Sometimes it can be as simple as taking time off, or playing casually without keeping score. Golf is hard and those times when you lose your swing are incredibly frustrating. Remember when you find it again to really enjoy it and get the satisfaction from your good play because you’ve earned it.

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Personally I try to focus on just hitting the ball straight. I slow everything - truly everything - down in my swing. Could care less if my driver goes 150. Did it find the fairway? Good. Do it again, and again, and again before picking the pace of the swing back up again, slowly but surely. It’s a #process but it does the trick for me.

When I have one aspect of my game go to absolute garbage (putting, or hard slices sometimes) that’s when I get a lesson and sort out what I’m doing wrong but can’t detect.

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Thanks for the suggestions thus far folks. I’ve taken a lesson with the pro at my course this year (unfortunately old school without a LM), which seemed to help momentarily, but the swing re-evaporated rather quickly.

Very likely I’ll take some time off once this week is done, or at the very least swap some rounds out for some focused practice.

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I’ve really struggled with my game for the last couple of years now whenever there’s a card in my hand. Regularly shoot in the 70s when playing with family/friends/bounce games, but whenever it’s a competition I really struggle. Gone up two shots on my handicap.

Played a medal a few weeks ago with less clubs (only took Driver, even no irons, 1 wedge and my putter) after rewatching NLU tourist sauce at Castle Stuart. Noticed a big improvement in my club selection and not overthinking. Going to trial this over the next couple of months.

Also - read Golf is not a game of perfect by Bob Rotella. Started that a few weeks back and had no idea how important pre shot routine and picking targets were.

Going to echo a lot of whats already written here but:

  1. Hard reset. Get your mind off golf completely for a week or so and find something else that you enjoy.

  2. Results based practice. After that week, hit the practice area for 30 min and measure your practice. Play a game like this one where you set a pass/fail threshold

Or when you’re at the range, hit x balls on a target green from x yards and record where the misses go.

  1. Consult a instructor with those results and build a plan to get you back on track.

EDIT: Also, always use an alignment stick/club when you practice. It’s incredibly important . “Are you actually missing right of your target or are you aimed there?”

Slow down your take away/back swing,

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If you are/were a good player, I suggest going to the range with a large bucket and a couple irons. Make small adjustments with your grip, alignment and posture to see if anything starts to show signs of progress.

I am at my lowest handicap ever, but was out there doing this very thing last night after an embarrassing weekend performance. I find that once something starts working, it dominates my preshot routine and I start exaggerating it until it goes completely goes off the rails.

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I have found that it is almost impossible to play good golf if you are stressed or worried about another area of life.

I usually take a 2-4 week break when my game disappears. When I come back my only thought is to be an athlete. (My game is not mechanical at all so take this with a grain of salt)

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I have to chuckle a little bit at Jordan Spieth showing up in the “Losing Your Game” thread as a way to GET OUT of a funk. :smiley:

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I started playing with 7 clubs - it completely removed any expectation to play well and instead just became a fun, imaginative way to get the ball in the hole.

I was in my worst one-month stretch of golf I had really ever experienced when I moved down to a half-set. Almost instantly things became enjoyable again…having to stand over a 130 yard shot with a 7-iron is truly a fun proposition. Playing with less than 14 clubs invokes a feeling of nostalgia that I didn’t even know existed. Golf somehow makes more sense to me with less clubs. Not to insert some weird flex, but by dropping my expectations, removing in-between yardage decision making, and just embracing the curiosity of the half-set, I am now playing the best golf of my life. Go figure.

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For me, it usually comes down to setup and slowing down to find my rhythm again. With putting, use a different putter for awhile and try something different with ball position.

I just went through this and had to remind myself to stop being so robotic and stop overthinking. I was grinding range session after range session and not getting any results, which resulted in frustration.

I think we forget that golf is a sport, and sports require some level of athleticism. Let your athletic ability (however much you have) take over, and do what feels natural. You’ll stop thinking/being technical, and my guess is start playing better. And if not, there’s always booze.

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