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Overcoming 'fear'

andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
Possibly a stupid question but I thought I'd ask it anyway image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



I have a pretty good swing that produces good results. Unfortunately I just don't do it all the time. There's two moves that I keep forgetting or feel 'afraid' to do. One is a full shoulder turn, the other is a hip bump.



I've had some success with range time but it's been a struggle to take that swing to the course and to keep it there. I was wondering if anyone else had addressed this problem and could offer some thoughts on how to convince my brain that's okay to do a proper swing?
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Comments

  • MillbrookMillbrook Members Posts: 1,720 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    First ask yourself 'what is it I fear about doing a proper swing' and wait for the answer to pop into your head.



    Don't analyse it and don't rush it, let the subconscious work and be aware of thoughts that just spring up.



    You can try alternative questions such as 'if I do a proper swing what do I fear will happen'.



    You can also try it after a pint - just one - enough to relax the process.



    If you want to follow up off the board PM me.



    Good luck.
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  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Los AngelesMembers Posts: 5,942 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Milllbrooks response is good suggestion.



    Another piece of this is that it is hard to get new range swing to the course. I actually more-or-less don’t try. I rehearse whatever it is I think I need to do but then just focus on where I want the ball to go and how to get centered, relaxed and focused. I may have a swing thought or feel but I am not trying to and not putting my energy into that kind of thing. I’m trying to hit the shot and felling confident as I do it.



    Meanwhile i keep working on the mechanics on the range so the new move becomes more familiar and consistent
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  • finleysgfinleysg MinnesotaMembers Posts: 1,242 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Fear is the mind killer. You may have to give yourself one or more throw-away rounds. Rounds where you don't allow yourself to care about bad shots.



    You want to approach each shot with a positive mental intent: "I'm going to do X,Y,Z". That's your pre-shot routine, just getting your mind right. After the shot, evaluate not the result so much as whether or not you truly committed to that intent. It's a challenge - the mental discipline is harder than you'd think.



    You may find that you don't have enough reps in yet for your body to respond, but at least you're not playing afraid.
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  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Los AngelesMembers Posts: 5,942 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    finleysg wrote:
    Fear is the mind killer. You may have to give yourself one or more throw-away rounds. Rounds where you don't allow yourself to care about bad shots.



    You want to approach each shot with a positive mental intent: "I'm going to do X,Y,Z". That's your pre-shot routine, just getting your mind right. After the shot, evaluate not the result so much as whether or not you truly committed to that intent. It's a challenge - the mental discipline is harder than you'd think.



    You may find that you don't have enough reps in yet for your body to respond, but at least you're not playing afraid.




    This, too, is a great suggestion. One way to unplug fear is to free yourself from performance goals and just practice mental/emotional awareness
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  • Birdie MacBirdie Mac Members Posts: 644 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Absolutely not a stupid question and most of us mid and high cappers are struggling with the same thing. I've been working on improving my mental game as well. Millbrook had some good suggestions. You don't have confidence in your shot, but confidence only comes from having executing that shot in the past and knowing it will work.



    Give yourself an opportunity to pull the shot off successfully. Guess what? If your shot doesn't happen as you expect it to, your family still loves you, your mates will still mock you, and the sky won't fall. Bragging rights if it does work. Be at ease. Cheers!
  • dbleagdbleag Members Posts: 2,896 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Try the Scott McCarron "99999-87" mind-blocker during your swing.



    He mentioned it on Champions Tour Learning Center as a way to prevent unwanted thoughts from entering his mind.
  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,658 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    andrue wrote:


    Possibly a stupid question but I thought I'd ask it anyway image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />



    I have a pretty good swing that produces good results. Unfortunately I just don't do it all the time. There's two moves that I keep forgetting or feel 'afraid' to do. One is a full shoulder turn, the other is a hip bump.



    I've had some success with range time but it's been a struggle to take that swing to the course and to keep it there. I was wondering if anyone else had addressed this problem and could offer some thoughts on how to convince my brain that's okay to do a proper swing?


    Consistency takes repetitions, lots of guys have said that. The more you practice those moves, the more consistent you'll become. One thing I've done is to revise my "practice swing". I'm not taking a swing, I'm doing a pretty slo-mo rehearsal of just the changes I'm working on. Watch many of the pros, many of them are using exaggerated slo-mo rehearsals, apparently reminding themselves of what key moves they want. Then when I take my real swing at the ball, I'm not thinking of the technical things, but the recent rehearsal helps me do them right.
  • rich srich s Members Posts: 773 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Change what success means to you. If you are only worried about how the shot results, you will never be able to make changes. Instead play a round only caring about hip bump and shoulder turn. If you do those on every swing the round was successful, even if you shoot 120. You can't expect to play well when making changes so make the changes the priority over the score.
  • TB07TB07 Members Posts: 6,105 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Improve technique. Fear is always going to be there for some but if your technique is good you will still hit good shots even if you are afraid, mad, happy, sad, tired etc
  • wadesworldwadesworld Members Posts: 667 ✭✭
    There is no "making sure."



    Make sure your setup is correct for the shot you want to hit. Then let it go with a free, trusting swing. Then go deal with the results.
  • 596596 Lakeland, FLMembers Posts: 3,703 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I had a similar problem a few months ago when chipping. I had become all arms, with no shoulder rotation at all. I knew what I needed to do but rotating the left shoulder down and the right shoulder up was very difficult to do. My mind would not let me do it. It took many many hours of practice.



    I got past it by not worrying about the result of the movement. I rotated the shoulders by using 2 keys. "Left shoulder down" and then "right shoulder down" to produce the rotation I needed. I didn't worry about anything else. BUT - as soon as I did this move the results were awesome. It worked without worrying about the result. Acknowledge the key movements, produce them and the result will just happen.



    I'm now chipping with any club in the bag and the results are great. I still take a few practice swings before each chip. Only thinking about the rotation, nothing else, then reproduce that rotation when I hit the ball. Poof.....great shots!
  • wmblake2000wmblake2000 Los AngelesMembers Posts: 5,942 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Man, there are a lot of good comments here!
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  • byrne092byrne092 Members Posts: 98 ✭✭✭
    edited Oct 29, 2018 #14
    I can relate. Like many, my range work doesn't always transfer to the course. I think when you step on the course, you know that every shot counts, so you want every shot to be emulate the "best" shots you've made on the range. I think we always forget about the dud shots during practice that we can shrug off. Like you, I struggle with the feeling of proper shoulder turn, as well as releasing the clubhead. I think both of these are contributed to nerves and overall confidence.



    I know I put too much pressure on myself to perform well during a round. For whatever reason, now that my game has started to improve slightly, I feel like I should play better than what my actual ability really is. I like the suggestion above about playing rounds and not worrying about the outcome, keeping a positive outlook until you have time to reflect.
  • YrrdeadYrrdead Better Living Through Chemistry Members Posts: 1,634 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    In addition to many of the above responses, realize that no amount of range time or practice indoors is going to replicate the emotions and feelings of a real round. So those are the types of repetitions you need.



    A book recommendation for you is Zen Golf. https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Golf-Mastering-Mental-Game/dp/0385504462



    While almost all golf books will tell you what the problem is Zen Golf is the only one that I've read that gives you actual concrete "drills" to improve your mental game. You can get it on Amazon for <$6 (no idea on GBP).
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  • GMRGMR Members Posts: 1,054 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    I can relate to your issue as it relates to the shoulder turn. Have struggled for some time now with my big flaw, which is also an incomplete shoulder turn. When I complete my turn I get in a better position to have better dynamics coming into the ball, and also add a significant amount of clubhead speed (sometimes as much as 10mph, confirmed by radar). All these things are good, but the problem is that I'm so used to seeing the ball from a certain perspective that it FEELS like if I turn that far back I'll somehow lose control of the club coming back through the impact area, and as such I have this FEAR that I'm going to somehow make some crazy out of control swing that could result in the ball ending up anywhere. I'm fighting and fighting and fighting that feeling, and it's slowly getting better, but when I look at at hole with trouble everywhere, or I'm in a competition and I start to tense up that FEAR comes bubbling back to the surface, and I have to fight it some more.



    One thing I have been doing that's helped more recently is actually overcompensating a little. When I'm playing a round where my score doesn't really matter much I will hit as many shots as possible with that full shoulder turn even if it's not really the most optimal shot that I'd be hitting if my score really mattered (i.e. 100% blasted 9i from 155 instead of just a smooth full 8). Forcing myself to do it shot after shot out on the course seems to be helping, and slowly it's becoming less foreign.
  • ThinkingPlusThinkingPlus South TexasClubWRX Posts: 1,802 ClubWRX
    I think it is all about building confidence. A golf swing executed without confidence is just exercise. I like to build confidence in a new swing or technique by finding the easiest course in the area to play a round. It might be an executuve course, par 3 course, or a wide open, minimal hazard course. Find a place where you won't lose any or many balls. A place where a good ot great round doesn't mean much. Playing such a place has minimal personal investment, but offers maximum opportunity for success.



    Trying your new swing in such a place allows you to build confidence in the new tecniques with minimal fear. It is like the driving range, but you hole out and write down a score. Once you build some confidence, experience some success, you can up the challenge. Rinse, repeat until the new move has been fully incorporated under increasing levels of pressure.
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  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭✭✭✭✭


    Man, there are a lot of good comments here!
    There certainly are. Given that it's turning into winter here it could be a good time to not care about the result. No-one expects to play good golf for the next few months anyway. Really wasn't sure if I'd get many responses but you've done me proud. Interesting (and pleasing) to know that I'm not the only one experienced this image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />
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  • davep043davep043 Members Posts: 3,658 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    andrue wrote:



    Man, there are a lot of good comments here!
    There certainly are. Given that it's turning into winter here it could be a good time to not care about the result. No-one expects to play good golf for the next few months anyway. Really wasn't sure if I'd get many responses but you've done me proud. Interesting (and pleasing) to know that I'm not the only one experienced this image/smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />


    I think that everyone who has gone through a swing change has gone through a period of uncertainty and inconsistency. In the end, making the change is usually positive, just keep working at it.
  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Oct 29, 2018 #20
    GMR wrote:
    All these things are good, but the problem is that I'm so used to seeing the ball from a certain perspective that it FEELS like if I turn that far back I'll somehow lose control of the club coming back through the impact area, and as such I have this FEAR that I'm going to somehow make some crazy out of control swing that could result in the ball ending up anywhere.
    Yup, that's exactly it. When I do a full turn and hip bump I get some wonderful drives. High launching ball, carrying over 200 yards and generally along the target line. I got a GIR on a 440 yard par 4 a couple of weekends ago with a fantastic drive and a beautiful 3h. But a few holes later I began to chicken out and I was lucky to get round below 100.



    It's pretty obvious to me that if I do the full turn and bump my wrist timing also takes care of itself. I think at least part of my poor directionality is the result of not turning the shoulders disrupting my timing.
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  • Matt JMatt J Members Posts: 8,735 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Find the book "Extraordinary Golf" and read it twice.



    Perhaps those two changes create bigger misses, so on the tight confines of a course you're uncomfortable?



    If you want to find out, go practice on the course. Drop balls, don't keep score. There is some space between the range and a full competition round.
  • sprcoopsprcoop Tucson, AZMembers Posts: 881 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I find that when it comes to duplicating a "feel" on course a practice swing behind, or next to, the ball and stepping in is too much time passing. I think it was Crossfield that mentioned taking that practice swing and that feel to the ball as quickly as possible was most effective.



    I would see people take final setup then practice swing either inside the ball or over the top of the ball and thought they were nuts. Not any more.



    I tend to strike near the heel so Monte's zipper away and 2 ball drill are my go to. Now, on course, I take final setup, one swing with 10:30 and 2 ball feel like I'm hitting a ball 4" inside real ball, ground the club (hover actually) behind the ball and swing away using same feelings but hitting the ball. Getting good results with full swings. Now, about that short game...



    So, do the same with full shoulder turn and hip bump on the range inside or over the ball and if it works well, try on course.

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  • jbw749jbw749 Members Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    TB07 wrote:


    Improve technique. Fear is always going to be there for some but if your technique is good you will still hit good shots even if you are afraid, mad, happy, sad, tired etc




    Hey TB what do you think of this approach instead?



    Address the fear, learn how to focus, develop a swing without flinching, see how good you actually are then work on technique.

  • mikpgamikpga www.mikedeitersgolf.com Members Posts: 7,395 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Let's stop calling it fear, and start thinking in the realms of learning to trust those things while on the course...



    Work towards a mindset of trust, rather than focus on fear...



    Understand that you will learn from failures and only become better through that process...
  • TB07TB07 Members Posts: 6,105 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    jbw749 wrote:

    TB07 wrote:


    Improve technique. Fear is always going to be there for some but if your technique is good you will still hit good shots even if you are afraid, mad, happy, sad, tired etc




    Hey TB what do you think of this approach instead?



    Address the fear, learn how to focus, develop a swing without flinching, see how good you actually are then work on technique.




    It’s my opinion that is not a good approach and will waste time thinking by taking away a “flinch” will make you better. I think a flinch is a reaction to the positions of the swing. Not saying I’m correct. It’s just my opinion.
  • PulledabillPulledabill Members Posts: 373 ✭✭✭✭
    Probable my biggest challenge is trusting my swing, Handful of holes in my area that I tend to club down and "guide" the ball so I don't find a fairway bunker or the water. What happens is I don't commit to my swing which leaves out the hip turn and its all arms which means I'm right in the water, beach, or lumber yard.



    We tins get narrow I really have to focus on smooth swing wit hip turn and solid follow through.



    Self talk works.
  • Dan DrakeDan Drake Members Posts: 2,017 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Zen Golf is great, and Extraordinary Golf is, well, extraordinary!



    Two quick suggestions:



    1. You are not your golf game. No one REALLY cares how well you hit your 7i on #6 last week, so you have to get over caring that someone else cares while you are hitting said 7i. Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth and let the ball go where it's going to go.

    2. Give yourself permission to hit a good shot/shoot a good score. Look at yourself in an actual mirror and say it out loud to yourself (I'm dead serious about this, even if the wife is looking at you like you are off your rocker!). "I give myself permission to break 80." Or "I give myself permission to let go of the fear over a shot." Then, when you feel the fear or tension start to set in, reflect back on the moment in the mirror and remind yourself that you have permission to do what you need to do.
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  • Nard_SNard_S Members Posts: 3,517 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Fear is an out sized preoccupation with failure. Fear is also a lack of trust. The more grounded failure defined is and the greater the trust brought to a situation, the more impotent fear becomes. I have both those correct I play over my head. So I dig dirt for trust and continually delve into the mental side of things for grounded clear perspective to carry through 18 holes.
  • jbw749jbw749 Members Posts: 1,144 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Dan Drake wrote:


    Zen Golf is great, and Extraordinary Golf is, well, extraordinary!



    Two quick suggestions:



    1. You are not your golf game. No one REALLY cares how well you hit your 7i on #6 last week, so you have to get over caring that someone else cares while you are hitting said 7i. Take a deep breath in through your nose and breathe out through your mouth and let the ball go where it's going to go.

    2. Give yourself permission to hit a good shot/shoot a good score. Look at yourself in an actual mirror and say it out loud to yourself (I'm dead serious about this, even if the wife is looking at you like you are off your rocker!). "I give myself permission to break 80." Or "I give myself permission to let go of the fear over a shot." Then, when you feel the fear or tension start to set in, reflect back on the moment in the mirror and remind yourself that you have permission to do what you need to do.




    Fear of someone caring how you hit the ball is ridiculous. No one cares, infact when you tell people how good or bad you played they actually aren't listening to you and are just waiting for you to shut up so they can tell you how good or bad they played. In the end neither party heard each other or cared in the slightest.

  • andrueandrue Members Posts: 1,319 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited Sep 9, 2019 11:02am #30

    An update on this. I used most of the advice in this thread and now, nearly a year later, am doing much better. I still don't have as much of a shoulder turn as I could have but my fade has almost gone and my drives are now usually arond ~220 total. I've even restored most of the confidence in my driver and when I stand on the tee I'm thinking 'how awesome is this going to be' rather 'hopefully it should be okay'.

    The only remaining glitch is an old issue that has resurfaced. Once a round I will hit a very high pull with the driver. I'm still not sure what's going on but as was suggested in another thread I think I'm sometimes not keeping my head behind the ball. I assume that produces a steep and OTT move resulting in me skying the driver. It seems to happen later in the round so I think perhaps I just get careless and temporarily forget the new swing.

    But anyway, thanks guys, your tips helped a lot :)

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  • bladehunterbladehunter Today was a good day... south carolinaMembers Posts: 27,908 ✭✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @andrue said:
    Possibly a stupid question but I thought I'd ask it anyway (Image)
    /smile.png' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

    I have a pretty good swing that produces good results. Unfortunately I just don't do it all the time. There's two moves that I keep forgetting or feel 'afraid' to do. One is a full shoulder turn, the other is a hip bump.

    I've had some success with range time but it's been a struggle to take that swing to the course and to keep it there. I was wondering if anyone else had addressed this problem and could offer some thoughts on how to convince my brain that's okay to do a proper swing?

    i hate to say this in a way ... so please take it as in good humor and with good intent..BUT you should take your own putting advice and "just swing and hit it " meaning stop over thinking it ... Which i will now turn on myself and say youre correct , thats exactly the biggest issue with putting woes....

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