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Is quitting golf for a period a strategy?


jc4birdie
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In a really bad place w/ golf right now.  Game is a complete shambles from a ball-striking perspective.   It is not an exaggeration to ashamedly admit that I can't carry a 9 iron 100 yards anymore...got up and down yesterday after a bad drive near the woods and reasonable advancement 2nd, with a 9 iron for my 3rd exactly hole-high....from 98 yards.  6 months ago, 98 was a 3/4 gap wedge.   It was embarrassing to card the par.  But that was the high-spot.

 

I'm so broken right now that I get ZERO enjoyment from the game.  Not even when I do something right...dawned on me last night that I had 3 sandies yesterday, which is odd for me, but all I can think about are the crap shots that got me in those catboxes.  I just don't want to play anymore, but since I run a weekend group of 12-15 guys, I feel obligated to do so.  You can't even imagine the gamut of bad shot types I'm hitting: fats, thins, 45 degree pulls that never leave the ground and roll 30 yards, toe shanks.  30 hdcps hit it better than I am right now, and my index is 11!

 

I don't know what to do, but I will say one thing.  Avoid the idea to overhaul your swing thru "lessons"...that is the baseline culprit of this 5+ months of agony.

 

What do you guys do when it's TOTALLY off the rails.  I'm not talking about not hitting it up to your standard....I mean when you simply can't hit it AT ALL?

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Take 2 to 4 weeks off.  That's what I do when my game goes to s***.  It allows your brain and muscles to decompress and forget some of the bad habits/movements you've ingrained into your swing. 

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  • jc4birdie changed the title to Is quitting golf for a period a strategy?

I would usually only take time off if golf just became a thing to do and just going through the motions.  If the game has gone off the rails and ball striking has gone for a dump, I go see my instructor.  It is usually a bad setup, alignment or both that has made a good swing impossible.  It usually only takes him a couple of minutes to right the ship.  It then takes me a number of practice sessions to get used to the changes (and maybe another lesson) and then I'm ready to play again.  Just taking time off and not fixing the error(s) just prolongs the tragedy.

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I have to basically take November to March off every year, have since I was 11 so that's plenty!

 

Otherwise, yes, if no fun quit doing what is no fun.  No idea on the "lessons" - too many variables to comment on that, but an overhaul requires commitment and isn't an overnight thing - sometimes you are riding the storm out.

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I've done this a few times over the years. Game goes to sh*t, I'll take a few weeks off, do other things, not touch a club, not a single thought about golf. When I start back, I'll go to the range a few times, check all fundamentals and slowly get back to playing. It has done wonders for me when I've been playing badly. YMMV

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Have 4 weeks off and use the time away to have a think about your game and how you would like it to look in the future. Then go and have a chat with a coach, find someone you like, book some lessons and formulate a plan for improvement......and stick to it.

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Maybe you could get out by yourself when the course is empty late in the day and just relax and swing the club freely and fluidly.  Become an observer of your swing instead of a director and just enjoy yourself for a while with no worries about score or what anybody else thinks.  Hit a bunch of balls, half swing shots, one quarter swing shots and so on.  Try chipping a 5 iron from 100 yards, stuff like that. See if you can get engaged with the essence of the game and start having some fun!

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Unless golf is your profession everyone should quit when the game no longer brings you any happiness or joy.  If golf feels like a job, makes you unhappy, or effects your relationships with those you care about, it has become something unhealthy, toxic, and in fact makes your life more difficult.  Nothing you do as a "hobby" should make your life more difficult.

 

If golf isn't fun, find something that is.  Life is way too short to be unhappy with a game.

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Unless your spouse threatened divorce , never.

 

a 3 week layoff isn’t gonna hurt anybody. Had a month layoff this year due to health. Shot like crap the first time out and then shot my low of the year next time. 

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Lots of things can help. Taking time off, does not make you better, but some times it gives you the chance to get better by clearing some thoughts and let you start again with some simpler thinking.

 

Saying that the best reset I have found is to go alone on a quiet course and just be relaxed hitting shots without trying to do too much. Like on a par five, I may hit a 7 irons off the tee and just play what ever I need to get to wedge distance. Long par three I may hit two wedge. Really not forcing anything, just trying to find rhythm and make good strikes.

 

I know this sounds like activity that belongs on the range, but for me the experience of walking around hitting practice shots slows things down and helps me reset better than being at the range.

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5 minutes ago, 2bGood said:

Lots of things can help. Taking time off, does not make you better, but some times it gives you the chance to get better by clearing some thoughts and let you start again with some simpler thinking.

 

Saying that the best reset I have found is to go alone on a quiet course and just be relaxed hitting shots without trying to do too much. Like on a par five, I may hit a 7 irons off the tee and just play what ever I need to get to wedge distance. Long par three I may hit two wedge. Really not forcing anything, just trying to find rhythm and make good strikes.

 

I know this sounds like activity that belongs on the range, but for me the experience of walking around hitting practice shots slows things down and helps me reset better than being at the range.

That's an intriguing idea, if for no other reason is that I'm one of those weirdos whose golf nirvana is a late afternoon 9 holes all alone on an empty course.  I'm not antisocial,  but unlike most things, I enjoy golf optimally when alone.  Focus is better, no distractions, I don't need to act like I think the same old stale joke one of the guys told for the 16th time is still funny, swing is much freer, etc. 

 

Maybe a couple weeks off is the first order of business that is in order.  The clutter in my brain about swinging a club right now probably resembles garbage pickup on a Mon. AM on a Bronx street corner.

 

By then, I will be back from our trip to Colorado for Thanksgiving, and I can get back to basics with some single 9 hole rounds before and during the Christmas holidays.

 

Thanks....hopefully; appreciate the suggestion.

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2 hours ago, mikpga said:

It’s about grit and perseverance…

 

You need to figure out how not to be embarrassed by that par…


it’s okay to be temporarily disappointed, but embarrassed is an entirely different level…

 

 

 

To be clear, if I'd done that with my gap wedge and a confident swing, I'd have been really proud of stuffing one in there to 6 feet.  But knowing I had no choice but to use a baby 9i to get there and just float it to the hole b/c there is zero authority in my contact any longer just kills the vibe.

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10 hours ago, phizzy30 said:

Take 2 to 4 weeks off.  That's what I do when my game goes to s***.  It allows your brain and muscles to decompress and forget some of the bad habits/movements you've ingrained into your swing. 

This ^^^

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I've found that the break doing good, is very short lived.  The bad things come back real quick.  Unless you really think about what you are doing right and what you are doing wrong.  I will go back to things my instructor has told me to do and mentally go over swings that were good and bad and think about what went right or wrong and why.  Quite often I can pick out where things have gone bad with the setup or takeaway and gone right to a range session and applied it.  It's not quite like having my instructor there, but I can see him in my mind telling me things that I know I should do.  It's almost always setup position.

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I used to do the break move when I was younger.  For the past three or four years golf has become the only sport I play and the little training I do is meant to keep fit for golf.  I've been enjoying playing and the buddies now that my children are older so I decided to not go the break way when playing awful.  

 

This year for the first time I decided to mentally slow down and try to ask for help and figure out what was wrong with my swing.  I'm a textbook grinder so it's hard to slow down, especially on the course chasing for something to improve the swing and the round and the score.  Once I geared down and started thinking about MY swing through the years I revisited my swing notes and started going through my swing keys.  It's a different approach to a slump for me, and it's turned things around for the better.  It was the first time I mentally slowed down to avoid the snowball effect.

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I’ve been there before, OP. A few times, actually. It’s the worst feeling. You put so much time and money into this game, and you play like a 35 handicap sometimes. I used to get so angry watching some 25 handicap make decent contact with the ball, while I (as a 13 at the time) literally couldn’t get an iron airborne. It stinks. 
 

I don’t know that a break is necessarily going to help much. Maybe it will allow you to not care as much about your performance, but I don’t know. 
 

I got out of my rut with 2 things. The first was more (but different) lessons, and hard work implementing the fixes. It took almost a year. It seems to me you weren’t vibeing with your latest instructor, so maybe go find another one?  The second thing I did was to try to find at least some joy in all the things about golf besides my actual performance. Because I played a number of crappy rounds as I was relearning my swing and recovering from surgery, I was forced to appreciate the little gains. I remember I struck a 5 iron solidly one day and was so happy about that. It was probably 30 yards shorter than what I would normally play it, but hey you have to find something to feel good about. I tried to enjoy being outdoors. I started walking more, so that at least I was getting exercise. Gradually, I started to care a little less when I played like crap. And it helped that I started playing better due to the lessons, etc. 

 

Good luck with it. 

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2 hours ago, LeftDaddy said:

I’ve been there before, OP. A few times, actually. It’s the worst feeling. You put so much time and money into this game, and you play like a 35 handicap sometimes. I used to get so angry watching some 25 handicap make decent contact with the ball, while I (as a 13 at the time) literally couldn’t get an iron airborne. It stinks. 
 

I don’t know that a break is necessarily going to help much. Maybe it will allow you to not care as much about your performance, but I don’t know. 
 

I got out of my rut with 2 things. The first was more (but different) lessons, and hard work implementing the fixes. It took almost a year. It seems to me you weren’t vibeing with your latest instructor, so maybe go find another one?  The second thing I did was to try to find at least some joy in all the things about golf besides my actual performance. Because I played a number of crappy rounds as I was relearning my swing and recovering from surgery, I was forced to appreciate the little gains. I remember I struck a 5 iron solidly one day and was so happy about that. It was probably 30 yards shorter than what I would normally play it, but hey you have to find something to feel good about. I tried to enjoy being outdoors. I started walking more, so that at least I was getting exercise. Gradually, I started to care a little less when I played like crap. And it helped that I started playing better due to the lessons, etc. 

 

Good luck with it. 

Your reply resonates with me, much like one I quoted earlier (but for a  different reason).  One, when you go off the rails, it reads like me....can't get an iron airborne.  When that happens, near-panic (well, inasmuch as golf can cause near-panic) sets in, b/c I know the round is doomed. 

 

Second you mentioned losing distance as you relearned your swing, presumably as you were going thru a series of lessons.  Is that something you find to be the norm (and anyone else can chime in on this one if you'd like) when you take lessons?  The thing w/ my instructor is, and I said this in the other thread dedicated to changing instructors, is this....I KNOW THAT THE PROBLEM IS ME, not him.  He is an incredibly knowledgeable and professionally noted golf instructor; I also LIKE him tremendously; he's passionate about golf, like me.  But something is not clicking.  He changes something and/or decides something else is the real issue everytime I see him (which is often, as I practice at the club where he teaches), and I'm completely lost at this point as to what he's trying to get me to do.  And when that is the case, the teacher/student relationship is not working; in fact, it's counterproductive.  So, since I'm always tweaking, I never get a chance to get comfortable enough w/ the last new move to get it ingrained powerfully in my swing.  I'm just losing distance constantly.  He's a one plane advocate w/ an RIT release (very Malaska-ish, throwing the right wrist,, no forearm rolling).  Makes sense to me "academically", but putting it into practice has been disastrous for me.

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I'm in a similar situation as the OP right now, in that I found myself so frustrated late this season that I didn't want to play anymore. Like, wanted to sell my clubs and quit for good. My handicap is usually around scratch to low single digits, but I had long stretches of bad rounds, and played terribly in most of my competitive rounds during the year. I went through something similar three years ago and I quit for 6 weeks that time, and at this point, I haven't touched a club in about 5 weeks. I have struggled for a lot of the year with my driving, and poor play combined with frustration with slow play led me to not enjoy my time on the course. It's actually beyond not enjoying myself -- the last 5-6 rounds I played were miserable. I wanted to be anywhere but out on the course. Paying a bunch of money to not have fun is just stupid, so I took a break.

We're going to have one day of decent weather this week which may be the last reasonable chance we'll have to play before winter sets in for good, and I'm starting to have some desire to play again, so I might do that. Or I might not. I haven't really been missing it that much, but I could see regretting it in a couple of months when it's the dead of winter and I can't play even if I wanted.

 

I really need to figure out how to change my mental approach to a lot of things on the course. I'm impatient, get frustrated/angry easily, and let things snowball when things aren't going well. There's a possibility I might really scale back how much I play and I might stop playing competitively. 

The times I've taken a break, I wouldn't say that it has magically cleared my head of all the bad thoughts or broken all of my bad swing habits, but when I came back, I was definitely better than I had been before I stepped away. If you're in a bad place with your game, you're not enjoying it, and you can't practice your way out of what you're doing, some time away to reset is definitely something that is worth a shot.

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4 minutes ago, 3_Jack_Par said:

I'm in a similar situation as the OP right now, in that I found myself so frustrated late this season that I didn't want to play anymore. Like, wanted to sell my clubs and quit for good. My handicap is usually around scratch to low single digits, but I had long stretches of bad rounds, and played terribly in most of my competitive rounds during the year. I went through something similar three years ago and I quit for 6 weeks that time, and at this point, I haven't touched a club in about 5 weeks. I have struggled for a lot of the year with my driving, and poor play combined with frustration with slow play led me to not enjoy my time on the course. It's actually beyond not enjoying myself -- the last 5-6 rounds I played were miserable. I wanted to be anywhere but out on the course. Paying a bunch of money to not have fun is just stupid, so I took a break.

We're going to have one day of decent weather this week which may be the last reasonable chance we'll have to play before winter sets in for good, and I'm starting to have some desire to play again, so I might do that. Or I might not. I haven't really been missing it that much, but I could see regretting it in a couple of months when it's the dead of winter and I can't play even if I wanted.

 

I really need to figure out how to change my mental approach to a lot of things on the course. I'm impatient, get frustrated/angry easily, and let things snowball when things aren't going well. There's a possibility I might really scale back how much I play and I might stop playing competitively. 

The times I've taken a break, I wouldn't say that it has magically cleared my head of all the bad thoughts or broken all of my bad swing habits, but when I came back, I was definitely better than I had been before I stepped away. If you're in a bad place with your game, you're not enjoying it, and you can't practice your way out of what you're doing, some time away to reset is definitely something that is worth a shot.

If you lived nearby I would loan you my copy of 'Extraordinary Golf' by Fred Shoemaker.  Talks about this subject in detail.  LOL I would also let you try using my focus band to see if you could learn what it feels like to get into the correct state of mind to play well. 

 

It can be fun to go out and hack every shot on purpose for a while, hitting bad shots on purpose can sometimes take away the fear of hitting them accidently...

 

Ah well it is only game!  

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On 11/14/2021 at 10:48 AM, Hawkeye77 said:

I have to basically take November to March off every year, have since I was 11 so that's plenty!

 

Otherwise, yes, if no fun quit doing what is no fun.  No idea on the "lessons" - too many variables to comment on that, but an overhaul requires commitment and isn't an overnight thing - sometimes you are riding the storm out.

 

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On 11/14/2021 at 7:50 AM, jc4birdie said:

I don't know what to do, but I will say one thing.  Avoid the idea to overhaul your swing thru "lessons"...that is the baseline culprit of this 5+ months of agony.

 

What do you guys do when it's TOTALLY off the rails.  I'm not talking about not hitting it up to your standard....I mean when you simply can't hit it AT ALL?

 

You're an 11, so you're a good ways better than me. I just recently had one round that dropped my cap into the teens for the first time ever (I've only had an official cap since late 2020), but then the very next round yesterday aged out a good round in the cap calculation and pushed me back over 20 lol...

 

I will say that I've been working on changes all year based on a lesson from March this year. For a while I'd be grinding out the swing change on the range, but every time I played on the course I deliberately didn't try to play "golf swing" and just use whatever swing I brought to the course that day. Thus I have a feeling that my range swing was trying to ingrain a change, and the course swing was the "old" swing because I wasn't focusing on the change at all. 

 

Twice during that stretch I'd have two rounds in a row where I couldn't hit the damn ball. Contact all over the face (or the hosel, or the leading edge, or the crown, etc) and simply nothing worked. And then all of a sudden the next round, things were starting to "click" and I was hitting the ball well and it was showing the ball flight that the work I was doing on the range was supposed to bring in. 

 

My theory is that my "range swing" was creeping into my "course swing" during those rounds, and I was simply mechanically stuck somewhere in between. My habits and compensations that allowed me to hit the ball with my "course swing" were still trying to work as the "range swing" was starting to actually ingrain itself and show up on the course. And the two were just incompatible, so contact was all over the place. 

 

If you're an 11, you may have much more ingrained "compensations" to break yourself of--I had taken 5 years off golf before July 2020 so I was still pretty much "new". It may take more time and more rounds to push through that bit where your body is trying to do the old and the new at the same time. 

 

If you're really trying to overhaul, then I think taking a break won't help because you'll simply revert to the old. If you're in the middle period of change, it might be that the only way out is through...

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      I was able to get out to the Sony Open today to take a few pics.  I guess due to Covid precautions they kept the spectators pretty far from the players.  Also due to camera restrictions they've put in place, I wasn't able to bring the big lens like I normally do. Hopefully they'll ease up on the ropes and I'll be able to get more pics tomorrow!
      • 22 replies
    • 2022 Callaway Rogue ST drivers (in-hand photos)
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max driver
       

       
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max D driver
       
      2021 Callaway Rogue ST Max 
       
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Max LS driver

       
      2022 Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS

       
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    • Titleist Vokey SM9 Link on Wedge Works Coming Soon- UPDATED Pics Added Pg 4
      Looks like there is a link on Titleist Wedge Works for the new Vokey SM9, but doesn't show any photos yet.
       
      https://www.vokey.com/product/WM137.html#start=4
      • 237 replies

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