No I’m not quitting golf, but I’m feeling more and more discouraged with the game. I just had my worst round in 3 years and I feel like I got kicked in the gut, repeatedly. I had a swing coach for two solid years and made huge strides in ball striking and distance. I have a Skytrak, I practice religiously and practice with purpose. I put a ton of time and energy into golf and try to do everything the right way and make good decisions on the course. It’s amazing how I can literally be two different players from day to day. It’s very disheartening to put in the time and effort and while I have had some very bright moments this season I’ve also had some really low moments. My “love” for the game is at an all time low. Looking for advice.
So; you been playing this game for 3 long years?
This is not a game with linear progression. It’s with peaks and valleys.
When a professional had a bad day on the golf course, their score could be in the 80’s.
Hence, when the formula calculate your handicap index, they throw out the best rounds together with the worst score.
This is not a game of chasing perfection, although Ben Hogan’s mentality was "there is no reason why I could not birdie every hole). Guess what, long ago no official tournament score was under 60. First official 59 was posted by Al Geiberger in 1977. He was the first to record a 59 on the PGA Tour. I believed Chip Beck scored the second official PGA 59, and then many more came after the ice was broken.
This is a game of “misses” not a game of perfection. Think of it this way. In MLB, an average batting of 0.30 is considered a good year. 0.40 is a nearly unachievable goal. missing 7 out of 10 is considered excellent.
Free-throw in NBA the league average hovers right around 73 percent —for a shot that is, in truth, a gimme.
The valley of the golf game is what makes the peaks feel so good. One will appreciate the good day on the golf course much better if one experience the bad days from time to time as a reminder to enjoy the good days.
A good day on the golf course is not always the low scoring day. It could be the company you’re with; it could be a moment realizing you’re sharing the environment with wild life. A warm day out in the open during Spring or Autumn. Even a cold and damp day but okay to golf during the Winter months.
It could be the sinking of an impossible long putt on the 18 ( the come-back putt).
As in life, the worse time makes the better time shines brighter.
I always count my blessing when I am on the golf course. I have quite a few friends who no longer could enjoy the game. Throw in a low score is, icing on the cup cake.
Hmmm? So I guess you didn’t make the cut into the top 70 last week. Ya know the LIV Tour pays you a check if you shoot 300 over 54 holes! LOL . For us mere mortals golf is a game that can only be played. It’s you against PAR and the architects thoughts on that. I’ve had 2 rounds this year breaking par. Most of my rounds have been in 77-83 range though. I have never thought about hanging them up because I’m not shooting golf in the 60s every round. I play the game for exercise, I play the game to hang with my friends and carefully stab them with voodoo needles for 4-6 hours almost every weekend for 15 years. I have never once thought about taking up bowling. At 63, I’m having the most FUN I’ve ever had on the course. In our 4 some, I think the most repeated word on the course starts with F and ends in K. The words they fine you for using on the TOUR. So join the rest of us who SUCK compared to Gary Player who still breaks 75 at age 85. Stop being so hard on yourself, there’s nothing wrong with putting the stix down for a few weeks. Swallow your pride and take some lessons. Practicing with purpose is great, but if your fundamentals are souring the swing breaks down and there’s your bad shots. AND even The best players in the game do that! Ie Sep Straka going for a swim after all he had to do was launch a ball anywhere on dry land. Think he’s hanging them up? I hit my biggest low last year, I lost 60 yds off my drive, I was only hitting my 8i 110 yds. Now I was coming off a 2 year layoff, I came back too early from an injury and messed up my swing. I went on a mission. I got help, evaluation, practice, I fixed it. I got 50 yds back, my 8i is going 150 now. I got help, I put in the work, a lot of 's in there but only I could do it. No one else. And I enjoyed every bit of looking back through the frustration of what I considered to be constant failure. Only you can answer the questions of why you play the game. All that said my opinion is if your goal is to make the top 70 on the Tour, take up bowling. If your goal is anything less than that have fun, laugh at your bad shots, and if you are a regular golfer that’s gonna be a lot of laughing, AND when you hit that great shot, feel good about what you did.
The action of a golf nut who truly enjoyed this game.
Mine 8 iron carrying 125-130 ( vintage iron set from the 80’s so the loft might not be the same as the modern sets). 140 carrying yardage from an 8 iron is only a few times in the warm and dry condition during the summer months.
My 8i is circa 1989. Tour Edition Cavity back Redline… 42* . Lasered carry off the grass at the range 147 using 10 balls! LOL
Never knew they made the Tour Edition? I still have the first generation of Edge with Apex 4.
Well, then your driver should be over 270, conservatively, according to your 8 iron yardage.
I love my edge and it’s traveled with me overseas many times in the 80’s. Later I switched to Apex.
Everything depends, softer, hairier fairways run out is limited, harder fairways mid afternoons ball does go farther. Driver right now is 238-255 (Bashed one 2 weeks ago in the warmer afternoon round 289)… 3w is 14* and is 218-230, 20* hybrid (extended length) 205-215, 7w 23* 185-200. It all depends on the strike! But for a 63yo, that rebuilt mechanics not horrible. I can comfortably play a 6400 yd layout without stress… start getting longer than that…it will stress. I did switch balls this year to Bridgestone TourBRX… it makes a difference playing the correct ball. When it gets chilly, I play Callaway Supersofts. There is a 10yd diff between each of my irons and I only carry down to a 4i which will max out around 190ish. Tour Editions were manufactured by Spalding. I learned using Spalding Executives, Then purchased Bird on Ball Tour Edition Blades which I played until I had to cut down my playing and they invented perimeter weighted Cavity backs. I tried the Ping Eyes and they had a funny look to me, I tried Hogan Edge, they just felt heavy, (probably mental) I tried the RedLines and fell in love. So much so I have a full back up set just in case.
My driver carrying 235-255 ( depending on which driver I bag ), but my 8 iron is not anywhere close to 150 carry.
my 3 iron is about 190, recently had to switch to a 3/4 hybrid for the distance. It gets harder to be consistently do well with long irons. Gets tired and fatigued too often and too soon. Used to carry the deuce in the bag, a very useful club for 190-210. Now it collects dust. Come to think about it, I’ll box up a few sets of irons which I have not been using much these days. Maybe store them or let them go.
What has helped me a ton is GPS. depending in pin position and depth…if its a front position and I’m 135 out I will hit the 8, if it goes long it goes long, but it won’t be over the green, The 9iron has to be a perfect strike for me as my 9i is 130 to 140 depending. PW is 110 - 125, SW is 100 -110. Those are full swings I manipulate the lofted clubs alot more than mid irons on up. if that makes sense. I play with a margin of error… I learned that a long time ago… you will not strike the ball perfect everytime…leave that to the Tour guys!
Don’t think he said he has been playing for 3 years, just his worst round in 3. Different scenarios!
Hi man. I had a similar experience this summer, worst rounds ever at my home course in the club championship to come last. Won it two years ago. Felt like taking the rest of the year off.
8 weeks later, my HCI is on the way down and I’m loving golf again. For me its about my expectations. I was expecting too much from myself and putting all sorts of pressure on me to perform at my best all the time. Well, of course, I cant. No one can.
It may be that the sheer amount of effort you are putting in makes you feel like you SHOULD be doing better, you SHOULD be hitting Fairways and GIR, holing out from 8 feet and making birdies and pars all over the course. The trouble is, that maybe not realistic. But frustration is the death of good golf.
Maybe compare your stats to the average for your level, see if you are ahead of the curve or not and if not where are you losing shots. But remember its just a hobby, its fun, hard, frustrating, rewarding, horrible and wonderful all in the space of 4 hours!
I hear you. I feel like I struggle with consistency year after year, but this year has been worse than last year (stats don’t lie). I haven’t put a lot of practice in, but more than last year and I’m still playing worse. Oddly I’m making way more birdies and in other seasons I would be winning skins, but I have twice as many skins as last year with half the birdies…just bad luck/timing?
I just keep reminding myself that I am lucky to be playing golf. Some don’t have the health or finances to be out enjoying the game. I’ll figure out my swing and then lose it again. Even the pros go through that. It is difficult to keep that perspective. Maybe take some time away from golf and hopefully come back fresh? It sounds like you have been putting a lot of time and energy into it and maybe that’s drained you and you need to recharge.
"I just had my worst round in 3 years and I feel like I got kicked in the gut, repeatedly. ":
Sorry if I made the wrong assumption. To me it read like he had the worst round in 3 years and he had been working on his game diligently with instructor for 2 out of the 3 years.
There were many occasions when I felt like quitting the game in the past. Some of them came after battle fatigue as I guess this is what happened to the OP. There was a period of time between jobs when I spent all my money and spare time on the golf course. Burnt out! Not really looking forward to get on the golf course after 5-6 rounds a week for months.
There were a few times when I scored 20+ strokes higher than my average. It just seemed not excited to stand over the next shot at that point. Mental fatigue?
Trust me, the love for the game will come back with vengeance.
When either physically or mentally needing a break, take the break away from the game. I’d bet one will come back stronger after the R&R.
Like everything else in life, Too much of a good thing will diminish the value of the good thing.
With the exception of MJTortella who can eat steak everyday for the rest of his life.
July 16, did something I never did and my partners never saw in person. 3-3-3-3-3-4-4-4-4=31 (1 Bogey, 1 Eagle) Back 9 of of +2 for a 68. Same guy, same course almost identical pin positions 1 week later went 5-5-5-5-5-4-5-3-5=42 and a back 9 of 38 for a sparkling 80. Some people would do backflips to card an 80. It’s just fun. It’s GOLF=FLOG. we do it because we like self torture. The lows are frustrating. The highs are exhilarating. I did try bowling…it sux. Our swings belong to us. Each one is an individual effort. Even at it’s highest level, it’s very difficult to repeat time after time after time. Just have fun. Have fun getting there, have fun holding it there, have fun making an improvement. Have fun. Anyone here making their living at it… probably not. So just have fun, there is going to be eyerolls, there are going to be fist pumps. This game will bring you to your knees if you let it. So don’t let it. Every shot, Every hole, every round and every week are going to bring something different. Don’t worry about your round…when you are done the round the card says what it says. Play each shot smartly, you will hit a bad shot. What can you do to recover and only lose the shot you gave up. Just sayin!
There be a lot more peaks and valley to cross if one stays in this game longer.
Even the professionals are not immune to this syndrome. One has to break away from any type of activity to be able to maintain the longevity of the enthusiasm, dedication…
Hence we take vacation and time off from work, married couple will have brief separation away from being together 24/7 for decades.
Jack Nicklaus laid off golf completely for the Winter months ( according to his own words) until the next Spring and start from the fundamental fresh.
No one can grind in golf forever, well, maybe Ben Hogan was an exception because that man just love golf beyond anything else on Earth. His own wife said that she was afraid that her husband would love golf more than she.
So take some time off from golf. After a few weeks, I’d bet you’ll feel eager to get on the first tee again. it happened to all of us.
Variance is a big deal with this game. As it is with games involving few trials, and subtle differences between good and bad results. It’s also really tough to diagnose from the right perspective, when it’s happening to you.
I.e.: Do I suck now? Or have I been playing as well or even bettet than before, but I’ve just been unlucky?
Good Strokes Gained data should help answer the question, but even so, unless we’re playing a lot, and have a nice big dataset to work with, it’s still tough to reject that null hypothesis.
OP, if you haven’t read The Four Foundations of Golf yet, take it for a spin from your local library. Or buy a copy. Adjusting your expectations as a golfer, to what’s realistic, to what’s actually happening, is a big part of that book, IMHO. It’s really useful.
If you’re not having fun, I’d stop doing it. But maybe changing your feelings about the game instead, can bring the fun back.
I usually don’t have to worry about taking a break from golf. Work and family always take me away from it. And winter is coming ; ) I do feel a bit sick of constantly playing tournaments this season. Our club has grown and we have more tournaments than ever and many are now 2 or 3 days. It’s too much for me and I am skipping some of them to just go out and play.
Ain’t that the truth…
Got the stinkeye last night when my practice session went a skosh longer than I thought. So it goes. I don’t know how people who play 4-5 hour rounds, manage to pull it off. Guess good time management and scheduling are key.
Or being a member somewhere you can squeeze in a 2-2.5 hour round…
Amen. I usually try to sneak in a quick 9 at first light once or twice during the week before work - while the fam is asleep. Weekends are too busy with family stuff.
It’s rare that I play 18…just when I can get out with my dad or one of my brothers or close friends occasionally. I’d love to play more…but such is life.