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mental problems and the golf swing

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  • mental problems and the golf swing

    i'm having mental break down every time i step up to the ball to swing. my practice swings are picture perfect,but as soon as step up to the ball i don't swing the same. does any body have any suggestions or any good books that could help me. please!!!

  • #2
    Re: mental problems and the golf swing

    The Inner Game of Golf by W. Timothy Gallwey.

    I played 9 holes last night with a short game that's been very shaky. After the first 3 holes (disasters!) I had missed yet another green and decided to take a few practice swings then let golfer 2 hit it.

    Golfer 2 hit it close for the next 3 holes. On the 4th hole, golfer 2 left the putt 2 feet short for eagle. On the 5th hole, golfer 2 was about to execute until golfer 1 shouted about a guy who wasn't paying attention (then golfer 2 hit the putt pin high - but the read was bad.) Golfer 2 also hit a mid-length bunker shot to 6 feet, where golfer 1 lipped out the putt.

    It'll all make sense once you read the Inner Game of Golf.
    Last edited by LowPost42; 05-12-2011, 01:43 PM.


    • #3
      Re: mental problems and the golf swing

      Originally posted by steve-o View Post
      i'm having mental break down every time i step up to the ball to swing. my practice swings are picture perfect,but as soon as step up to the ball i don't swing the same. does any body have any suggestions or any good books that could help me. please!!!
      It's due to you hitting at the ball, practice swings dont have a ball so they tend to swing through impact.

      Try changing your focus away from the ball and to the target. You need to look at the ball but let your mind focus on the target ahead in your downswing, you should think of collecting the ball with the clubface as it swings to the Target.


      • #4
        Re: mental problems and the golf swing

        thanks guys! i'll give both a try.


        • #5
          Re: mental problems and the golf swing

          I've read the 'Inner Game of Golf' and it has some good information. There's a website that has some good free articles on the mental side of the game that I have enjoyed that's also worth checking out



          • #6
            Re: mental problems and the golf swing

            again, i have to agree with brian here, but i will try to add to it.

            I teach a lot of people who are trying to change their swings. The biggest complaint is that they can do it in a practice swing but not with a ball. Well the reason why is down to muscle memory. And before some idiot tries to tell me that muscles don't have memory, here is what i mean.

            1. your muscles are strong for your old movement. your muscle neurones have been fired in this pattern so often that they are ingrained that way. The more you fire those muscles int hat way, the stronger your muscles get for that specific movement. Whenever you try to hit the ball with power your body will always go to where it is strongest/where there is no injury.

            Cure = whlst you are learning your new move you must swing very slow at first until your strenght is built up. Start with 50% speed and add 10% more each week but never go to 100% (even pros only swing at 80)

            2. Your subconsious controls your movement. believe it or not we are not in conscious control of our moveement most of the time. To become in conscius control needs a huge amount of concentration and as a result performance declines (although our ability to change the movement increases). your brain also has an association with the ball, when your eyes see the ball it will respond with the old neurological pathways in the brain - basically the old or most ingrained move.

            So many, this is generally the hardest one to change.
            1. take away the ball until you have learned the new move or move you want to do. use tees, whifle balls, paper balls etc until you have repeated enough that it feels natural.
            2. Concentrate more in practice, less in play (for the reasons i have said above regarding performance and changeability)
            3. forget the result. The more important you make the result in your mind, the more likely your body will go back to its ingrained swing as your concentration deviates from body control to result orientation
            4. go to the other exreme of the technique then come back. If it is rythm you are looking for, swing as rhythmical as you can. If you are looking for a more in to out path, exaggerrate it so much it hurts. if the movement we want to do is too close to the movement we DONT want then it is harder to change. For example, if you are a sclicer who wants more of a closed face, shut the hell out of it until you leanr what that feels like, then bring it more back to neutral.

            Hope these help, let me know what you think


            • #7
              Re: mental problems and the golf swing

              Rogue, a great answer and very true, also I have read Tim Gallwey's book 'The Inner Game of Golf' self one and Two is also a very true concept, how the body can hit the ball great as long as the mind doesn't get involved.
              As you guys know 3 skills golf is also a great favourite of mine, where the focus of the golf swing is non existant and pure focus on how to apply the clubface to the ball.

              I understand Steveo's problem, it appears the practice swing is smooth and faultless then the actual swing is different, Steveo, answer me this: Is the only differance 'more tention', tighter grip, more effort, forced....I think so.
              Answer the ball weighs as much as a blue tit and your hitting it with a long piece of metal, it doesn't take a lot of effort. Try standing at the range with your feet together and just hit a few soft arm shots, but turn to a finish. you will note the ball goes the same distance as your full shot, so when on the course think about being a little more gental and relaxed, then switch your mind off like a light switch and hit the ball.

              Hope this helps



              • #8

                I love the part about forgetting about the result. This has made a big difference in my game.

                Thanks Rogue


                • #9
                  Re: Result

                  thanks rogue,ill give that a try. Ian,i played 26 holes this weekend and after 18 i really started striking the ball well. a combination of being tired(not swinging hard) and not as concerned about the results. than the next morning i hit my wedges at the range. i just tried to swing easy with a nice tempo and was striking the ball well again and getting the same distance i was getting when swinging harder. so i must agree that a nice easy swing with no tension is the way to go. now, if i can get myself to be that way on the course. thanks for everyones help with this,i'm sure i'm not the only one with this problem(but my freind says i'm one of the worst).