How do you handle it when it suddenly leaves you?

I’m about 1000 reps into M2, and I have no dillusions about my full swing. I don’t expect thing to come together for me until much later in the modules, but currently my swing is a patchwork of tips, thoughts, trial, errors, etc.

All that being said I had two of the greatest range sessions of my life last thursday and friday. Simply brilliant. I slept very well over the weekend.

I went to the range prior to work this morning. Primed for more of the same… and poof it was gone.

What do you guys do when it just leaves you.

I tried for about 100 balls to get it back and then just picked up my sticks and walked away. I’ll try again tomorrow.


The best thing is not to allow your mood to be based on how you strike a golf ball. To me, that is a recipe for some severe depression. Keep drilling, playing golf, and do NOT allow insecurities to creep in your game because of one poor session.

Try and learn from your mistakes, but keep your memories on your positive outcomes.

We’d all be better for the experience if we were strong enough to follow the above tenet.

Captain Chaos

step one—walk away

step two—drink heavily

step three—take an extra day off and repeat step two


A great question that I am surprised is not talked about much more of forums. First, it happens to everyone, including good players. Why? Some days you just have zero mental focus. Some days your timing is gone completely. For me and most of my students who I have watched hit balls on their “bad days” it is also a total lack of mind/body connection, very likely an imbalance in brain chemistry. Its like your mind and body are occupying different universes. Often it is as simple as poor Balance, but not knowing it. Or poor Tempo or Rhythm - and not knowing it. Sometimes you can save the session by knowing your swing tendencies or Fatal Flaws to such a high degree that you can do a drill or focus in on a body part and make the correction, and then find your swing again.

On the off days, best thing is to leave the range immediately. DO NOT try to “find it” after you have gone through your short diagnostic checklist (assuming you have one based on objective reality that is proven to work). That is “searching” and always leads to more bad shots and a total loss of confidence. Which is deadly in golf…Go home and do something non-golfy. It will come back to you on it’s own. We have a rule at Balance Point which says that if you have three such bad sessions in a row, you are in a slump. And the chances of you working your out of that slump quickly and easily are basically zero. You need a lesson from your teacher at that point. You are doing something fatally wrong in your golf swing and you don’t know what that Fatal Flaw is. So how could you possibly fix it?

Hard to say without knowing what left you and why…was ball flight off; hitting flat; thin; hooking; hosel nightmares etc.

If you are considering leaving the range, why not stay awhile- pick a few targets and try to create some real speciality shots that are quite far removed from the motion that you are currently using. Example: take a 7 iron and try to hit a 50 yard hook into a target that bounces three times before it gets there…just goofy stuff but sometimes getting creative freshens the mind. RR

Well, I’d start by not hititng the range that often right now. Spend time working on your short game while going through the next 2-3 modules, let Lag build your swing up the easy and non-frustrating way. Then when you feel module 1, 2 and 3 are correctly washing over your swing, maybe then try to work out how that feels blasting a few balls if you feel the need.

If you don’t think that’s a good idea, or you have a day like this at the range, quit and do some putting practice. I often hear people say when their hitting is off their putting is on, so you might have a really good putting session and learn some things. This happened to me two weeks ago on a practice round. I just couldn’t find a nice groove for my swing, so I walked over to the putting green and tried to finish off practice in a really positive way, and this will be something I do a lot of in the future. Always look for something positive to take out of your practice sessions.

I referred back to this thread throughout the day… thanks for all the good advice.

I stopped at the range on the way home from work, BUT this time I only brought my wedges. Had a very good “90 yrd and in” session.

Thanks again for all the advice.

I thought I’d share a playing story that sticks out in my mind and may help. It’s interesting that Quantum Golf was mentioned in another thread because it was a thought from that book that helped me make my biggest ‘I’ve lost/I found it again’ turn around. I was playing in a pretty decent amateur event a good few years ago, and a lot of them would have two rounds in one day. I had been playing okay at the time but for whatever reason I just couldn’t get the club on the ball in the morning round and ended up shooting 80. It was a beautiful day too, but quite breezey. The tournament was at Ballybunion which is a hell of a place to be on a nice day, but an awful place to play badly. I hit it sideways in the first round and was really struggling to find an impact journey that felt decent. When I was younger I used to have more of an active closing of the face with my hands, so there were always times that I could just lose it. I spent the whole round trying every imaginable swing thought that had ever worked for me but it just got worse. When you’re spraying it on a tough links course and it’s warm, breezy, and bouncy, it’s a pretty scary place to be. I could only see it getting worse as it had through the course of the first round.
There was about an hour break for lunch, which didn’t taste very good as you can imagine. It was just enough time to think but not enough time to hit balls. I had read Quantum Golf earlier that year and had found a few of the concepts very helpful, and still do actually. Knowing that I was totally confused going through impact I decided to bypass it altogether in my thinking. The idea I think is called your Q point, but I can’t quite remember the terminology. Anyway, it basically boils down to swinging towards your finishing point or some version of that. Before each shot I would make a practice swing through to a full follow through, hold that position just for a second and basically imprint that feeling in my brain. Then as I was hitting my shots, that was the only thing I thought about. As I was standing over it, taking it away, all the way through all I was feeling or thinking of was that follow through position. After picking my shots, I had no goal other than reaching that finishing point. I’m not going to lie, it took a lot of trust and giving up of control, but the ball just kept coming out of the middle of the face time and again. There’s no better feeling than a crisply struck iron shot from firm links turf. The thought was particularly helpful with the driver since contact is not really an issue since it’s on a tee- I suppose it made it easier to use the picture with the driver as a result. I did miss some shots but I stuck with the idea since it was producing. I ended up shooting 68 in the second round, which was genuinely miraculous- I can still remember the faces of my playing partners, one of whom won the tournament looking at me and saying, ‘what the f#%k happened at lunch time?’ I carried the same thought through the last two rounds for a couple of 69’s and finished 3rd- I’d won it the previous year at a different course so I was happy enough with my attempted defense. It was a very decent finish considering the start too, and there was absolutely zero chance I would’ve gotten it back together trying to work on mechanics, or using any other thought to be honest. It stands out to me because the rounds were back to back in quick succession, so there was no real physical difference, it was purely a mental outlook altering the situation. And I swear, I had absolutely nothing to draw on as far as I was aware- I thought it was a lost cause. I’ve had bad rounds followed by good ones the next day, but I think that’s a lot different considering the time you have to alter things.
It seems like your question was about losing it at the range, but losing it on the course is worse because you can’t walk away from it. In my experience losing it on the course or not having it to begin with can be saved or at least improved 9 times out of 10, by some feeling of rhythm or timing, and not mechanics. In fact I’d say that as a general rule, regardless of how you’re playing, thoughts of rhythm or timing win the day when you’re on the course. I’ve played a lot of my best golf with a song, or lyric, or some poem or something like that running around my head. I don’t know if I feed of the rhythm or repetition of it, or the meaning, or both, but there’s a lot to be said for having some rhythmic picture in your mind when you’re playing. And as attractive as it is to start thinking of mechanics when you lose the plot out there, it almost never beats thoughts of rhythm and most importantly FORGETTING ABOUT THE STRIKE. Unfortunately when you’re not striking it well it’s all too easy to try and strike it better, but that just makes the whole thing worse. If you give up a little control, you get it back tenfold. Feeling that Q Point or some other similar concept is a really good remover of junk thoughts. It’s been a while since I read Quantum Golf so I can’t remember all of the bits and pieces of it, but I would definitely recommend picking it up.

Nice read Bom:

Kinda reminds me of the process Couples uses…his overall motion guidance, for lack of a better phrase, is, from the top, to get the shaft to the L shoulder as soon as possible on the completion side. Cool how one image takes care of a lot of other processes along the way.

Ballybunion…way nice. I’ve got to get overseas one day and play some real golf…a friend of mine works for Golfweek Magazine and goes over almost every year to play the great venues. One day perhaps…if for no other reason to have a crack at #17 @ the Old Course. If you’ve ever played it…are those hotels off to the right ever hit by beginners. Looks like they could…but I’m not sure. How is Padraig playing that hole from the tee based on the video you posted earlier :slight_smile: RR

This is an interesting topic that I can relate to a lot, unfortunately, hehehe. :smiley:

One thing that does help me out a lot is that I have these Hogan (or Knudson, or Sevam, or Lynn, or Faldo, etc.) youtube videos others have made that I downloaded and re-mixed with music I like. When I lose my swing, I take a break and watch these videos. It’s like the videos are telling my subconscious mind how to swing, and I get my swing back. I guess it’s a lot like how ballboys learn to play tennis just by watching it a lot.

Anyone does the same thing? I read that Moe Norman used to carry around a Ben Hogan flip-card swing sequence. That would be cool to have during a round. :slight_smile:

That’s a swing aid and subject to a 12 stroke penalty and automatic ejection from the course! :wink:

Captain Chaos

Good call on the Freddy idea, now there’s a guy that keeps it simple. I think I remember him saying he attributed that thought to hitting it long too. His other mental idea is great, Rotella mentions it in one of his books- before he hits a shot he just remembers the best shot he’s ever hit with whatever club he has in his hands. Pure genius. Talk about simplifying visualization. Is anyone going to call ‘no fair’ for having him out on the senior tour? It doesn’t seem right somehow- he’s so good.
I’ve played St. Andrews a few times alright. 17 is/was a beast. It seems to have been ruined by the new technology, it was an intimidating hole to play all the way. With the old ball and pre bouncy drivers you really had to work to take it up the right hand side to have an angle to the green, and it really doesn’t make sense to your brain standing on that tee to hit it up the right side- it’s so easy to pull it left there it’s ridiculous! And then taking on the green is in another realm of ridiculous to your eye, particularly if you have 3 or 4 iron in your hand. Fantastic.
I used to love watching the old Dunhill cup on TV- 3rd to The Open and The Masters for me. David Feherty hit a 3i into 17 one year that Ireland won it, that’s still one of the best shots I’ve ever seen. That guy could strike it maybe better than he can tell a story which says something. Looking at guys hitting short irons into that hole is like looking at an overweight dog trying to move- sad and depressing beyond words. I hear they’ve made some changes to put the bite back into it so it will be interesting to see this year.
I think they have some other tees further left and further up for higher handicap players but I’m not 100% sure. Though I’d say it’s a rare amateur that doesn’t hack his way up the left hand side of that hole!

They would be smarter to roll back the gear rather than keep moving the tees back, because it changes the shape and dynamic of the hole when you just move the tees back… and does nothing to improve the quality of the golf course. You could take the worst municipal goat track and make it 8000 yards… by just moving the tees back forever… doesn’t make it one iota of a better golf course… just more of a bad one.

The one thing the pros could do in the past was hit quality long irons… that amateurs could never do. The long iron off the fairway has always been the true acid test of the golf swing. To remove that part of the game not only hurts the golf course, but it hurts the development of the golf swing itself, and of course waters down the iconic traditions of the game to no end.

Play whatever you want, but don’t use hybrids as a crutch. The long iron shot will teach you a proper golf swing, and it’s mastery will make you just that much better using modern gear if you choose to play it.

"In my experience losing it on the course or not having it to begin with can be saved or at least improved 9 times out of 10, by some feeling of rhythm or timing, and not mechanics.’

In Mr. Hogan’s book 5 lessons he said, ( and I paraphrase) the waggle is the key to getting it back which is in line with Bom’s comment regarding rhythm and timing.

Thanks for equating that idea to one of Hogan’s, Littlealm… couldn’t have picked a better back up witness myself :slight_smile:
Cool thoughts, Lag… it literally amazes me that they can’t have something as simple as shaft length and loft limitations- those two things alone would be massive… the lofts would be easy, but you could have like a 3/4 inch window of length limitation to accommodate shorter and taller players, but the max length would easily be fair for everyone… then screw around with the lie angle as much as you want…
It seems so easy… you wouldn’t even have to limit materials for that to have a huge impact… it would force the COG higher and then maybe the ball construction etc. as a result…