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  1. #1
    Q-School Graduate
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    The mental side of driving

    My driving went to pot a few weeks ago, and it got so bad that I was duffing most of them. Tried switching from pink to orange tees, but just ended up hitting them high and left instead, still no good.

    It got that bad that I booked a lesson with our pro for yesterday. Prior to that, played on Tuesday, never took the driver out the bag once, just hit my hybrid off every tee and scored 32 which I was well chuffed with in the circs.

    Had the lesson yesterday. Pro spotted the problem straight away, I was taking the driver away far too high and hitting down on the ball. Made a few adjustments, and was then creaming my drives, must have hit 50 and 40 were great, the other 10 sliced but not too badly.

    Went straight out the course, you've guessed it, every drive either duffed or sliced miles right. Felt like snapping the driver in half I was so frustrated. I was convinced I was doing what he showed me, but the results were awful. I was stewing about it so much it got to the rest of my game and even my trusty hybrid stopped working.

    I can only think it is a mental issue as i can hit them fine on the practice ground, but not on the course.

    Any advice gratefully received!

  2. #2
    Ryder Cup Winner patricks148's Avatar
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    Quote Originally Posted by rudebhoy View Post
    My driving went to pot a few weeks ago, and it got so bad that I was duffing most of them. Tried switching from pink to orange tees, but just ended up hitting them high and left instead, still no good.

    It got that bad that I booked a lesson with our pro for yesterday. Prior to that, played on Tuesday, never took the driver out the bag once, just hit my hybrid off every tee and scored 32 which I was well chuffed with in the circs.

    Had the lesson yesterday. Pro spotted the problem straight away, I was taking the driver away far too high and hitting down on the ball. Made a few adjustments, and was then creaming my drives, must have hit 50 and 40 were great, the other 10 sliced but not too badly.

    Went straight out the course, you've guessed it, every drive either duffed or sliced miles right. Felt like snapping the driver in half I was so frustrated. I was convinced I was doing what he showed me, but the results were awful. I was stewing about it so much it got to the rest of my game and even my trusty hybrid stopped working.

    I can only think it is a mental issue as i can hit them fine on the practice ground, but not on the course.

    Any advice gratefully received!
    my driving is very hit and miss for my handicap. I used to be a very good driver of the ball and hardly ever missed a fairway, but my iron play wasn't up to scratch so worked on that. You guessed it irons now the strongest part of my game and the driver... well lets just say i'm consistently inconsistent

    Have the same problem as you. when ever i go for lessons with my mate, i drive the ball really well and he struggles to find a problem most of the time. I have thought of getting a cardboard cut out of him and standing it behind me on the tee when i play

  3. #3

    Re: The mental side of driving

    I'm pretty similar to you. A good drive for me is very good and normally puts me in a great spot for a par, however I can hook and slice like a champ. It is part mental and part lack of skill. I know what my issue is as it sounds like you do, I cannot control the face or the path of the club well enough to be good at this game. I do find however I have 'good' driving holes and 'bad' driving holes. If there is trouble on the right it tends to find it, so some of that is mental for sure. What I try to do with some success is imagine the 'good' hole when I am on the 'bad' hole. So for me the good hole is a dog leg left where I can smack it over a massive tree and cut the corner. I can do that pretty well, so on the bad hole I imagine the tree is in the fairway and try to reproduce the shot. It works sometimes, try it.

  4. #4
    Money List Winner Lord Tyrion's Avatar
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    If it is going badly, try hitting it really slowly. You will still swing fairly quickly but in your head it will feel painful. It helps me. When the confidence is on the up then you can speed up the swing again.

    Might not work for you but it helps me.
    Nike Covert 2.0 Driver, Nike Covert 3 Wood, Nike Covert 26° Hybrid, Ping G25 23° Hybrid, Cleveland CG16 Irons , Cleveland Wedges, Radius Classic No. 7 Putter

  5. #5
    Journeyman Pro Curls's Avatar
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    Taking your range driving to the course is difficult, there are a number of things you can do to help but there's no getting past the biggest factor - which I'll address last.

    1. At the range you have a mat and barriers between bays that give you lovely parallel lines. These are not on the course. So you need to work extra hard on aligning properly, standing a little open (or closed) to your intended traget will produce very different results from those on the range.

    2. The tee height at the range is always the same, you can mitigate this by using castle or graduated tees.

    3. The big one. If you mess up at the range you rake another ball over and go again. There is no consequence to your mistake. On the course you've only got that ball, and where it goes matters. That's the most difficult to overcome, but you can do it by training yourself to have a positive mindset. That starts with having a defined plan, where is the ball going to start its flight (what line are you starting it on, and how are you aligning to it), how high is it, wheres the apex of the turn (if there is one), where does it land, where does it run out to. All of that factors in the wind, the slopes of landing areas, hazards... More importantly, if you do miss, where's your bad miss? Where can you not afford to go? Is the wind taking you that way? Can you use the width of the tee box to give yourself a better angle?

    Okay now you have a plan, do you have a routine? A set of steps that are absoltely repeated without variation so that when you do address the ball, your mind is as calm and unaddled with doubt as it is at the range.

    I wish I could have my rational self caddying for me. I'd be great. But in the heat of the moment, that guy is sitting at home and I have to make do with whoever I brought that day instead. Depending on who that is, I can shoot 78 or 108.

    That's my golf anyway
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  6. #6
    Grand Slam Winner bobmac's Avatar
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    How far do you hit your 7 iron?
    Mad inventor of the www.v-easy.co.uk A knowledgeable person knows lots of stuff, a wise person keeps it to themself

  7. #7
    Tour Winner Khamelion's Avatar
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    As LT wrote above, slow things down and let everything fall into place in the correct order. The ball may not go as far as a good full driver swing, but at least it will be on the fairway and will start to build your confidence that you can hit a driver.
    If you've been smoking something you shouldn't and you see something that walks like a duck, sounds like a duck and looks like a duck, then it's probably a dog or a bag of peas.

  8. #8
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    Quote Originally Posted by bobmac View Post
    How far do you hit your 7 iron?
    on a good day, about 150 (measured one at 165 last week, but that was a freak shot).

    on a bad day, about 70!

    If you are going to suggest just hitting the 7 off the tee, I know I can get away doing that with the hybrid (which goes about 180), but that's kind of dodging the issue.

  9. #9
    Grand Slam Winner bobmac's Avatar
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    Quote Originally Posted by rudebhoy View Post
    on a good day, about 150 (measured one at 165 last week, but that was a freak shot).

    on a bad day, about 70!

    If you are going to suggest just hitting the 7 off the tee, I know I can get away doing that with the hybrid (which goes about 180), but that's kind of dodging the issue.
    On a good day, how far do you hit the driver?
    Mad inventor of the www.v-easy.co.uk A knowledgeable person knows lots of stuff, a wise person keeps it to themself

  10. #10
    Q-School Graduate
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    Re: The mental side of driving

    Quote Originally Posted by Curls View Post
    Taking your range driving to the course is difficult, there are a number of things you can do to help but there's no getting past the biggest factor - which I'll address last.

    1. At the range you have a mat and barriers between bays that give you lovely parallel lines. These are not on the course. So you need to work extra hard on aligning properly, standing a little open (or closed) to your intended traget will produce very different results from those on the range.

    2. The tee height at the range is always the same, you can mitigate this by using castle or graduated tees.

    3. The big one. If you mess up at the range you rake another ball over and go again. There is no consequence to your mistake. On the course you've only got that ball, and where it goes matters. That's the most difficult to overcome, but you can do it by training yourself to have a positive mindset. That starts with having a defined plan, where is the ball going to start its flight (what line are you starting it on, and how are you aligning to it), how high is it, wheres the apex of the turn (if there is one), where does it land, where does it run out to. All of that factors in the wind, the slopes of landing areas, hazards... More importantly, if you do miss, where's your bad miss? Where can you not afford to go? Is the wind taking you that way? Can you use the width of the tee box to give yourself a better angle?

    Okay now you have a plan, do you have a routine? A set of steps that are absoltely repeated without variation so that when you do address the ball, your mind is as calm and unaddled with doubt as it is at the range.

    I wish I could have my rational self caddying for me. I'd be great. But in the heat of the moment, that guy is sitting at home and I have to make do with whoever I brought that day instead. Depending on who that is, I can shoot 78 or 108.

    That's my golf anyway
    I agree, that's the crux of the issue. I was pretty relaxed on the practice ground, hitting good shots in rapid succession. Out on the course, it's the 10 minutes stewing until the next drive which is killing me mentally.

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