Am I at the end of my golfing road ?

sunshine

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A great range of advice so far. Just to sum up the key takeaways from other posters:

- Have some lessons
- Don't have lessons
- Think more deeply about your game, keep stats etc.
- Stop over-thinking, just go out and play
- Pause your membership
- Don't pause your membership
- Don't think about your handicap
- Focus on your handicap
- Develop a strategy based on your strengths / weaknesses
- Don't think about strategy

It's all there for you. What could possibly go wrong now? ;)
 

Doon frae Troon

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I stopped playing about 5 years ago as I was either hitting very good shots or very bad shots.
I would have loved to continue playing as a steady eddie 10 to 12 handicapper.
It was what I had always planned for on retiring, even though I had played from 2 to 5 handicap for over 40 years.
Funny ol game.

Lots of people play golf without really enjoying it, play for fun, forget scores, don't be too hard on yourself.
If all that fails, take up bowls like me. I am really enjoying playing a different sport after a lifetime of golf.
 

Maninblack4612

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Here's a question. You skiing presumably reached a certain level & you stopped improving, but you didn't give up. You didn't win Wimbledon so I assume you reached a certain level in tennis, but didn't give up. So why give up golf just because you have plateaued at a certain level? Is it because, unlike tennis & skiing, it's easy to measure your performance in golf? Or is it that golf looks as if it should be easy but isn't? I still think that someone with your physical attributes should be able to get to low single figures with the right coaching. What is the reputation of the people you've had lessons from?
 

HomerJSimpson

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I have stagnated around 11-13 for the last few years. However in terms of ball striking I haqve made huge strides and just need to learn how to score, wasting too many shots still on and around the green and chucking that one bad hole in. I still think I can get better. Personally if you don't stop trying to improve and working on getting as low as possible, then things will only end up going one way.
 

pendodave

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Here's a question. You skiing presumably reached a certain level & you stopped improving, but you didn't give up. You didn't win Wimbledon so I assume you reached a certain level in tennis, but didn't give up. So why give up golf just because you have plateaued at a certain level? Is it because, unlike tennis & skiing, it's easy to measure your performance in golf? Or is it that golf looks as if it should be easy but isn't? I still think that someone with your physical attributes should be able to get to low single figures with the right coaching. What is the reputation of the people you've had lessons from?
I'd never really considered this before. What an interesting way of looking at the difference between golf and other leisure activities. The measurable nature of golf as its Achilles heal.
 

Hobbit

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I'd never really considered this before. What an interesting way of looking at the difference between golf and other leisure activities. The measurable nature of golf as its Achilles heal.

One of my favourite ways to relax on a summer’s evening is to grab a carry bag and go play half a doz holes. No card, not always finishing a hole hence no accurate score… just go wander, no pressure.
 

steadyon

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I’m completely the opposite - not a competitive bone in my body.

I just play for fun, sure, I have a lot more fun when I play well. That said if I hit a crap shot I always think I might enjoy the next recovery!!

I just love going out for a walk and a laugh, and yes a challenge! Golf is hard and no golfer is perfect. I just love it when the pro’s half top it or shaxxx it. And then they laugh!!

It just seems to me that if your enjoyment is linked to your handicap then your probably playing the wrong game. All sport, unless you‘re a professional is meant to be a break from the pressures of real life!
 

Golfnut1957

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I've never been good at much, particularly sport. I have been good at four things. I was good at my job, I am a good husband, I'm a good father (and grandfather) and I'm good at golf.

How good at golf? My index is 8.2, how good is that? England Golf tell me that I am in the top 8% at my club. The top 13% in my county and the top 11% in England. I find that utterly amazing, and incredibly satisfying.

I don't know where you would be ranked playing off 12, but I'm willing to bet that if you had a look you would get a pleasant surprise and a better grasp of just how good you actually are.

Earlier this year I was off 6.6 and if my memory serves me correctly I was in the top 6% in club and country. You don't have to be scratch in order to consider yourself a good golfer.

You can see your standing not on the EG app but on their website by logging into your account.
 
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One of my favourite ways to relax on a summer’s evening is to grab a carry bag and go play half a doz holes. No card, not always finishing a hole hence no accurate score… just go wander, no pressure.

I do this. Take 5 or 6 clubs then try and play in different ways. Sometimes hitting only low or high shots, or alternating between fades and draws (or at least trying. It’s good fun seeing what you can shoot playing this way, and one of the best ways to develop skill.
 

BigPhil14

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I can totally relate to the OPs perfectionist thought process and how that can ruin the enjoyment of things. I used to play professional sport and would often get very down on poor performances and gradually had to try and find mini games to play with myself to help focus on certain things rather than everything being overwhelming and ruining the overall enjoyment.

As an idea, rather than trying to get better at everything at the same time, pick one thing to get better at and make that your focus for the next 2-3 months (or whatever time scale you want to put on it). For example, pick chipping. Every time you play for the next 2 months only think about your chipping and improving that. Then, if you miss an approach shot rather than being annoyed you missed the approach shot, your mindset becomes 'sweet, I get a chance to practice my chipping now and see how close I can get it/get it up and down'. Then you just focus on your chipping score at the end of the round and everything else becomes less important/critiqued. For me at least it helps focus my attention on an element of the game and gives me an excuse to not be mad when I hit a drive into the trees for example ('Doesn't matter, I'm only really here to focus on my chipping'). You can then just rotate that around your game for the next year, pick a different part you want to focus on for a period at a time, not only will you get much better at each individual part during that period, you'll play with less pressure on the other parts of your game and hopefully start to enjoy it more.
 

SwingsitlikeHogan

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I can totally relate to the OPs perfectionist thought process and how that can ruin the enjoyment of things. I used to play professional sport and would often get very down on poor performances and gradually had to try and find mini games to play with myself to help focus on certain things rather than everything being overwhelming and ruining the overall enjoyment.

As an idea, rather than trying to get better at everything at the same time, pick one thing to get better at and make that your focus for the next 2-3 months (or whatever time scale you want to put on it). For example, pick chipping. Every time you play for the next 2 months only think about your chipping and improving that. Then, if you miss an approach shot rather than being annoyed you missed the approach shot, your mindset becomes 'sweet, I get a chance to practice my chipping now and see how close I can get it/get it up and down'. Then you just focus on your chipping score at the end of the round and everything else becomes less important/critiqued. For me at least it helps focus my attention on an element of the game and gives me an excuse to not be mad when I hit a drive into the trees for example ('Doesn't matter, I'm only really here to focus on my chipping'). You can then just rotate that around your game for the next year, pick a different part you want to focus on for a period at a time, not only will you get much better at each individual part during that period, you'll play with less pressure on the other parts of your game and hopefully start to enjoy it more.
Exactly what I do when I top my tee shot on the 1st and it goes maybe 75yds and just creeping onto the fairway …’thats ok’ says I to my companions and the laughing assembly watching ‘I’m practicing my hybrid off the ground at the moment’…which indeed I am, and with that mindset I walk to my ball, take out my hybrid, and smack it beautifully 200yds straight down the middle.

Well that’s what I did on Monday ??
 

Curls

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I’ll take a different track @hitogami

You play week in week out with your mates, who are all around the same level as you. IMO that might be the issue. You’re not learning how to score. Teaching pros might try to fix a perceived swing flaw but if you hit it miles there’s probably plenty to work with already. They teach swinging, you need to learn golf. Different things entirely.

Take the winter off. It’s miserable anyway, I haven’t touched a club since October and I won’t til March. I do that every year it’s no big deal. Once spring comes you might feel the itch, ask to play with a good group. Low guys who hit it similar distances to you. You’ll soon see where the differences are. You’ll be amazed by how many fairways they miss, how often they miss the green. It’s not like on telly. At all. But you’ll also notice how when they miss a green they’re often pin high, chip it dead. Par golf, seems easy/that it’s really not that special. How they take advantage of easy holes and minimise damage on difficult ones or when they get way out of position (and they will be miles out of position). More than anything they’re probably decent putters. If you’re not, you’re on a hiding to nothing if you want to get low and I’d start there, which you can do in winter.

Chin up. Rest up. Then see how it’s done. It’s really ordinary in an extraordinary sort of way.
 

RobertB

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I started golf in 1979 self teaching, by 1981 I was stuck at 12, persevered with getting a better/right grip for 3 months ... and in 3 more months was off 7-8. Eventually was off 6'ish at 16/17 years old won quite a few club comps etc .... went to college 1984 and bar occasional round 1-2 year did little till 1999/2000 rejoined a club ... played for few years at 10-10.5 level... family /work etc curtailed golf few years later and effectively stopped from 2008-13... restarted in 2014, rejoined another club at 10.something year after and since then played regularly and worked took my first lessons, won club comp and came down to 6.8 pre WHS - working, as others had said on improving weakest part of game ... this year used Arcos and now 5.7 on my 55 birthday its highlighted driving accuracy and length (losing me -3 SG to scratch so that's focus this winter) and recently shot 2 sub par 9 holes (OK off winter tees) .. so there's a journey covering 42 years ...lots of disappointment/disillusionment along way ... one round to next ... we all heap too much expectation ... stick at it... if there is one regret I have now its the 'lost' years I've had in that history.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I’ll take a different track @hitogami

You play week in week out with your mates, who are all around the same level as you. IMO that might be the issue. You’re not learning how to score. Teaching pros might try to fix a perceived swing flaw but if you hit it miles there’s probably plenty to work with already. They teach swinging, you need to learn golf. Different things entirely.

Take the winter off. It’s miserable anyway, I haven’t touched a club since October and I won’t til March. I do that every year it’s no big deal. Once spring comes you might feel the itch, ask to play with a good group. Low guys who hit it similar distances to you. You’ll soon see where the differences are. You’ll be amazed by how many fairways they miss, how often they miss the green. It’s not like on telly. At all. But you’ll also notice how when they miss a green they’re often pin high, chip it dead. Par golf, seems easy/that it’s really not that special. How they take advantage of easy holes and minimise damage on difficult ones or when they get way out of position (and they will be miles out of position). More than anything they’re probably decent putters. If you’re not, you’re on a hiding to nothing if you want to get low and I’d start there, which you can do in winter.

Chin up. Rest up. Then see how it’s done. It’s really ordinary in an extraordinary sort of way.

Interesting points and something that resonates. Many years ago a few of us went to the Grove courtesy of GM and there was a seminar about better thinking and one of the main things that came out of this is how often club golfers miss short often where the most danger is. We had to go out in the afternoon and mark how often we missed a green and whether we took more club (as we were told). Unsurprisingly we all hit more greens in the middle (so but default close to most pins) and those greens that were missed gave easier chips without bunkers to go over
 

Sats

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Good afternoon,

Long time hidden reader on this forum so thought I would start 2022 re-evaluating a few things in my life including a big time and money sink, golf.

Hopefully some advice will steer me right or see some bigger picture I am struggling to see.

In my late 30's, I am currently a 12 handicap (ranging from about 11-14 over the years) golfer and have been playing off and on for about 10-12 years. I am a member of a fantastic golf course with great competitive membership and facilities; everything you could want from a golf club. The big problem is me and I am struggling to get any enjoyment out of the game for the first time since I took it up. I know myself pretty well and my biggest strength is also my biggest achilles heel, which is I am a complete perfectionist. I don't bother continuing with things or wasting time on it if I am not good at it (I know good is a relative term here). I have been fairly successfully sporting wise in my life, competed to a fairly high level in tennis and skiing which is why I am struggling to cope with the fact golf is currently punching me in the face.

I currently just am at a point where I think I simply don't have the skill required to get me any less than a 10-11 handicap and the way my brain works (as mentioned above) I am just thinking about jacking it all in. I have had numerous lessons from 4 coaches lasting 8-10 months per person in the last 4-5 years trying to get me down. I do relentlessly practice between lessons and have spent a lot of money in this department. I have the best fitted clubs I could buy so there isn't a stone unturned. I think I am in denial that I basically am not very good, I get away with keeping my handicap where it is because I do hit the ball a very long way for the average amateur. I did set the goal to get to scratch but I am so far away after all this time its a delusion frame of thought now.

I know some will come on and say well look to other parts of the game for the enjoyment, I do. I chew the fat on the way round, bit of piss taking, bit of gambling for 9,9 and 18 its great but that isn't the main reason I get up and play. I play to be good & in my eyes my goal of being good is to be an extremely low handicap golfer. I can do all that other stuff on WhatsApp and with mates at the pub. I am now in a position where I think I could spend this time on other hobbies I have and I am 90% going off the cliff edge on this one so was just wondering if anyone has been here and what they did. The only thing that hasn't made me jump yet is the club I am in is a once in a lifetime kind of course to be a member at and if I left I wouldn't get back in or get in anywhere remotely as good. I would hate to stop playing and want to pick it up again in a few years time and find that I would have to join a club where the course itself couldn't quite match what I have now.

Any advice would be great.

Cheers John

Sounds like you've answered yourself.

I'd firstly say practice more or get lessons, but it seems you already do. The other thing I'd say is the enjoyment, but you've mentioned that you don't have that link with golf.

If I had the same ideas about golf as you do I'd say jack it in, save yourself some money. You can't be good at all sports and golf is just one of those sports for you.

Good luck
 
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