Forgetting How To Play Golf

Golf is an amazing game that requires a great deal of knowledge and understanding to play well. I do have to say that “well” is a relative term. It seems that we are all on the ‘three steps forward – two steps back’ path to success sometimes, until it stops. Then it starts all over again and the process moving forward can be slow in challenging. It is as if I forget how to play golf from time to time. Unfortunately, playing in a two person senior scramble was on of those times for my game!

During the scramble yesterday most aspects of my game worked very well. Hitting the ball off the tee and putting was above the norm. My second shots and approach shots from 100 yards out (and farther) were acceptable. Where I struggled was around the green. Anything inside of 75 yards was a struggle. After playing great two days before, I was surprised to find that my touch completely disappeared. Rick and I struggled all day trying to get the ball close enough to have a legit chance at birdie/par. It was if I forgot how to hit the ball in the scoring range and I am not sure I understand why this happens.

Golfing is an interesting sport that requires every player to keep their mind engaged. Regardless of the shot, understanding the influencers (like lie, pin position, and dampness to name a few) is important to executing the proper shot. In my case, I have a process (pre-shot routine) that works more often than not. Unfortunately, I sometimes forget what I am doing and brain runs off into the nearest hazard. It is not that I intentionally forget my processes, it just seems to happen.

I wish I had the answer to my challenges, but alas this is not so. It is like my brain goes blank (during yesterday’s match play) and I forget how to chip successfully. This is a challenge for most amateurs face from time to time. I am reaching out to you readers for a potential solution I can share with the greater grateful golfer community. Thanks in advance.

I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!


10 thoughts on “Forgetting How To Play Golf

  1. I knew something was amiss when I saw your results posted. Our round was the opposite; average driving, mediocre approach shots but 6 birdies, none shorter than 10′, several in the 20′ range. This highlights the old saying ” drive for show, putt for dough”.
    I 2nd Lorne’s comment concerning scrambles, its hard to concentrate on your very best effort with a partner backing you up on every shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • BMc

      I agree that putting is very important in a scramble. We were off all day, it happens, but not very often as both of us can put well…..most of the time. 😉 I am playing at Clear Springs this weekend with Blair in the best ball event. You playing?

      Cheers Jim


  2. I had one of those days just on Wednesday, was okay off the tee, but after that nothing was in sync. Sometimes your body and brain are just not on the same page. It happens to the best of us, including pros. You haven’t forgotten how to play, you haven’t forgotten how to make good ball contact. Sometimes the brain tells the body……”Not today brother”! Tomorrow is another day, you may find it’s all returned, unless you stress over it. Then it could take a few days to clear your head of the garbage. It’s a message to forget the bad stuff, remember the good and carry on! With aging, I think those bad rounds (that appear from nowhere, are messages telling us; you need to do some more work on your short game).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find playing in scrambles is where this happens most often for me. The whole format is so different from playing an individual game that you get out of your routines and expectations are very different.

    In a scramble, you are usually playing from a different place than you normally would since you are taking the closest ball and frequently strange yardages result. In an individual game, my strategy is very different and is more focused on course management.

    I play in several charity events and put myself into a different mode and do not evaluate my game in the same way as an individual game. Playing aggressively on every shot can have unintended consequences which affects your “golf rhythm “. I find not taking myself too seriously helps me relax and I get into a scramble mode. It doesn’t always work.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve learned that relying solely on touch is lazy golf and it will bite me occasionally. This is where the clock method helps most. Around the greens. The 3 points I decided to do was still a little lazy as well. I think 4 might be my sweet spot. I can use knee height, belt, one hand below shoulder and one above and that should reduce the distance gap and my subsequent reliance on touch a bit more.

    And, on the flip side, when touch is there, it should make me even more accurate than I usually am now. I would venture to suggest that just the practice time alone getting the numbers will make anyone’s short game better. lol It’s a bit of work to do well. And since I think I need to go to 4 points I also think I’m going to need to log it rather than just learn it with the practice time like I did when I started. I can keep it on my phone for reference and a printed copy is legal to carry in tournament play.

    Anyway, that’s the only answer I know that can if not replace touch altogether, make it less trouble when touch decides to take the round off. My touch was missing yesterday and I didn’t have enough numbers to chose from. Did have the ones that would get me close often enough. I didn’t make the putts when I did either so that surely wasn’t helpful but I think just adding another clock position I can tighten the gap and bring some better results when touch eludes me.

    Might even be something that can help pick up green speeds come to think of it. A few set length strokes on the practice green might be just the ticket for dialing in different green speeds on a new course.

    No golf tonight. Rain. Lots of rain. So maybe no golf tomorrow too. So spent the time practicing indoors with the putter. Think I might have a solution. Forward press seems to solve the issue. It creates another but I think that I can overcome that. It’s sighting related not putting related. Well see.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Kevin,

      I agree that having a method to rely upon to create the conditions for success is always a good thing. I agree that when our touch running on all cylinders, then we are in for a great round. I will have to consider focusing on the results of the clock method (which I use) to notice the speed of the greens. Great point!

      Cheers Jim


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