Trouble integrating for tournament play

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Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby goalkeeper19 » Mon May 23, 2011 2:42 pm

I've been working on accuracy and consistency for several months (intermittently for a few years), and in the practice field, have felt much better about most parts of my game. I'm not going for huge distance, but just good consistency under 400'. Lately especially, my drive accuracy in the field with midranges, putters, and drivers has been really good.

However, in tournament play (7 rounds this year) I have been VERY unpredictable. I consider myself a 930ish golfer, with potential to be 950 or so. Out of 7 rounds, I've had 6 be less than 910. Putting has been typically great in tourneys, so practice in that area has definitely paid off. Driving, on the other hand, is all over the map. The biggest problem seems to be in the release point, and I'm getting a lot of slipped drives and bad aimed upshots. In the field I feel really good about my release point, but it's not translating into tourney play.

Any pointers for getting over that particular mental hurdle? Or is more practice the cure, giving myself a long time to have my "updated" technique become more the norm?
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby Star Shark » Mon May 23, 2011 5:50 pm

I hope you find out. I've lost 30-50' of distance recently and virtually all of my accuracy. I've scheduled my first tournament and will be playing Intermediate but right now, I'd be laughed out of Rec. I'm hoping to get my act together in the next few weeks.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby JR » Tue May 24, 2011 4:22 am

Have you tried training throwing around trees or if possible on tighter holes? Visible scary stuff can ruin the throw automation you have when you are distracted by fear, visually intimidating distractions and what have you on the course that is not in place on open fields.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby Mark Ellis » Tue May 24, 2011 7:38 am

goalkeeper 19,

Welcome to tournament play. The main difference between a casual round and a tournament is pressure. Performance under pressure is a developable skill, just like any particular shot.

You are well on your way to developing this skill because you have already proven you can putt under pressure, which is the hardest shot in the game.

You need to start practicing under pressure (create games which ramp up the pressure) and continuing to play in tournaments because nothing replaces experience. Every level of new and bigger pressure needs to be mastered and you must learn to fail and not have it crush you. And fail you will because nobody wins every time. But you also need to learn how to succeed and that takes effort and drive and perseverance and mental toughness.

Embrace the challenge.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby goalkeeper19 » Tue May 24, 2011 7:42 am

I've definitely done a lot of "field" work in and around trees. My midrange "field" is actually a grove of scattered oaks that I pick lines through. I've been pretty good at hitting 10-15' gaps in practice, but the wooded courses in tournaments have been eating me alive. The same applies for driving practice. I get a lot of work in the open, but I spent about an equal amount of time hitting lines and gaps. One practice session I had last week I was hitting a 15' gap from 150' away, with 8 line-drive Teebird shots in a row (beautiful thing to witness!). I'd say probably 80% of my drives on the practice range "feel good". My latest tournament I could count my "good-feeling" drives on one hand. I know more practice will help, but I have a feeling there's a big mental block in place as well.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby JR » Tue May 24, 2011 12:43 pm

Have you noticed machoism in competition playing style? Pushing harder and going for low percentage shots more often? That is a great way to fond trees on tighter courses especially. If you take safer shots you aren't as likely to suffer blow ups even though you may bleed every other hole if each hole is reachable. It all depends on how hot you are on competition rounds and if you can reach the holes like once in a blue moon or 80 % of the time. Overcommitting may hurt in on open holes so wooded holes are definitely not the place to try heroics on every shot if there is small reward and high risk. It should be at least the other way around in shot and disc selection.
Flat shots need running on the center line of the tee and planting each step on the center line. Anhyzer needs running from rear right to front left with the plant step hitting the ground to the left of the line you're running on. Hyzer is the mirror of that.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby JHern » Tue May 24, 2011 3:35 pm

I've played 2 PDGA sanctioned tournaments, and my level during these has been awful. It doesn't help that I was playing while sick (and physically weak) at both of them. But I'm very bi-modal: I play some holes extremely well, and then I go on streaks playing other holes extremely poorly. I oscillate between 990-rated streaks (par machine, picking up a couple birdies here and there) and 850-rated streaks (double bogey time). If I could just figure out how to control this transition, and stay on the hot track, I could compete in Am1 without a doubt. And I think the same could be said about a lot of Am2 players I've been on the same card with, who at times were playing nearly 1000-rated golf but always found a way to screw up the round some place else.

And for me it isn't always a question of course management. I know how to do that, it isn't a problem for me. I'll be playing safe par golf, and for some reason I'll screw up a simple upshot, miss the putt, and then everything cascades downhill after that.

But seriously, my upshots are the glue that binds my game together, and maybe you could use some practice with that. I'm usually excellent in this part of the game, landing within 10' or closer to the pin from 100'-200' out with any kind of garbage to weave through (which is good, because I constantly miss putts further than 10'). Even when I have a bad drive, I can often salvage par based on my usually surgical skills with a Wizard. But when my approach game goes away, its all over for me. Forget it, I'm going into bogey land, no matter how good my drives might be.

Here's something you might consider doing for practice. Grab your putters, and go out to your course on a slow day when there isn't much traffic. Throw a bunch of upshots from the shitty places you would end up with bad drives, and then putt them out from where each lands. Try to get every single one of them in the basket in 2 throws starting from each kind of shitty place. Once successful, make it even more challenging, and go to an even shittier place. Do this on a lot of holes, with anhyzer, hyzer, straight, from a kneeling position, etc., until you have that shit down cold. Anything more than 2 throws is bullshit, and unacceptable. Keep at it until you get that shit sorted out.

This takes the pressure off your driving game. It will give you confidence that you can par out even if you shank your drive badly (unless you go OB, of course). A good drive simply makes your life easier, and perhaps presents you with a birdie opportunity. But it doesn't matter. Then you'll just have more fun, relax, and enjoy the driving game.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby goalkeeper19 » Wed May 25, 2011 8:00 am

Thanks for the responses. Thanks for the advice Mark (see you at Am Nats again this year).

Anyone have good pressure-inducing games for driving?
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby rusch_bag » Wed May 25, 2011 11:43 am

I have been playing worst shot singles during my practice rounds lately and it has been helping a lot. I throw two shots from every lie that I have and take the worst of the two. I also have to make both putts to finish the hole. It can get really frustrating, but it really forces you to make good shots all the time. It puts a lot of pressure on your second shot especially if you had a really good first shot.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby Peot » Wed May 25, 2011 1:03 pm

I haven't been playing for very long but started playing in tournaments just a couple months after I started playing, and I think what hurts me most is being extremely reticent to take my medicine. If you whack off the first tree and land in the rough, trying to hit a narrow gap and park it for the part save will probably end up netting you a double bogey, whereas you can pitch out and try again from the fairway to save bogey. As I said, this is probably what I need to work on the most. Hero shots don't work all that well, but sticking to the fairways can absolutely net you a win in Am 2
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby MikePinchico » Thu May 26, 2011 10:27 am

I have found that in tourneys it is far better to throw a disc that you have absolute control whenever you throw. That might mean discing down but trust me playing safe rather than balls to the wall will help you win the money. How many drivers are you throwing during a round? I take discs out of my bag for tourneys just so it is easier to make the right decision.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby Dookville » Fri May 27, 2011 12:00 am

goalkeeper19 wrote:Thanks for the responses. Thanks for the advice Mark (see you at Am Nats again this year).

Anyone have good pressure-inducing games for driving?

The week leading into a tournament I will start my monday with a normal round at my local course. I play a normal round, trying to achieve the lowest score possible.

On Tuesday I play a forehand round (Not my strength) to give me extra practice and a different view of various angles of the same course.

On Wed. I play anny lines instead of flat or hyzer lines.

On Thursday I play another normal round trying to take into consideration all the shots I have at my disposal. I visualize the forehand, then the anny line, and finally grab for the disc I know for my normal flat or hyzer shot. The process gets me thinking locigally about my highest percentage shot and weeds out the crap.

If you are familiar with the course you are going to play, apply the thursday routine and play a couple rounds in your head. Take friday off, except for the rounds you play in your head.

Just one mans thought.
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Every time I've ever tried to implement any of the advice from on here to get more distance on my drives it has ended up wrecking my game completely for a while.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby A buzzz and a beer » Fri May 27, 2011 6:32 pm

Besides the idea of pressure I think there is one important thing. You will have to throw a lot of shots you don't normally throw. I noticed this over the last two tournaments I played in. I have all the shots, I just don't throw them much. For example I kept over throwing all my upshots from 100-200 feet. I don't normally throw this shot so I kept thinking I had to put more on them.

My response to this problem that even when playing my home course I am going to start to practice these by making multiple targets. So instead of just going for a birdie on the 400ft hole I might aim at a tree about 200 away off to the left. Then from there I get another 200ft shot with an obsticle or two.

My point is to try many different shots that aren't on your course. Maybe even go to an open park and just pick targets with a friend and see who can get closer.
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Re: Trouble integrating for tournament play

Postby victorb » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:45 am

goalkeeper19 wrote:Thanks for the responses. Thanks for the advice Mark (see you at Am Nats again this year).

Anyone have good pressure-inducing games for driving?


Play a 'worst drive' Cali rules round. Take 2 shots off every tee, always play the worst one. That way you have the pressure of making 2 good shots in a row.
Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. -Lou Holtz -

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