Ay ay ay...What happened to my driver?!

So, I am a relatively decent golfer for a second year player. I consistently shoot in the mid 80s when I play to at least 75% of my ability (of course I don't get that every time); however, over the past two weeks, my driver has been pathetic. Any wood/hybrid I am constantly topping. I'm hitting the ground sometimes a foot behind the ball, but my weight isn't on my back foot when that happens! I went from hitting my driver the best I had ever hit it to the point where I don't even want to golf because I suddenly cannot get off the tee with any 'wood' or hybrid. I've tried so many things...Grip, ball position, weight transfer, still head, not swaying, standing closer, further away, swing paths, follow throughs, take aways... On and on...I just don't get it. It is the most frustrating and embarrassing thing ever, and this horrible habit has turned into muscle memory. Every shot I hit seems to be off the toe as well. When I do actually hit it off the sweet spot, the ball goes no higher than 2 feet off the air for about 40 yards, hooking a few yards along the way. Like I said, I went from golfing 5 days a week to not even wanting to go because I couldn't buy even an average shot off the tee. I am considering getting a lesson, because I have exhausted every other possible option. Same with anything longer than an 8 iron. My 7-4 irons absolutely suck now. Very low trajectory 20-30 yard hard draws/hooks. I can honestly say that I have only had two days out of the hundreds of rounds where I had every aspect of my game 'on'. Those two times I shot an 82. I couldn't buy a 102 right now- I am golfing worse than the first time I ever played. Literally. And I have to golf in an outing on Saturday. That oughta be a blast!

Don't give up, i recently went through the same thing, its just rust. you can get back there. Im going through some swing tweaks right now that have helped me a lot. 

I recently was fitted for a 913 and after purchasing it and taking it to the course i was fading it so hard that it just wouldn't go anywhere, or i would just flat out slice it high and right. My friend looked at me swing 1 club and told me i was picking it up too quick and try to keep it low longer on the takeaway and now I'm bombing it and loving my new 913 d3 its crazy how something small can really effect your ball flight.

So consider a lesson or have a buddy who's better than you take a look at your swing on the range. Thats my recommendation. i myself used to be much better and could hit 3 wood farther than everyone in my foursome who hit driver, but thats when i played like 2-3 times a week, so if you stopped playing 5 times a week like you said, its just rust and keep at it, put some range time in and you'll see results.

Good Luck

Hitting the ball good -to- hitting the ball poor

Most common is a case of macho man.......... I'm hitting the ball good now all I have to do is hit the ball harder.........doesn't work

When playing well just keep playing the same, more distance will come, it takes time.

Something to understand

There are good times and bad times, as time goes on the good times last longer and the bad times are shorter........the good times get better and the bad times aren't as bad.......it takes time

Get your swing smooth, keep it smooth, the longer you do this the faster it will get without trying to swing faster.......it takes time

No matter what you read, there is no short cut, no magic move......it takes time

Get your lessons from an actual club pro, then stick with what he teaches you.

Pressure

Coming up is the opportunity to display your skills..........thats called pressure

It takes time, but you have to get in your own head that it is nothing more than going out to the course any other day.

The more you put yourself in a pressure situation the easier it will become.

Thanks for the words of encouragement, Ellen. I am a beaten dog right now! I will concentrate on staying low next time I get on the course.

25% physical - 75% mental.

I'm 62, and play fine with my wife.  When I play with my 20-something threesome, I start hitting line drive pulls, hard slices, and the occassional high fade that will also end up too far to the edge.

Over-swinging.  As soon as I try to muscle the club through the ball, I usally top the ball and hit towards the heel. 

Relax, and let the ball get in the way of the club.  Keep your speed down to less than 90% of your hardest swing.   Better to hit 210 instead of 225 than to end up OOB at 140.

Keano,

I know the feeling.  I usually shoot in the low to mid 80's on a 6200+ yard course. Sometimes even lower.  However, this year has been a struggle.  In the first 3 months (I live in the South so we play all year) I played about 12 rounds and 6 of them were in the 90's.  There were a couple upper 70 and low 80 rounds so I knew I could still play, but then I'd throw in a couple 92-95 adventures.  I was ready to quit altogether.  But I kept plugging and my last 4 rounds were 85,84,84 and yesterday a 78.

What I have been working on is a slow-ish takeaway.  I'm approaching 65 yrs old and have come to the realization that I'm not going to be as long as I used to be.  It seemed that the more frustrated I became, the harder I swung and the worse I did. So I just take one club more than I used to and make sure that the backswing is smooth which makes the downswing smoother also.  Ellen said that she takes the club back lower and that is good advise. But I'm a feel player and focusing on how high the club is going back is too mechanical for my senile brain. So I just feel the Smooooth and that has helped.  I have less thin, low shots and more height.  It's not perfect, but is a whole lot better.

Keep the faith.  If you shoot in the 80's then you're a good enough player to weather this slump.  Take a lesson, follow what the Pro tells you, listen to the T/T nation, and keep plugging away.  Good luck in your upcoming outing.  Don't ever give up.

Mark F