Can You Play Too Much ?

I am retired and I can play as much golf as I want. I usually spend Tuesdays practicing. Play Wednesday, Thursday, practice Friday and play Saturday. Occasionally I will practice Sunday afternoon. Monday the club is closed so no golf unless I play a muni. My handicap has dropped a couple of strokes since the beginning of the year but now is leveling out and unfortunately will start going back up if I continue to post the high scores I have been getting lately. You would think as much as I play and practice my game would keep improving but it doesn't. I know the weak links to me scoring better and I really practice hard to improve in these areas but sometimes I get in a funk where I just cannot bring it to the course and execute what I can successfully do on the practice area. My wife thinks I over do it. Is that possible ?

Carl,

For me playing too much can lead to poorer scoring. Now this doesn't always keep me from playing but I think the following may be the reasons for me.

Small bad habits get ingrained and sometimes turn from smaller to bigger bad habits. Since the change is small to begin with it can be unnoticed and I make small corrections which exacerbate the swing issues. I get hooky at times and can get alignment issues that creep up on me.

Fatigue or tiredness can cause a lack of focus/a lack of concentration, or swing issues for me.I think the lack of focus/concentration is a big issue for me. Also, if my legs are tired I can make bad swings. Do you walk or take a cart? I usually walk.

The above can cause me doubt or a lack of confidence and it becomes a snowball effect. The more I lose confidence the more poor shots I hit the more I lose confidence. Etc. A break can cleanse my mind of bad thoughts.

I am sure there are other issues in play that I have not thought about but these seem to be big ones for me. I have already taken a week off and come back and scored well. Maybe focus and concentration is the biggest thing. Desire.

I hope this helps a little. Keep us up on what you think. Thanks

Carl, I play 18 daily on foot, partly because golf has been my only sport, and partly to keep from gaining weight.  I play my first 9 teeing off at 7 am and then my second 9 I tee off at about 2pm.  My first 9 is strictly practice, unlimited mulligans, I'll drop out three balls on the greens and practice putts from different angles.  Then the afternoon round is by the rules with scoring.  I record fairways hit, greens in regulation, and putting strokes using the Titleist score card.  Once a week I'll play my morning round, then travel to a full featured 18 hole track to test my game.  I have had a slow but steady improvement this year playing every day.  Two weeks ago I decided that I should move up to the senior tees since I'm 66 and all the fella's at my course who are mostly retired play from them, well I'm loving that shorter game with scores around par.  But if I'm having a bad day on that second round, I'll pack it in and go home and watch Gunsmoke.  I guess that as long as I'm having fun I'll continue regardless of score.  But, maybe your wife has something there, she probably knows you pretty well.

Allen,

I love your style!!

What a great idea of how to do it. Glad you are improving as well. It sure sounds like you have a found a "happy place". Awesome stuff. 

Keep having fun and enjoying this great game. And if you keep improving even better. 

LOL... Your wife must be related to my wife. And I don't play everyday - just on the days I'm not working and/or a couple of evenings during the week. It's amazing how little unintended tweaks leak into our game. There are bad days, then definite trends. If getting your own instructor a few times a year is on your list, there are online swing analyzers at places like the Golf Channel website if you can get a video of your swing.

I'm also retired and i'll be at my club 4-5 times a week. FL is a little toasty in the summer,  plus the pop-up thunderstorms, make for a few 9 hole rounds this time of year. At range, the hardest thing is to stop hitting balls. This is when it gets overdone for me.

                                                                                                                        Frank P

Thanks for the encouragement guys. I do think that I was fatigued more than normal last week because I started a jogging/walking routine at the gym when I am not on the golf course. I know one day I over did it and it makes sense that when you are tired you do not concentrate as well. My golf was like an alien had entered my body as I could not believe how bad some of my chipping and pitching turned out. I have not touched a club since last Saturday and plan to practice tomorrow. As YB once said, "Golf is 90% mental and the other half is physical."

I cannot wait until I am retired and have the freedom to play that often.

With that said, I have also noticed my scores creeping up when I play multiple days (more than 2-3) in a row at a time. I think the above post nailed it, with the idea that small problems can get into our heads, and we try to fix it within the round and then before we have a chance to reset ourselves, we continue plugging away and continue to "fix" the problem, which actually exasperates the original issue. A little break here and there might be what you need.

Carl,

Physical fatigue can definitely impact one's concentration or mental aspect of the the game. Once the focus or concentration goes it can be tough. Then a few poor shots and then more lose of confidence. Then negative thoughts can snowball. 

But also please do not under-estimate the impact of fatigue on the golf swing and on the more "touch" or "feel" shots like putting and chipping. If the legs are tired it can really impact the swing and also make those shorter shots a bit more difficult. It can manifest itself in many different ways. If my legs feel heavy or tired my lower body does not work like usual driving through the shot. On short chips and pitches I can lose my level and hit some fat and thin.

Each person is different in how it can impact their game.

Once the jogging/walking routine starts improving your endurance and strength and you start hitting more good shots and your confidence returns my guess is your scoring will be right back and maybe even better than ever. Being in better condition might encourage more golf................. Hang in there and keep thinking positive.

Carl,

Playing too much is not the problem.  It's the injuries that occur "because" of playing too much.  Before 1/1/14, I played over 1000 rounds from 2011 - 12/31/13.  Now I'm paying for it with nagging injuries.  I'm still not completely healthy. Look at TW.  One injury after another. Play smart, that would be my humble advice.  And practice even smarter.  Have fun, that's what it's all about!  Good luck!

Vern

Good afternoon partner, I am retired also and I play Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Monday the course is closed so I work out at my fitness center on balance, stretching, and some weight lifting. I have found out that having a more balanced routine to follow has really helped my stamnia and strength kept my weight in check but has really improved by golf. I would suggest that you give this a try for 6 to eight months and I know you will see a big difference in your ability to improve all aspects of your game. Hope this helps. Smitty

Carl,

As with most things, I believe you can over do it with golf.  In the past I used to play 3 or 4 times a week and would practice a few times a week on top of that.  Initially, I had really good success with that routine, I was shooting much lower scores and my handicap dropped significantly.  Unfortunately, after a couple of seasons with that routine things started going south.  What I realized was that I was just wearing myself out both physically and mentally.  Since then I have scaled back on my practice time during the season.  I still practice a fair amount early in the spring, but once I feel my swing is on track then I cut my practice sessions to once a week.  I spend my time in those sessions focusing on the aspects of my game that need attention, but I try not to over do it.  For me, a short session (1/2 - 1Hr) to work on one, maybe two items, is perfect, I don't feel like I'm wearing myself out anymore.  I still play several times a week on average and my handicap has gone back up several strokes, but I don't feel nearly as stressed as I was several years ago.

Barry

As yet another retiree, I play at least four days a week:  Mon-Thurs.  I play occasion tournaments on Sundays and infrequently also on Saturdays.  There have been weeks this summer that I have played seven or more days in a row.  I don't spend a lot of time on the range, usually only to hit about 25 balls to loosen up before playing.  I do have a swing coach to whom I will go if I'm having repeated issues with an aspect of my game.  Often, we resolve the issue in less than 15 minutes, rarely does it take more than half an hour to get back in sync.  From time to time, I find that I'm a bit golfed out.  I'll then take a few extra days off, or pray for a rainy week.  Most often, it is mental fatigue, not physical fatigue that gets me.  I over-think, over-correct, or simply try to do too much on a given day (draw to a left pin, fade to a right pin, etc.), when just hitting to the middle of the fairway/green is the best way to go.  Work it out however is best for you.  Just make sure you keep your spouse in the loop and take time to talk to her and do things with her to balance out your golf.  Works for me--for now.

Pay to much ... Yes Play to much ... No :-)

After a recent "schedule opening" event I have started playing every day and 36 on Sundays.  Too much golf?  Not a phrase I am keen to!

Hit em straight!