Nightmare on Foo Street

By on April 11, 2016


Rip Roggow (photo Rip Roggow file)

Rip Roggow (photo Rip Roggow file)

Lately I have spent hours on the range really grinding on my short game and putting for my practice sessions. I have been chipping and pitching different shots from different lies for 2 hours at a time. I would change each shot in distance anywhere from 10ft to 35 yards from the pin. I use to just dump out a pile of balls and hit them in a rotation style to my targets, never changing my lie. Sometimes it is good to change up your practice routine so you do not get bored with it. I did the same thing with my putting practice lately as well. Instead of just hitting 5 footers for 20 minutes to the same location I started changing the putt break and distance with each attempt. You need to practice the way you want to perform. On the practice range players tend to just fire ball after ball without having a target or shot in mind. They are just going through the motions. After your warm up and stretching start to go through your pre shot routine, pick out a target. Same thing goes for your putting practice. Actually line the ball up like you would on the course and go through your routine. Your game time routine needs practice just as much as your ball striking needs it.

I wish I could sit here and tell you that practice will make you a better golfer. I can sit on the range and hit balls for hours and people believe I could beat Tiger Woods. Once I step on the golf course I couldn’t beat Helen Keller. Talk about wanting to literally and physically gouge your eyes out and rip out your tongue!! Too Soon?

I have noticed and have done my own personal research and found that when our adrenaline kicks in because we are excited or feel some sort of emotion when we get to the tee that it equates to a slightly faster club head speed or hip turn or even release of the club head earlier than that of the practice range swing. These slight adjustments can cause detrimental problems on the golf course. Golf is a game of inches. Most of these inches are between our ears. One bad swing or even one damn thought begins a ripple effect. The last two tournaments I have played in I have been even or under par through at least 9 holes and then the ripple happens. These guys that are beating me do not make the same mental mistakes I make. The guys that are beating them are making even less mental mistakes. The guys that are even stronger, mentally, play on National Television on Sundays. They don’t get frustrated and manipulate their grip pressure, swing speed, tempo or swing thoughts. They accept the result and move on to the next shot with 100% commitment.

Such as in life I am learning. I have had the pleasure of having new friends and old friends in my life that give me reassurance. If you dwell on the past and think negative you will eventually break. Forget the last shot and stay calm in the moment!! 4 Seconds of clarity and peace.

I look for and feed off of positive people in my life and on Social Media. I have become friends with a special person who personifies positive attitude and success and I thank her every day for inspiring me to be my best and I hope my gratitude helps motivate her to keep doing what she is doing. Check her out if you need fitness for your body mind and soul at I draw inspiration from my Family and Friends. But as much as I keep fighting and fight to stay positive and upbeat and to believe in myself I fail every day. I have days where I don’t want to get up; I do not want to fight.

Over the past and more recently I have these mini anxiety attacks on the golf course. I feel like Charles Barkley getting the club stuck on the backswing and I can’t mentally or physically finish the follow through on the down swing. An absolute mental and physical block!! It happens more often than not on the shorter shots and or putts.

I still keep having these nightmares where I’m golfing and I can physically feel the anxiety attacks in my sleep. Imagine on your down swing the earth starts to shake and your ball is bouncing around like C.J. Parker in the opening credits of Baywatch, wait wrong dream……. The golf ball is shaking and all you have to do is get it in the hole and you win. Focus people… we are back to golf!

I can see the ease of the shot and feel confident in my approach even under the earthquake like circumstances. As the club head is coming back through the impact zone the ground breaks and the ball starts tumbling down the holes created in the earth. I run towards the ball hoping to at least hit it back like a polo player shot to the top level so I can at least have another chance to chip in for a tie. I must reach the ball before it reaches the liquid hot lava of the Earth. Yes people that would be a one shot penalty for hitting in the lava and I would have to take a drop just like Golden Tee!

I am hoping my next event is in two weeks. Until then I am learning how to be mentally stronger and trusting the process. As Coach D would say; “Listen to Learn, Enjoy the game!”

I don’t enjoy losing mentally. I need to learn to win that first!

The Foo struggle is real.

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