Afraid to hit the ground

wubears71

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I notice that every once in a while I take a practice swing and it’s as if I am afraid to hit the ground - like I’m trying to pick the ball as clean as possible. Then when I do take my shot, I’m hitting it several grooves too low. It’s like I’m scared to make contact with the ground. I don’t know why.

Anyone else do that and how do you get it out of your mind?
Thanks
 

InTheRough

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Your dad is yelling at you, "Don't dig up the lawn!"
 

McLovin

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my thought is it’s an issue with sequencing, not being afraid to take a divot. certainly could be wrong though.
 

Scrap Iron

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I went through this when I had tennis elbow. What a miserable season that was. I just went to the range and would hit balls and focus only on hitting the ground and not worrying about where the ball went. It helped.
 

OldandStiff

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Anything hurting?

I do that, especially before I'm loose, because I am actually terrified of hitting the ground. I really don't even want to hit the ball at first, and I'm reminded why immediately when I thin one because I'm afraid of hitting the ground. Everything that I think is going to hurt, does. Thinning one queues me to remember my mantra 'It'll hurt worse if you don't'. Especially now that it's cold. A buddy has the same mental block with his wrist sometimes. We just try to remind ourselves that a pure strike is the gentlest.

So are protecting anything physically?

Or is there a fat shot tendency your mind would want to over-correct for maybe?

I did know a guy who was afraid to hit the ground on his practice swing because he thought accidentally carving a filet on a practice swing made him look like an idiot. lol I never really asked or observed if that translated to mishits on the shot though.
 

Matthew

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Anything hurting?

I do that, especially before I'm loose, because I am actually terrified of hitting the ground. I really don't even want to hit the ball at first, and I'm reminded why immediately when I thin one because I'm afraid of hitting the ground. Everything that I think is going to hurt, does. Thinning one queues me to remember my mantra 'It'll hurt worse if you don't'. Especially now that it's cold. A buddy has the same mental block with his wrist sometimes. We just try to remind ourselves that a pure strike is the gentlest.

So are protecting anything physically?

Or is there a fat shot tendency your mind would want to over-correct for maybe?

I did know a guy who was afraid to hit the ground on his practice swing because he thought accidentally carving a filet on a practice swing made him look like an idiot. lol I never really asked or observed if that translated to mishits on the shot though.
A super point. My home course is obsessed with hitting off of really old mats, but the prettiest green grass you’d ever want to see, & I’ve been battling some shoulder pain from it. Or at least my doc seems to think so, to the point he wrote me a “prescription” or sorts to give them saying I needed to hit off grass.


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Brassie

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Anything hurting?

I do that, especially before I'm loose, because I am actually terrified of hitting the ground. I really don't even want to hit the ball at first, and I'm reminded why immediately when I thin one because I'm afraid of hitting the ground. Everything that I think is going to hurt, does. Thinning one queues me to remember my mantra 'It'll hurt worse if you don't'. Especially now that it's cold. A buddy has the same mental block with his wrist sometimes. We just try to remind ourselves that a pure strike is the gentlest.

So are protecting anything physically?

Or is there a fat shot tendency your mind would want to over-correct for maybe?

I did know a guy who was afraid to hit the ground on his practice swing because he thought accidentally carving a filet on a practice swing made him look like an idiot. lol I never really asked or observed if that translated to mishits on the shot though.
Yep! I have to take Aleve before a range session or playing 18. Left elbow and forearm hurt and my ring finger on right hand hurts. Wrists ache also. The Aleve suppresses it. Once it kicks in, I’m good to go. Getting old sucks.
 

wubears71

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Mr Boof

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wubears71

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@OldandStiff now that you mention it I think it may be me protecting an injury. I noticed it recently after basketball. I have a jammed finger that is sore. It’s probably my body projecting itself from that.
 

MWard

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Unless you’re hitting on mats on practice, just go to the range and take some pelts man. That ground isn’t gonna hurt you!
 

GoldenBuff

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Man up. Show that ground who is boss!

;) Um, I'm with oldandstiff. Sometimes it hurts to hit the ground or even the ball. Getting older sucks. Those aches and pains don't manifest the same way all the time, and because I push myself -- plenty of time to rest when dead -- I don't always have awareness of what I'm trying to protect.
 

golfinnut

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That's why I take a mini practice swing just visualizing the shot. Never a real swing so as to not take a divot.

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olperfesser

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I am old and stiff, too. It drives me crazy to not hit the ground when I am trying to judge where my club bottoms out. And it's worse when I swing at the ball and do the same. It's like I'm trying to be gentle to the turf. Maybe a result of the winter mats being used instead of hitting off grass on the range.
 

Parrot

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I’ve had this problem for years. Injuries, no injuries. When I consciously try to skim the ground, I’m good for about 4 swings out of 5. The 5th one can be dicey.
 

leftshot

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I see this a lot and occasionally struggle with it myself to some degree. The first thing you need to do is diagnose what's happening. The common causes are:
- literally pulling the arms back at impact so you don't hit the ground
- scooping where your lead wrist cups in the impact zone
- reaching at setup, essentially setting up so that you can't reach the ground fully extended

Once you diagnose the cause the solutions are pretty intuitive with a couple of exceptions.

In all cases, practicing on grass or mats that have that longer second cut synthetic grass on the side makes the whole process easier.

Some folks struggle with getting over pulling back with their arms because it's gotten so ingrained. In that case, sometimes focusing on just extending the back arm so it fully extends a foot AFTER the ball brings more success. Focusing on keeping the hands in front of the clubhead through impact or bottoming out 4 inches in front of the ball are other focuses that others have found helpful.

If you are a flipper, you'll find learning to keep your lead hand flat and hands ahead of the ball through impact will lead to more solid hits and way less feedback up the shaft EVEN WITH A DIVOT. When you experience that making progress gets easier.
 
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greekelite

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I've always been a locker, but really haven't had an issue with the ball rolling to much on short irons. But yes as a picker I also catch it thin occasionally.

I won a hanger training aid, I used it a few times and developed horrible hosel shanks.. going to use it for chipping primarily this off season and focus on good contact in the spring, but I hope it doesn't mess me up
 

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I seldom take much of a divot and do have issues hitting the ball thin now and again. My top three causes - a bit of chicken wing at the bottom of my swing, standing up a bit on my back swing and not shifting weight to the front foot well. A couple of range sessions focusing on lessening those 3 things will get me better for a couple of rounds... it's an endless cycle. Play well!!
 

goalie

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I notice that every once in a while I take a practice swing and it’s as if I am afraid to hit the ground - like I’m trying to pick the ball as clean as possible. Then when I do take my shot, I’m hitting it several grooves too low. It’s like I’m scared to make contact with the ground. I don’t know why.

Anyone else do that and how do you get it out of your mind?
Thanks
That used to be me due to some pretty severe shoulder issues and pain.

Graphite iron shafts changed me. Now I'm just as likely to hit fat as thin......
 

PJSprog

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Yeah, I've always been something of a picker. When I first started playing, my friends and I would play some really awful courses. One in particular (now long gone thankfully) used to play about as well as hitting off of asphalt. Tee boxes, fairways, and greens ... all hard as a rock, all the time. Hitting the ground there was a painful experience, and it caused me grief in my swing that I still deal with today. If I take a divot at all, it's very light.
 

DonJuan

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Last season I hurt my wrist and it took me a while to commit to hitting through the shot.

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Annhl8rX

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my thought is it’s an issue with sequencing, not being afraid to take a divot. certainly could be wrong though.
That’s it for me exactly. I’m definitely not afraid to hit the ground, but sometimes I just can’t make my body do it.
 

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