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Ross

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 #16 
A hint Dave about tension.  If you're truly following your routine, there is no time for tension.  Practice "following your routine".  During the 12-14 seconds (avg. time for routine), there is no place we you get a second or two to tell yourself scary thoughts like ... "I hope I don't chunk it"  or  "Hope I don't go in that lake on the left"  you get what I mean.  Learn to cut off everyone and everything and follow your routine to the second.  Go into your protective bubble for 12 seconds.  It has a rhythm.  Follow it.
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DaveF

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 #17 
Ross,
Starting to have some success with that. Played a couple rounds last week on some really hard courses, one I hadn't played before (Poipu Bay, former site of the GS of golf). Wind, heat, tough greens, rental clubs, lack of familiarity with the course (and playing partners[smile] etc. I just tried to stay focused on proper set-up and starting the downswing with my hips. It felt like I was testing the patience of my partners, but I didn't swing until I rehearsed to a full finish. Even though I made some really bad swings I didn't self-destruct like I usually do. On the contrary, regarding a guy we were playing with, I was thinking "I should be longer than him, he finishes great, and swings really fast, but he's '90% arms' ".
I finished that round with with some of my best shots of the day, and eventually out drove that guy when I wasn't even trying to (of course!).

Ross

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 #18 
It is perfectly fine (and recommended), to take 1-2 complete practice swings while recalling a time you used the club you're about to use, and were successful.  As you take a practice swing tell yourself, "yes this is how that great swing felt, let's do it again".  Then go through your routine and hit the ball.  You don't have to rehearse the whole routine.  Your body is an amazing thing you just have to tell it what you want to do and trust it.  

On the course you have to just trust the swing you have.  You can't be working on your swing while you play.  The golf swing has to be automatic, hence trusting your routine and just hit ... and get what you get.

Food for thought... I can't tell you the last time I cared if I hit it longer or shorter than anyone else.  Never crosses my mind.  It does not matter.  I play my game.  Straight is good and gives you low scores when you perfect the short game.  Next time you go out, keep track of Fairways hit, Greens hit, Saves, Total putts ... then try to beat yourself the next time out.



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DaveF

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 #19 
Thanks for the guidance Ross. I had 3 birdies in my last round, and just missed on a 4th (I had my last best round many years ago where I had 2). Shot 82, 83, 81 the last 3 rounds and I'm equaling or beating my personal best shots all over the course.
The game is consistently at a new level in all areas. Extremely grateful for that to say the least! Looking forward to more success.
I have a question concerning practice swings for you. Do you feel it's necessary to brush the turf/ground with each swing, or at all for that matter? I ask because when I do, inevitably I have to stop and clean the clubhead, disrupting the process. This is less a problem now than in the winter, but we still have mud or wet grass.
For a problematic lie, I will certainly take more time and make sure I can make good contact, but for level shots is it ok to get as close as possible to brushing the turf without actual contact? Or should I brush the grass first, clean the club off, and then make a couple full swings above the turf?
Appreciate your time.
Dave
Ross

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 #20 
Sorry Dave, no way around having to clean the club.  YES, your practice swing (if you take one),  must be exactly like you plan to swing ... but, it should not be an issue if you follow this:

~ Take your practice swing next to the ball so you can simulate as close to the stance and conditions and should always brush the ground slightly

~ Then as you walk back behind the ball to start your routine, clean your club.  You should never take a practice swing next to the ball then move over to the ball and hit ... you should always follow your routine and your routine should not have a practice swing as you come from behind the ball to setup.  You might watch the Pre Shot Routine series found under the "More" drop down menu.

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DaveF

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 #21 
Thanks. I'll get on that.
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