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Life After Golf?
Old 04-21-2009, 08:28 AM   #1
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Life After Golf?

I've been a lifelong golfer, and was a decent player for quite a while -- a 4-6 handicap while playing ~15 times a year during my 25 working years.

Since FIRE at 48 (four years ago) we joined a country club for the first time, and have access to three great golf courses, at least for the 7 month golf season here at 4000'. Have played about 50 times a year in the last four years. But I've completely lost my game. Now am about a 16 hc, and it is still going up. Lessons, fitness, practice, equipment, improved shortgame -- but just can't hit the ball anywhere near the fairway anymore, and basically haven't for three years.

For me, it just isn't any fun to shoot 95, and I'm thinking about quitting.

I've heard about this happening to other retirees -- that suddenly their games desert them, but I've never heard about what comes next. I'm not worried about finding other interesting and engaging things to do, I'm just wondering if that is my only choice. Accepting that I am a 16 hc, and that I won't regularly break 80 again is not a satisfying option.

Any advice from other golfers out there? Anybody go/know somebody that went through this upon FINALLY getting the opportunity to pursue their passion?
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:14 AM   #2
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I started golfing about 7 years ago after I retired.

I would love to shoot a 95 on a regular basis.

Jim
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:29 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Remediator View Post
I've been a lifelong golfer, and was a decent player for quite a while -- a 4-6 handicap while playing ~15 times a year during my 25 working years.

Since FIRE at 48 (four years ago) we joined a country club for the first time, and have access to three great golf courses, at least for the 7 month golf season here at 4000'. Have played about 50 times a year in the last four years. But I've completely lost my game. Now am about a 16 hc, and it is still going up. Lessons, fitness, practice, equipment, improved shortgame -- but just can't hit the ball anywhere near the fairway anymore, and basically haven't for three years.

For me, it just isn't any fun to shoot 95, and I'm thinking about quitting.

I've heard about this happening to other retirees -- that suddenly their games desert them, but I've never heard about what comes next. I'm not worried about finding other interesting and engaging things to do, I'm just wondering if that is my only choice. Accepting that I am a 16 hc, and that I won't regularly break 80 again is not a satisfying option.

Any advice from other golfers out there? Anybody go/know somebody that went through this upon FINALLY getting the opportunity to pursue their passion?
I think your issue is a mental one, now that you can play whenever you want, you are overanalyzing and overthinking the game.........
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
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I'll suggest my old Calculus trick - if you can't solve the problem right now, read a chapter of Psychology and then return to the math.
In other words, take a short break (1 week?) and then go play again.
And don't keep score. Just play the course.
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:29 PM   #5
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Before I became a mediocre golfer, I was a pretty darn good softball player for 20+ years. Year in and year out I ranked near the top of most of the offensive categories that are typical for a lead-off hitter.

For almost an entire season (about year 12), I seemed to lose most of my offensive game. I was not getting on base, not getting as many hits, etc. I finally figured out what changed....

I was no longer playing within myself - I was trying to do too much; swing harder, hit farther,etc. This wasn't my game. Once I figured it out and focused on my strengths, my production returned.

Play to your strengths out on the course and try not to do too much with each swing - Have fun and Good luck!
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Old 04-21-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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I'm just the opposite, took up golf seriously after retiring. I started in the 140s and now get down to the low 100s, but would love to shoot 95. My problem is that, taking it up later in life, my body is rebelling and I have all kind of muscle and nerve issues with my arms and shoulders.

I play with a couple of retired friends, though, and they don't seem to have the problem you described. They still play very well, though not as low as when they were younger. However, health is also an issue for them, particularly the knees.

Whenever I'm engaging in any sport -- sailing, golf, walking, cycling, etc, and not doing well, I try to be thankful that I have the health and opportunity to be doing that activity. That sometimes helps and gets me to do better. Other times it doesn't but, hey, that's life.
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Old 04-21-2009, 01:52 PM   #7
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This thread made me realize the advantage of being a lousy athlete. I have never been particularly good at any sport but I enjoy lots: windsurfing, skiing, roller hockey, cycling. I took up golf after retirement and shoot around 100. I enjoy all of them but suspect I would get frustrated if I was very good but not quite "good enough."
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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If your higher scores were due to a deteriorating short game, I would understand it. It is very rare for a good player to have his tee-to-green game deteriorate the way you describe. Sounds like something has happened to your coordination and timing, which might have a physiological basis. I would see a doctor.
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Old 04-21-2009, 02:16 PM   #9
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Last week I played for the first time this YEAR when I was in SC. I shot an 87 on a course that we played from the back at 6600 yards.

I had no expectations so I was pleased with the result, heck, I would have been happy to shoot mid to upper 90's.

I can break 100 almost anywhere, I need a complete meltdown to shoot over 100. Usually I start the year around a 16-17 handicap and work my way down to a 12 or so.

I am satisfied with that.........
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Old 04-21-2009, 07:33 PM   #10
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I was an avid golfer. I golfed all year round even in the winter. I had a cart cover and heater. I enjoyed playing but found that no matter how much I practiced I was not getting any better than a bogey golfer. Then I started cycling which I really enjoy. I typically ride my bicycle 100 to 150 miles per week. I am glad that I made the change. I can still play golf and even shot a personal record recently. I just enjoy the cycling a whole lot more.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:03 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Remediator View Post
I've been a lifelong golfer, and was a decent player for quite a while -- a 4-6 handicap while playing ~15 times a year during my 25 working years.

Since FIRE at 48 (four years ago) we joined a country club for the first time, and have access to three great golf courses, at least for the 7 month golf season here at 4000'. Have played about 50 times a year in the last four years. But I've completely lost my game. Now am about a 16 hc, and it is still going up. Lessons, fitness, practice, equipment, improved shortgame -- but just can't hit the ball anywhere near the fairway anymore, and basically haven't for three years.

For me, it just isn't any fun to shoot 95, and I'm thinking about quitting.

I've heard about this happening to other retirees -- that suddenly their games desert them, but I've never heard about what comes next. I'm not worried about finding other interesting and engaging things to do, I'm just wondering if that is my only choice. Accepting that I am a 16 hc, and that I won't regularly break 80 again is not a satisfying option.

Any advice from other golfers out there? Anybody go/know somebody that went through this upon FINALLY getting the opportunity to pursue their passion?
Used to shoot a decent game myself but never at your level. Lowest handicap ever was a 9. After the decline in my game I brushed it off to age and found that getting together with the guys is a lot more important than shooting in the 70's all the time. Can't even hit it 200 anymore but I've got a good short game and that keeps me in the hunt. I'm always 30-40 yards behind the bigger hitters but they can't chip with me. If I break 90 I'm happy now and since we play with handicap, what's the difference. Enjoy the time out there and maybe your game will come back. Life's too short to worry about the little things.
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Old 04-21-2009, 09:34 PM   #12
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That is odd your game has deteriorated so much. I retired 2 years ago at 52 and my game has improved. I hit more fairways and my short game is much better. I was a 12 hc while working, around 7 now. Your only 52 so your distance should still be ok. Do you ever let the club pro look at you to see what might be going wrong?

I would just try to relax and enjoy the day. You may be taking it to serious.
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Old 04-21-2009, 11:37 PM   #13
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Have played about 50 times a year in the last four years. But I've completely lost my game. Now am about a 16 hc, and it is still going up. Lessons, fitness, practice, equipment, improved shortgame -- but just can't hit the ball anywhere near the fairway anymore, and basically haven't for three years.
One of the board's best golfers is Jarhead*, who posts infrequently but who has probably already addressed your situation.

You don't mention practice or driving ranges. If you look up Jarhead's old posts, he'd recommend that you get some lessons from a club pro and spend a lot of time on the driving range-- more time on the range than you're currently spending on the course.

Which is why I gave up golfing years ago for scuba diving & surfing...
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Old 04-22-2009, 03:19 AM   #14
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I always thought golf was supposed to be fun,hanging around with good friends ,nice green scenery of the course, the exercise,few brew at the club house after the game,unless you are playing for money the score really isnt that important,trying to chase some form you had when you were younger is going to become an ever increasing challenge as you get older,and probably curtail the fun factor to the point where you dont like the game any more.
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Old 04-22-2009, 05:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remediator View Post
I've been a lifelong golfer, and was a decent player for quite a while -- a 4-6 handicap while playing ~15 times a year during my 25 working years.

Since FIRE at 48 (four years ago) we joined a country club for the first time, and have access to three great golf courses, at least for the 7 month golf season here at 4000'. Have played about 50 times a year in the last four years. But I've completely lost my game. Now am about a 16 hc, and it is still going up. Lessons, fitness, practice, equipment, improved shortgame -- but just can't hit the ball anywhere near the fairway anymore, and basically haven't for three years.

For me, it just isn't any fun to shoot 95, and I'm thinking about quitting.

I've heard about this happening to other retirees -- that suddenly their games desert them, but I've never heard about what comes next. I'm not worried about finding other interesting and engaging things to do, I'm just wondering if that is my only choice. Accepting that I am a 16 hc, and that I won't regularly break 80 again is not a satisfying option.

Any advice from other golfers out there? Anybody go/know somebody that went through this upon FINALLY getting the opportunity to pursue their passion?
I used to be a 4-6 handicap myself, but I lost interest in golf when I bought a boat years ago. I can still shoot in the 80's when needed for "customer golf" but otherwise I don't play anymore.

Would have to know more to understand why you've hit a slump? It could certainly be mental there are many aspects that fall in this category, but I can't tell that from what you've posted. Or it could be your swing mechanics, but you don't mention any specifics ie, having trouble putting, or have you lost distance, developed a slice/hook, recent equipment change (unlikely BTW), your physical condition, etc, etc, etc. If we knew more, it's likely "fixable" at your relatively young age...
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remediator View Post
...
For me, it just isn't any fun to shoot 95, and I'm thinking about quitting.
...
Any advice from other golfers out there? Anybody go/know somebody that went through this upon FINALLY getting the opportunity to pursue their passion?
I'm not a golfer although I did try it for about a year. I used to run competitively in high school and then ran 10k, etc. as an adult. Also ran in a running club in competition. Nowadays I enjoy just running to get my mileage in for the week and for the scenery (state park behind our house).

So why obsess on the score? You will never get any money for this activity. That's how I view running. I still keep my times for general conditioning and logging purposes. But if I'm passed by a runner it's no big deal -- generally they are 30 years younger if they pass me anyway.
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Old 04-22-2009, 01:22 PM   #17
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Get a couple of lessons from your club's pro.

Perhaps get a golf-specific workout program from a personal trainer?

Maybe your range of motion or muscle mass or endurance has changed--your activity level since retiring is surely different than it was while you were working, whether higher or lower. Perhaps get a golf-specific workout program from a personal trainer?
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:00 PM   #18
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I've shot better than 95 a couple of times.

But then came the back nine...
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Old 04-22-2009, 02:04 PM   #19
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I've shot better than 95 a couple of times.

But then came the back nine...
I golf with some guys who have a beer PER HOLE.........
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Old 04-22-2009, 04:41 PM   #20
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I always thought golf was supposed to be fun,hanging around with good friends ,nice green scenery of the course, the exercise,few brew at the club house after the game,unless you are playing for money the score really isnt that important,trying to chase some form you had when you were younger is going to become an ever increasing challenge as you get older,and probably curtail the fun factor to the point where you dont like the game any more.
Exactly!! You hit the nail on the head. Problem is you are generally dealing with men and ego gets in the way. I remember how mad I used to get if I didn't break 80. Now I'm happy to break 90. I have a different outlook on the game and enjoying it more. Sure, I could take some lessons and maybe get fitted for a new set of clubs and also get a personal trainer to help tone my muscles to get a little distance. Why?
I just enjoy being out there in the Florida sun, hardly ever getting rained out and just loving the good life. Having a longneck after the game. Priceless!!
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