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How to Get Out of a Golf Slump

By: | Sun 12 Dec 2021 | Comments

WHEN you get bitten by the golf bug, there is no known cure. It is a sport that can quite easily become an obsession. It occupies every waking moment. You come off the 18th green and you cannot wait to get back out there and do it all again.

But is there a more unforgiving sport? Just when you think that you have cracked it, it has a habit of jumping up and biting you where it hurts. Yes, there will always be a shot that will bring you back, whether it be a drive that comes right out of the sweet spot, a wedge to three feet or a huge, unlikely putt that disappears into the hole.

No matter how well you play this game, there will always be times when you lose it, when no matter what you do the ball simply won’t go where you want it to. Your natural shape is a draw, but all of a sudden every shot with the driver is a wild slice. You have never in your life hit a dreaded shank but, from nowhere, you become afflicted. You can’t get the ball out of a bunker to save your life. You miss two-foot putts. And the pitching and chipping touch you could always depend upon suddenly deserts you.

In short, the game you love seems to hate you.

So, how do you get out of a slump?

Rory McIlroy

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

The first thing to avoid is taking advice from anybody who has a higher handicap than you do. If they play off, say 28, they do so for a reason. They have no clue why you are slicing the ball.

Whatever you do, don’t try to sort it out on the golf course. The range is the place to go to iron out your kinks, but make sure you head there with a purpose.

Check the basics, the fundamentals - if they are out of sync you have no chance of playing well.

Take a look at your grip, your stance, your posture, your ball position and your tempo. The chances are that if you are playing poorly, it will be because one of those is not quite right.

Try hitting shots with the golf ball in different places in your stance - often, it can come down to fractions. It may well be that you have started hitting shots with the ball too far forward or too far back in your stance.

Slow your swing down. If you are struggling for timing, tempo and rhythm you are never going to rediscover it by swinging hard. And focus on shortening your backswing and on holding your follow through. If you are swinging too hard, the chances are that you will be losing your balance.

Sometimes we just need help. All the positive thinking, focus, and changes in the world can’t help you if there’s a physical issue you aren’t aware of. So if you’re stuck in a slump after trying these tips, consider meeting up with your local pro and ask him or her to take a look. And then head straight to the driving range and work on what you have been told.

Tension is the enemy of the golfer. Are you under stress at work or at home? Take deep breaths when you stand over the ball and release the tension. If you are stressed there is every possibility that you may be gripping the club too tightly. Focus on gripping it gently throughout the entirety of your swing.

When you are standing over the ball, try to visualise the shot you are trying to play. If it’s a putt, imagine the ball falling into the hole. Positive thinking can only help. If you stand over a drive and worry about hitting it over the out of bounds fence on the right, the chances are that you will do precisely that. Most top golfers “see” the shots they want to play. If it works for them, why not try it too?

As difficult as it might be, consider taking a break from the game. Put your clubs in the cupboard for a couple of weeks and forget all about the game. When you return, you will almost certainly do so with few expectations and you may just surprise yourself. You might also want to think about playing a couple of rounds on your own, without a scorecard in your back pocket.

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