Shank, duff, whiff … whatever you want to call it, there’s nothing more frustrating for an avid golfer and lover of the game than going through a streak of playing below your abilities. But it happens to all of us. Even professional golfers go through slumps that they simply can’t explain.
We’re in the prime golf season, and I’m sure some of us are stuck in a slump. We all know it only takes one bad shot to ruin a hole, a round, and your confidence. When these shots keep coming, it can be tough to break the cycle. Before you throw your clubs in the next pond you come across, try a few of the following ways to break your slump.
Get to the Root of the Problem
Keeping notes of where things went wrong during your round is a great way to determine the root of your problem so you can begin to fix it. For example, on the holes you scored highest, write down whether the issues began off the tee, from the fairway, or on and around the green. Once you have a few rounds in, you should have a clear idea of the issues that plague your game most.
Practice With a Purpose
Everyone’s heard the advice “practice how you play,” but few of us actually do it. Instead, we go to the range and hit a bucket of balls with our driver and then get upset when we’re struggling with our approach shots out on the course. But doing things the same old way will get you the same old results.
Next time you’re at the range, alternate clubs as if you’re playing a hole. First, hit your driver at a specific target, then an iron, followed by a wedge shot. This will help you feel the difference between each swing and make you more consistent.
Forget About Your Score and Commit to Every Shot
Whether you’re having the round of your life or the worst round of the season, it can be difficult to put your score aside and focus on the shot at hand. But forgetting about your score will help you in the long run. It’s a lot less likely for you to hit a great shot when you’re focused on a bad shot from earlier in the round.
Always make sure that you’re 100 percent committed before hitting the shot. If you hit a bad shot, you can at least fall back on the fact that you put everything you had into it — and there’s another hole up ahead.
For more on managing in-round frustrations and keeping your head in the game, check out Dr. Chelsi Day in Psych Factor. READ MORE.
Take a Lesson
Taking a lesson is one of the best and fastest ways to improve your golf game. Not only will a golf professional explain what is causing the errors in your swing, they will also give you fundamental tips that you can always fall back on when you’re struggling.
For example, proper grip and alignment techniques can really help you become more consistent. And it’s never too late to learn the basics of the backswing and downswing. Even professionals have swing coaches that help them out of a slump.
Take a Break
When all else fails, it might be time for you to take a break and step away from the game for a bit. Seriously. Taking a break allows you to reset bad habits and get back to the basics of your swing. Think of it like when your cell phone is being glitchy. You turn it off and back on, and it’s back to how it should be without any glitches.
Once you decide to pick up a club again, swing with a clear mind, and let your experience take over. Taking a break can be hard for those of us who can only play for the summer months, but it will allow you to enjoy the game more once you’re back.
If you try a few of these tips, let us know how it goes. We don’t want you stuck in a slump.
Layne Gustafson is a self-described golf fanatic from Green Bay, Wis. He’s been working in the golf industry since 2014, including at Blackwolf Run and Whistling Straits. He hovers between a single- and double-digit handicap is always working on improving.
More Stick and Hack Content
Stick and Hack Club Membership
Start Connecting With Stick and Hacks All Over the World