Slumps

I have been reading some of my fellow bloggers thoughts on practicing and lessons and it got me to thinking.  I am in a bit of a yearlong rough patch with my game.  The scoring ability is just not where it needs to be.  I have narrowed it down to three factors that are causing the higher numbers.  Let’s get into them.

Factor 1 – Inconsistent driving accuracy: To put it lightly, I hit it all over the place.  This is the most maddening part of my game right now.  When I was younger I hit 10+ fairways a round every time.  It doesn’t matter how good your short game is if you are in trouble off the tee a good part of the time.

Factor 2 – Poor Chipping: This is somewhat influenced by the driving.  I put extra pressure on this part of the game when drives are wild.  In addition to that, I have had far too many chunks or skulls that add up really quickly.  I would attribute most of this issue to a lack of practice.

Factor 3 – Lack of confidence: I will be honest with you.  I don’t practice a lot.  Either due to time constraints or just wanting to play when I have the time for golf.  I understand that practice is key to improvement, but I am also playing scared at times.  I think this is a combination of poor results and a lack of practice.

So what am I doing about it?  Am I going quit the game after the dire synopsis above?  Um, of course not!  I love this game too much.  So while it is extremely frustrating to shoot in the mid to high 80’s when you have broken par multiple times, I would never consider giving up on the game.  Put quite simply, it is one of my favorite things in life.

The plan is simple.  I am taking lessons, which I hadn’t done in about 8+ years.  This has resulted in a lot of changes.  Some of these I have listed below:

  • Fixing my alignment: I aimed way right to compensate for my pull hook.  Aiming left of my intended target feels really weird.  So does sometimes hitting a cut.
  •  Keeping my hands higher at address: They had gotten really low and I was surprised to see it on video.  This also feels awkward, but I am committed.
  • Focusing on not swinging my arms back after my shoulders have stopped turning: This would get me out of sequence and my arms were having to play catch-up.
  • Stopping the flip of my hands at impact: This is by far the hardest part.  When I do it correctly I sometimes hit shots well right because I have been so afraid to release before due to my ever-present hook.

So, the second part of the plan is to practice.  I won’t be hitting balls until my hands bleed, there just isn’t enough time.  I do hope to get more work in when my job slows down a little bit and the weather turns a little warmer.

The final portion of the plan and arguably the toughest part is to play with a better mental game.  This involves minimizing swing thoughts when I play, playing with more confidence/positive thoughts, and generally playing without expectations.

I am encouraged that things will turn around and even if they don’t I am still playing a wonderful game on wonderful courses with wonderful people.  It’s a win-win.  Let me know what you think in the comments and I hope this has helped if you too are going through a slump.

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5 thoughts on “Slumps

  1. Jimmy

    it sounds like you have a great plan moving forward. I see you are focusing quite a bit on mechanics. This is a good thing for sure, but I would caution you not to change too many things all at once. Sometimes fixing one thing fixes several challenges. Good luck with the lessons, I am curious to hear how they work for you!

    Cheers
    Jim

  2. I agree with Jim on the mechanics thing. Especially your fourth point about the hands flipping. Solve for issues upstream and you wont need to worry about the hands, and probably shouldn’t even try because that’s so hard to control. I’d focus more on the mental side. Think a lot of “target” and get out of your own way. If you’ve broken par before, you got it inside you to do again! Good luck and keep us posted.

    Brian

  3. Pingback: Mid Year Newsletter | Tiger Golf Traveler

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