How To End A Slump
The word ‘Slump’ is one of those unmentionable ‘S’ words in golf...
he word ‘Slump’ is one of those unmentionable ‘S’ words in golf. A word you don’t ever want to associate with your game, the other ‘S’ word being ‘Shank’ . So what is a slump and how do you get yourself out of one? The dictionary meaning of a slump states “The condition of feeling sad or despondent, the condition of being depressed“. With regards to your golf game this means a drop in form has been constant for a certain period of time with no real upside in site, basically you’ve hit rock bottom!

The first thing to understand about a slump is to realise when you’re actually in one. Due to the difficulty of the game it’s very hard to play consistently at or better than your optimum level, so we tend to play golf at a level generally below our standard rather than above it. So it can be quite difficult to know when we have hit that point. If you look back over your last 10-20 rounds of golf or two months or so of playing, you may find that your either below or well below average, this would be a key indicator that you’re in a slump. You may feel like you have a form of golf depression if you like, you just don’t want to be out there, perhaps you’re not enjoying the game anymore and your scores and attitude are reflecting this. If this sounds like you then there’s a good chance you’re in a slump!

If this sounds like you then there’s a good chance you’re in a slump

Here’s a few key points to consider:

Change It up

I love this saying ‘If you do what you’ve always done you’ll get what you’ve always got’, so it’s time to make a change! When golfer’s find their in a slump they generally go into panic mode and begin practicing like never before, beating hundreds of balls on the range in an attempt to play their way out of it, I’ve certainly been their before. I would advise making a fresh start in certain areas of your golf game, this may mean seeking out some alternate advice on your game from a mentor or coach. Sometimes hearing a slightly different message about an area of your game can be the spark that gets you moving forward.

Discover A Higher Purpose

This is one of my favorite ways to break a slump; although this might only give you a short burst of confidence it can be enough to push you out of that slump. When Ben Crenshaw won the Masters in 1991 he had stated that week he’d had a 15 club in the bag. Ben hadn’t contended in a PGATour event for a long time and the week prior he’d lost his mentor and coach Harvey Penick, this certainly proved the difference for Ben. Playing for someone or something else can be a great motivator, whether it be a local charity, a friend or family member that’s unwell, perhaps setting a realistic scoring goal or placing a bet on with your playing partners to reach a certain handicap. This is a great way to shift your focus from your game to something higher and get your game moving in the right direction.

I wrote a blog ‘Rory’s Higher Purpose’ after Rory’s McIlroy’s U.S Open win last year and stated that, one of the reasons for his success was due to his recent trip to Haiti. Here he had spent time with underprivileged children who had suffered from the earthquakes earlier that year. Now Rory may not have been in a slump but by discovering a higher purpose this seen him rise well above the pack shocking the golfing world with his record-breaking achievement.

Stop Trying So Hard

I remember watching an Anthony Robbins seminar years ago and he used asked a lady in the audience to try to pick up her chair. The lady grabbed the chair and picked it up, no Robbins said, ‘Try and pick up the chair, your picking it up” so the lady puts it down and picks it straight back up again, they repeat the process until the lady eventually understands the message Robbins was delivering. When you try so hard to do make a change in a certain area hoping to improve, you’re putting too much energy into the trying and not enough effort into the doing. Instead set yourself some mini goals you know you can complete, make them achievable, with some clear direction and effort and make a plan for your golf game going forward. Remember that you can only build on your past success not failures, create some momentum in your practice and play, before you know it you’ll be doing and not trying.

If you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom with your golf game then consider taking on board the advice given.

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