A real challenge for every serious golfer is the problem of being in a slump. Slumps
are periods of time when both your physical and mental skills are at a level considerably
lower than your average performance.
When we take a close look at a slump, what we find is that a slump is actually just
an extended down turn in performance. As you know, your performance is always moving
either up or down. Even the most consistent of pros is not really all that consistent.
Everyone has play that ranges from fantastic to really bad. The really bad days
are the days when you think your really ought to sell your clubs and take up bowling.
Slumps can begin with a drop in either your physical or mental ability. For a slump
to continue, however, you must mentally continue the process that causes the poor
performance. In other words, you must intervene and stop the natural upturn in performance.
You must snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by actively stopping yourself from
getting better. Your natural cycle of poor to better golf is interfered with so
you do not move up in performance. Instead, you either stay at a lower level or
you actually get worse. Now, this is a slump.
Slumps can begin is several ways.
Some of the most common physical lead-ins to a slump are:
- Swing changes
- Equipment changes
- Too much practice
- Too little practice
Some of the most common mental lead-ins to a slump are:
- Lack of goals
- Fear of failure or other negative emotion
- Playing for the wrong reason
- Problems in other areas of your life
- Gremlins, negative thoughts
The way out of a slump is to understand the natural ups and downs of golf. Know
that your mind is trying to move out of the slump if you will let it. It is also
important to commit to your fundamental game for three months. Do not try radical
changes to make things better. Commit to your equipment, your coach and to your
style of play.
It is also often helpful to organize your practice. Have specific goals for the
practice and work to reach these. Remember - the whole is made up of lots of little
parts. If you get the little parts right, the big picture will fall into place.
Keep at it. Like an old pro once said, "Keep hitting em, they will land someplace."
You should also resolve any personal or non-golf problems in your life. Perhaps
most important is to recall why you play golf in the first place. Play for the good
reasons - to have fun, to meet a challenge, to socialize, or just for the love of