Readers of this space know I’m always seeking ways to improve my game and am willing to share tips to assist you in your play, but I have a new request. I need some help breaking out of a slump. How do I know I’m in a slump and not just experiencing a momentary downturn? Check out this page from Golf Link detailing why players slump. I am the poster-child for the top three reasons and feel like I’m tied to the pole, blindfolded, and on my last cigarette.
The evidence: Carrying a five handicap, my last two rounds have been 88-88. I haven’t broken 80 in nine rounds and haven’t played a good round since August 2012. Essentially, I’m averaging about 10 strokes higher than my normal game.
The three main culprits from the GolfLink list:
- Injury. The right elbow tendonitis has prevented me from practicing the way I would like. Oddly, it doesn’t hurt during play, just practice. I’ll call this the Mike Weir component.
- Swing Changes. The attempt to get to a more on-plane move over the winter was ill-advised without the opportunity to hit balls and validate results. Henceforth known as the Tiger 2010 component.
- New Equipment. The new irons and hybrids are working great but my Cleveland three wedge system has been ghastly. I’m a mess in greenside bunkers trying to hit the new 58, and miss my old 56 terribly. Even suffered through a couple lateral hits with the wedges two weekends ago and you know how that messes with your head, but I refuse to give up on the new equipment. The problem is that I practice well with these clubs so I know it’s the “carpenter, not the tools.” Of course, this is the McIlroy component.
So we have the birth of the “McWT210” slump. How to break this thing, any ideas? I’ve researched and web and scoured the annals of my swing fix library and come up with a possible two-pronged approach. I know I need to simplify as much as possible and taking on more swing instruction at this time is probably not the right thing to do, especially with my Myrtle Beach trip bearing down in less than a month. So in the interest of K.I.S.S., I’m going to try just thinking “Target” on all full swings and hitting everything with 3/4 speed in an attempt to get some rhythm and timing. In my round yesterday, after shooting nine-over on the front, I started my inward half with a triple and a bogey, and with my head so screwed up with swing thoughts, decided to just chuck everything and think “Target” the rest of the way around and managed to play the last seven holes in 3-over, which wasn’t great, but got me to the clubhouse without killing anyone.
If anyone has some surefire slump-busting remedies, please share. I’m a mess and need to stabilize fast, thanks!