How Do You Break A McWT210 Golf Slump?

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:

  1. 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.Mike Weir
  2. 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.Tiger
  3. 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.Rory

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!

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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10 Responses to How Do You Break A McWT210 Golf Slump?

  1. I have been in some big time slumps myself and I think you always have to go back to address position, address position, address position. On the practice tee experiment with ball position, grip, and distance from the ball. It’s amazing how changing something so small can make a big difference. I would go back to at least one of the old wedges just to see what happens. Also play a round with leaving driver in the bag. You’ll be surprised how that can get your tempo back. Sometimes going to amore difficult course can get your concentration back or going back to a course that you really like can help. Good luck

    • Brian Penn says:

      Vet, thank you, thank you, thank you! I took your advice and got in front of the mirror to check my address. So I’m looking face on with a driver and notice the “V” in my left hand grip is pointing to my left ear. What the hell??? Then I figured it out; I had been practicing some back swing positions indoors with a cut down putter and had let my left thumb rest on the top (flat part) of the grip. Next thing you know my left hand is in a terribly weak position. Today, I moved the “V” pointing at my right ear and starting hitting nice solid shots with all clubs. Plus my feel mysteriously returned on the bunker shots cause I could feel the weight of the club head again. Gawd, I’m such an idiot. Just goes to show that practice makes permanent, not perfect. Thanks again!

  2. Brian Penn says:

    Vet, that is some truly awesome advice. I will examine the fundamentals as you suggest and maybe slip that old 56 back in the bag for confidence. Going to give nine holes in the sprinkles a try tomorrow afternoon to try and get a sliver of confidence back. Thanks!

  3. Brian

    I will assess that your two 88s are on the same course. Not sure which tees you use, but get out a slump I have played from the reds, the blues, and then the whites. I have repeated it for six rounds and then I seemed to work. What it did for me was it made me think about my club selection, playing from different areas when hitting into the green and changing your course management. Hope it helps.

    Cheers
    JIm

  4. Brian Penn says:

    Jim, that makes sense and Vet also recommended that I try a harder course as well to get into shot-making mode instead of thinking swing. FYI the 88s were at different courses but ones that I play often and usually don’t require much thinking. Thanks!

  5. Brian, after reading your write up I would strongly urge you to introduce some fun into your game. You sound like you are swimming in swing thoughts. Get out and play some golf where the score and consequences don’t matter. Anything you can do to get out of your technical routine will help. Something I will do (and I stole this from Golf Digest, I forget who wrote it) is go play an early morning 9 and hit two shots on every shot. I will then always pick up my better shot and play the worse of the two. At the end of the 9 you know your score was the worst possible scenario. That always gives me some confidence going into the next round.

  6. Brian Penn says:

    Seriously. I have made that swim before and it’s like paddling through shark infested waters. Definitely need to clear my head and I will start today with nine holes in the rain, what fun! Thanks for the encouragement!

  7. Hi Brian, sorry to hear about your slump, but I know from experience it is only temporary. I was hoping that your troubles might have been due to your performance with the putter, in which case I would have recommended our White Dragon Putter. That not being the case I can only say that it will get better, it is really only confidence, you know you can really play the game.

    • Brian Penn says:

      I think I have a handle on the root cause which was a bad practice drill I was doing and subsequent mistake with my grip. Will validate over the next couple of weeks. Oddly enough, my putting did not suffer during the slump, just ball striking and short game. Thanks!

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