About six weeks ago, I had an 11 handicap, which, from my point of view, means I was playing “reasonable” golf. Then a small slide started. It was not alarming, but my scores went from the 83s, 84s and 85s to 86s, 87s.
At that point, I was “concerned,” not alarmed. In fact, I was convinced my “slide” was over after I shot an 82 on Saturday, July 14, which included a totally legit 38 on the back 9. (Yes, I realize that means I shot a mediocre 44 on the easier front 9.) I admit it. I was euphoric. Everything was working – long putts were always in the leather, the short putts became automatic and my normally short-but-in-the-fairway drives were actually jumping off the clubface and going 230 yards. It was surreal, but very real!
I didn’t know if The Zone had found me or if I had found The Zone, but I didn’t care. All I knew was that the next day, couldn’t come fast enough. And sure enough the hot streak continued the next day – for nine holes. I shot a 39 on the front nine, which is always acceptable. And then, you guessed it, my game disappeared and I ended with an 87, which means I shot a 48 on the back. That was two weeks ago and since then I have one 83 and the rest of the scores have been 86, 87 and 88. My once reliable short game and putting are now scary encounters and my full shots have no zip-a-dee-doo-dah.
Now I can best be described as a beaten, befuddled and desperate man, especially since the Senior Club Championship is just 10 days away. I am not giving up though!
The book, Breaking the Slump: How Great Players Survived Their Darkest Moments in Golf -- and What You Can Learn from Them by Jimmy Roberts should arrive in a day or two.
Yesterday I had had a lesson from our head pro, Andy Fisher. I now know that I was too far away from the ball on both my full shots and when I was putting.
When we were on the range Andy said, “You’re too hunched over. This is going to be game changing for you. Get your hands higher, which will put you in a better position to make a better turn. I want the end of the club pointing toward your belt buckle.”
On the practice green, Andy said, “Again, you are too far away from the ball, which means your eyes aren’t over the ball and the toe of your putter is too high off the ground. I want the sole of your putter flat on the ground.”
And while I feel the lesson could be life changing as well as game changing, I think it is essential to continue to work on the mental side of the game. For example, I am looking to improve my attitude by memorizing quotes that should turn my dark thoughts into sunny ones.
“I never see what has been done; I only see what remains to be done.” – Buddha
“Patience and fortitude conquer all things.” – Poet Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The best way out is always through.” -- Robert Frost
And tomorrow I am going to the Web.com Tour’s KC Golf Classic at Lion’s Gate to watch the swings of truly gifted golfers. It’s been proven that positive visual reinforcement accelerates the learning process.
However, as all golfers know, the quest for a better game never ends. That is why I am looking for more breaking-the-slump stones to turn over, so PLEASE, PLEASE send me any of your FUNKBUSTERS. If I am going to break into the top half of the Third Flight of next week’s Senior Club Championship, I will need a little help from my friends.
Allan (My handicap continues to be 13 on my home course and my GHIN Trend is up .2. Not good!)