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Why Am I Getting Worse at Golf?

Discover the reasons behind your golf slump and unlock actionable tips to reverse the trend, reigniting your passion for the game and improving your performance.

The sinking feeling of not knowing where your ball is going or the inevitable pile-ups of three-putts, can snowball and you can lose the love of the game just like that.  You will say it was a one time occurrence then head to the range and putting green to work on it. It may get worse or a little better by then when it’s game-time on the course, it gets worse and worse. You’re not alone. Countless golfers experience periods where their once-reliable swing betrays them, leaving them disheartened and frustrated on the course and on the drive home. 

But this slump doesn’t have to be permanent. The last thing any of us wants is to take a break from golf. Let’s look into some reasons for regression and give you some options and ideas to improve rather than quit the game. 

Why Your Game Might Be Suffering

  • Practice Blues: Are you hitting the range less often or too often? Practicing with a purpose is so important in this game. Without a purpose or direction, you could just be reinforcing bad habits.
  • Technical Overload: Bombarding yourself with swing tips from various sources can lead to confusion and inconsistency. Stick to a trusted coach or a certain style of instruction that you can understand and physically perform one or two key improvements at a time.
  • Equipment Upgrade: Your clubs might not be the right fit for your evolving swing or physique. Consider getting fitted for new clubs or adjustments to your current set.
  • The Mental Monster: Lack of confidence can put your clubs in the doghouse before you even tee it up. If you’ve played well before, focus on the mental state you were in, if it was more relaxed or just not caring.
  • External Factors: Stress, lack of sleep, or just not being happy at home can affect your game. I know golf is supposed to get you away from all of that but it can really take a toll on your game.

Tips to Reverse Your Slump

But don’t despair! This slump can be a temporary detour, not a dead end. Let’s equip you with practical tips and actionable strategies to turn things around. 

1. Create a Practice Plan

Set specific goals for your practice sessions, focusing on different aspects of your game. This could include putting, chipping, driving, and bunker play.  It’s not how many balls you hit either, it’s the quality of each one that can help you.

2. Invest in Lessons

Enlist the help of a golf professional to analyze and refine your technique. Do your research on instructors in the area and make sure they are fully qualified to help you.

3. Prioritize Fitness

Incorporate exercises that improve core strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness. A well-conditioned body enhances endurance and contributes to a more consistent swing. Even just stretching before a round can make you feel that you can pay well that day.

4. Mental Preparation

Develop a pre-shot routine to stay focused and calm on the course. Build positive thoughts and envision your shots beforehand. 

5. Regular Equipment Check

Even the smallest thing about your equipment can throw you off.  Make sure your grips are tacky and not slippery and worn down. Check your grooves of your clubs and make sure you have a golf glove that is not all worn down. 

6. Embrace Small Wins

Celebrate progress, no matter how small.Either it be just getting up and down one hole or hitting a fairway.  Let this build over time and try and save that score shot at a time.

7. Play Smarter, Not Harder

Course management is key. Choose realistic shot options and avoid unnecessary risks.

8. Be Patient

Don’t let your playing partners antagonize your game or slow play be the main reason why you’re playing poorly. Getting frustrated with outside interference will make your game suffer.

9. Track Your Progress

Keep track of your stats whether it be fairways hit, greens hit in regulations or how many putts you hit per round. This will pinpoint what you need help on the most and you just keep going down the line. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I play through a slump, or take a break?

It depends on the individual but when you try to play through a slump, you have to be patient or it can turn on you right away. Taking a short break can sometimes be beneficial to reset mentally but this means no golf! If you can sacrifice not touching a club for a certain amount of time, you can try it but I would not recommend it.  Sometimes, it just doesn’t go away unless you get help or practice the right way.

What is the fastest way to break out of my slump?

Hiring a golf instructor can be one of the fastest and most effective ways to break out of a slump in your game. A PGA teaching professional can provide invaluable insights into your swing mechanics, identify any flaws or inconsistencies, and offer personalized feedback and drills to address them. They can also help you develop a clear practice plan tailored to your specific needs and goals, maximizing the efficiency of your practice sessions. 

Remember, golf is a journey, not a destination. There will be ups and downs, but with the right approach and unwavering passion, you can overcome any slump and rediscover the joy of hitting the perfect shot. So, grab your clubs, take a deep breath, and step back onto the fairway. It’s time to reclaim your swing!

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V Tongwarin

V Tongwarin

Visanu Tongwarin or “Coach V” is a Class A PGA Teaching Professional at Legacy Ridge Golf Course and Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster, Colorado. V's brings his passion for teaching the game of golf to all levels of golfers from running children clinics to training state champions and seasoned professionals.