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Break out of a slump when your game is a bit off

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If you play golf, you will experience times when you aren't playing your best. It happens to everyone, even the best players in the world.

Here are some thoughts on how you can break out of your next slump.

• Review your grip and setup. Many golfers will tend to slip into bad habits without even knowing it. Alignment errors or poor posture can lead to swing errors and bad golf shots. Take a look at your grip. The clubface has the most influence on the golf ball and the grip has the most influence on the clubface, so check your grip and make sure it is good. A slumping posture can be the cause of a poor takeaway limiting your turn and creating a swing that is too upright. An improper tilt with your upper body can lead to a poor backswing and an out-to-in downswing. Set up in front of a mirror, and take a look at your posture and tilt.

• Do a tension check. When we are playing bad golf, tension creeps in. Hit some balls or play golf being aware of the tension in your hands, forearms and shoulders. To eliminate tension, add a waggle to your routine. Watch the tour players. You will see a waggle along with continuous motion, shifting weight between the feet and looking at the target.

• Practice with a purpose. Spend a little more time working on the part or parts of your game where you are struggling. You can work out what is ailing you and the added repetition will help you with your confidence.

• Change the voice. When you are not playing well, the voice inside your head tends to beat you up with a constant supply of negative self-talk. Talk to yourself like you would want your best friend to talk to you. Your best friend would tell you positive things about your game. Your best friend wouldn't say things like “you stink.” Be aware of any negative self-talk and change it.

• Don't try as hard. In golf, there is a fine line between trying too hard and not trying hard enough. You are usually at your best when you allow things to happen rather than trying to make them happen. On every shot, do everything you can before the swing to make that shot successful. Analyze the shot, select your club, go through your routine and then let it go. Accept the result and as they say “find it and hit it again.”

Try these tips out the next time your game gets off track and you’ll be able to break out of that slump on your own.

Take an online lesson from Ed Oldham.