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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Survive a Stretch of Bad Play

As I mentioned in my Limerick Summary this week, James Hahn had missed eight straight cuts before winning at Quail Hollow. Tony Ruggiero -- he's Smylie Kaufman's teacher -- did a short post for Golf Digest on how to work your way out of a bad stretch of golf.

James Hahn

If you watched any of the tournament coverage, you probably heard that Hahn is a loner -- that is, he doesn't have a teacher or psychologist that he works with. Instead, he maintains his own swing and trusts his caddie to help him spot both swing and focus problems.

The Golf Digest article says:
To bust the slump, you need to monitor a few specific things in your swing -- by watching your own swing on video, not a bunch of others -- and measure your progress, says Ruggiero. "And you need to have a system in place to monitor those things over time -- not as a response to a few bad shots or bad rounds," he says. "It's easy to experiment. But staying committed to the plan and tracking your progress in the big picture is what will get you there."
Hahn and his caddie had spent some time talking at the Zurich Classic, which helped Hahn stay the course. He kept checking his grip and alignment through the entire eight weeks, and he focused on a few swing thoughts that help him keep his swing moving properly. It all finally came together again at Quail Hollow, and now it looks like he's back on track.

I often recommend that you find one player or instructor whose teachings work for you... and that you stick with them. You can try things from another source -- that's perfectly acceptable -- but if they don't immediately work with your existing swing, THROW THEM OUT RIGHT THEN and go back to what has worked before. Swings don't go bad overnight; usually you just get sloppy with some of your fundamentals. Fix the fundamentals and your swing will eventually straighten out.

James Hahn is an excellent example to follow. When you focus on keeping your swing fundamentals in shape and not chasing after every tempting fix, you won't stay in a slump for very long. And when you finally come out of that slump, you'll be better equipped to avoid slumps in the future.

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