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The Tour Report

September 4 2013

4:25 PM

Mental Game: Slumpbusting

By Dr. Gregg Steinberg, Special to PGATOUR.COM

It is one of the great golf stories of the year that has flown under the radar. Henrik Stenson had come from the abyss to reach the top of the golf world with a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship. In fact, Henrik was once ranked as high as fifth in the world, and then the bottom dropped out. It got so bad that he got the yips with the driver. His instructor, Pete Cowen, even stated that Henrik could not keep in on the world (a reference to hitting it extremely poorly).

The story of Henrik Stenson is a great learning tool. We all get into slumps. Most slumps are not as bad as Henrik’s, but slumps are inevitable in our games. They can happen for a week or perhaps even in a month during the golf season. Sometimes, there is no rhyme or reason to our slumps. Other times, we simply got into a bad habit that has developed into something bigger.

Regardless if you are a 20-handicapper or one of the best players in the world, a slump will find you. Here are some suggestions when it does:

1) Accept that slumps are an inevitable part of the game. Know that most slumps are temporary and your good play will find you again.

2) When slumps occur, don’t lose confidence. Even during his darkest hours, Henrik Stenson mentioned that he never lost the belief in his abilities to play at the highest level.

3) If your slump last longer than you want, change something. Perhaps a change in your equipment can shock your system out of a slump.

4) During the slump, keep working on your game You may find your best game in the dirt. Henrik Stenson did just that to rise above his slump and be one of the best in the world once again.

Dr. Gregg Steinberg is a regular guest every Tuesday on “Talk of the TOUR” heard on the Sirius/XM PGA TOUR radio. He is a tenured professor of sports psychology and has been the mental game coach for many PGA TOUR players as well as top collegiate and junior golfer.  Dr. Gregg is the author of the best selling golf psychology book, MentalRules for Golf, and you can get your autographed copy at drgreggsteinberg.com.

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