No More Slumps!

All of us, regardless of our skill level, have at times, swung the golf club very well. And, I imagine all you fortunate readers who’ve completed Andy’s course — The New Four Magic Moves To Winning Golf— swing the golf club exceptionally well at times. But what makes this game so frustrating is not the good days — it’s the bad ones. Especially if they happen very soon after a great day. What gives?

Why can we swing the golf club perfectly one day, hitting it long and straight, yet barely find the clubface on other days? Most assume they’re not talented enough. Or they don’t work hard enough. Or better yet, that PGA Tour pros have some secret for consistency they’re not sharing with the world.

For some, yes — you may lack the requisite athletic ability to hit the golf ball long and straight. But even so, in all my years of teaching, with thousands of students, I’ve only met one I considered hopeless. And to this day, I still can’t figure out why I couldn’t help him. But that’s another story. My point simply is: if you’ve hit it well in stretches before — you can and should be able to do it consistently.

Let me share a couple of my favorite tips on how to maintain a great golf swing — or get one back that seems to be on vacation.

First, to maintain a great golf swing — you must maintain your body. It’s amazing how may people can’t figure out the reason for a slump, yet in the last year — they’ve put on 20-30lbs around their belly. So now the feels they used to feel are gone. Maybe their 90 degree shoulder turn has become 75. Or their distance from the ball changes. Or their posture changes slightly. Or their transition at the top of the swing gets quicker because it’s shorter. Either way, it doesn’t feel the same. And with that loss of feel comes a search for new mechanics. And looking for answers — which rarely works. Look at the players who are consistent throughout the years and you’ll see very little change in their bodies. Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer are both great examples of this. In fact, I read a few months ago that Bernhard can still fit into the same size pants he wore in high school. That’s nuts — but speaks volumes to why he is so consistent.

So, my first tip to staying consistent: Maintain your fitness level. This may require more effort as you age — but you’ll see the benefits in your handicap.

Second, to maintain a great golf swing — you must maintain your set-up. After years of teaching some of the best players in the world, this next piece of advice is the absolute best tip I could ever give you.

**You don’t lose your golf swing overnight. It’s impossible. But you can lose your set-up overnight, which in turn will impact your golf swing — especially how it feels. So, as a golfer, you’ll try to recreate a feel you have when playing well (such as back to the target at the top of your swing), but will fall short — because it’s impossible to feel the same thing from a different set-up. So, you spend the day manufacturing feels. Anything to get you back to your best days. But hear this — if you find your set-up, your swing will find you. You won’t have to look for it.

So, how do you keep your set-up? I’ll give you an easy tip — one I share with all the touring pros and scratch amateurs I teach — and that’s go buy a cheap hitting mat. I don’t want you to hit a lot of balls off the mat — only a few occasionally. But you’ll use it to maintain good form. Here’s how. Next time you’re hitting it well — I mean really well — go hit some balls on the mat. Then, have a friend trace your feet and ball position. Use a 7-iron or so. Also, have your friend draw your target line — as well as your body line. But only draw your body line — using your feet as the reference — once you’re hit a couple well on the mat. Why? Well, you may hit your best shots slightly open or closed. And this is valuable information to have. Lee Trevino — one of the best ball strikers ever — aimed way left. While Sam Snead, another of the all-time greats — aimed way right. You see, if anyone ever tried to get their stances to fit a model of perfectly square — they never would have been so consistent. But — they found their set-up all the time, which is why they were so good. Does that make sense?

Then, once you have your feet, ball, target line and body lines traced — put the mat away. Keep it in the trunk of your car or in the garage. Then, next time you are struggling — go stand on it and hit some balls. Your swing will find you in no time. Or better yet, stand on it for a few minutes a week and you’ll never have to worry about losing you swing.

Good luck!

32 Responses to “No More Slumps!”

  1. Emmett says:

    Hi Andy

    Quite a coincidence in the timing of this tip; I went to the range last night, took 90 balls which I usually hit well as a loosener before a round the next day or 2. After 5 decent hits, I found I couldn’t hit anything into air, and this is with a 7 iron! Everything was shanked way right across the ground and going about 40 yards! I’m no novice, I’ve plate a couple of years and hit solid irons, with the odd duffer. I’ve been told by a few pros I have a good swing and nice action, but somehow I lost that all in a second, and hit pretty much 50 or 60 terrible shots?! I have put this down to a poor grip due to hand injury, although not really painful, and a tight back from overdoing a gym session. I’m hoping that’s the case! I am playing tomorrow and dreading it, if I can’t hit a ball I’ll be convinced I’ve lost my swing overnight?!?! I’ll keep you posted!

  2. Larry says:

    Thanks Andy,

    Your email tips are so helpful.

    I am working on reducing work committments so I can salvage some previous form by playing (and practicing) more. This tip exposes the problems and triggered the solution for recovering my earlier and better golf swing. With time, effort, and your programme, I intend to return my handicap to single figures.

    Regards and thanks again, Larry

  3. Michel Wandel says:

    You cannot lose your swing overnight, you write.

    How true!

    The swing is the result of quite a few variables (alas!). You only need to let slightly skid one or two of those variables to get a new unexpected result. Only a good pro can detect those departures, but one can certainely check the basics before swinging: posture, grip, distance to the ball.

    You made a good point that is going to get me to think more about my whole setup when I swing.

    Thanks a lot.

    Michel Wandel, brussels

  4. ross fergus says:

    excellent advice, il give that a try!

  5. michael says:

    Truly agree with your good tip about keeping fit, I think we all know it, it’s more about remembering it and implementing it. Its so difficult during the summer months, lots of good food and too much to drink. I have not yet tried the marking of the good stance when things are really swinging for one, it does sound a good idea in theory but I doubt whether one would be in a position to start marking up the exact position of my feet etc. when playing a round or even during training.
    Thanks for many good tips, yours sincerely Michael.

  6. Syle Kinney says:

    I receive your e-mails with great tips. Some I already know and some I have used. Unfortuinately I have the “shanks” yet again. Where my wrists don’t set like they should and hitting the ball off the hozel becomes the norm and then simply taking the club back or starting my swing becomes a blank. To compensate I end up casting the club and suck hooking everthing or simply just hitting everything fat. No one can seem to help me. Is it just one of those things or is it suddenly the failure of mechanics. When I don’t have the “shanks” my worse score for a round is a 81. Usually I shoot 76 to 79. What’s with these shanks!

  7. tim scrafton says:

    Hi Andy,

    You send some excellent articles out with great tips and anecdotes, and usually very well-timed on Fridays before the saturday club comps..

    I liked this article particularly as most amateur golfers will have grooved in their technically incorrect swing – or set up, and trying to reinvent the wheel with us is a long painful and fruitless task.. so anything that has tons of commonsense that allows their swing ‘to find them’ makes complete sense.. I also think the mental approach to the game makes it harder for ‘nervous’ amateurs.. thinking too hard about too many outcomes, any of the psychological tips I think will be well received by amateurs and pros alike..

    Keep up the excellent job you are doing – I am sure you are building a strong and loyal subscriber list of followers.

    Cheers Tim.

  8. Bill O'Reilly says:

    Hi Andy, I would just like to tell you that about four weeks ago I joined a gym, as a result of a routine check-up with my doctor. I am 53, had put up about 10 or 12 lbs. My cholesterol was up a bit, the first time ever, and my blood pressure was slightly raised, but not requiring medication. I cut out junk food like chocolate and cakes etc, reduced my fat intake and eat more fruit now . I lost the extra weight in about two or three weeks. To my golf. My golf has been quite good but I could not last more than about 12 holes before severe fatigue set in and my game would fall asunder. After only 3 or 4 visits to the gym, I lasted much longer on the course before I fatigued. and my long game especially my driving was longer and straighter with less effort. I was easily driving 20 to 30 yards longer. I can only put it down to better flexibility. I haven’t played for about 2 weeks but have been gyming it a couple of times a week. Felt really good this morning in the gym before work. So I am looking forward to my next outing on the course. If the golf continues to improve with the improved fitness, I will let you know.

  9. BIRDIEMAN says:

    Its funny you say this. I have a mat in my basement, and I make a good setup and hit a 6 iron, 10 to 30 times everyday, using the nerf type practice balls hitting them into a blanket I have hanging. I started last winter thinking in the spring I would be ready. I came out shooting 80 , and my pals were still around 90 -95 as I had been the season before. They couldn’t believe it ! It was a joy to improve so much. It works great I just determined what set up and swing worked at the driving range and then just kept repeating it all winter, and bam , the illusive consistency was in the house. Thanks , Keep it in the shortgrass !

  10. Val Saunders says:

    I am now 74 and generaly break 80 some 10 times a year. However I have not done so for some 18 months up to the end of August. I have been trying to put into practice your methods and tips and Hey Presto I have at last beaten the snowman 4 times in my last 5 outings including one three over! Thank you . Please continue to send me your emails.

  11. John Simpson says:

    Hi Andy
    And once again many thanks for your continuing e-mails on the golf swing – my swing technique has improved immeasurably since receiving those first e-mails.

    Here’s a good tip for getting the correct back swing – raise your club in the set up position , just by hinging the wrists – then moving your forearms round until the left forearm lies parallel with the ground, you’ll find that you’ve preserved that ‘Golden Triangle’ ,as it were. When swinging through, you’re in a good position to sweep the ball away to its target on the green.

  12. gerard carroll says:

    Andy, r anyone out there, i have a question or slight problem, im playin well off 9 handicap and played major club tournament last weekend and qualified for 18 hole playoff next saturday as leader with a 65, 1st time in this position usually im chasing the pack, has anyone any tips on how to lead from the front, ie do u pay attention to scoreboard or just play ur own game etc?

  13. Denis Poulin says:

    HI Andy

    Thanks for this e-mail

    It is very true what your saying
    Here what I do now to keep my swing. Every day after work when I get home I took the habit to go in the back yard with my driver and swing it folowing a routine that I gave to myself and that way I keep the feeling of it. Lately I did improve with my drives and iron shots I hit strighter shots and fairly long. My biggest problem now is my short game specialy my chips and pitch shots sometimes the are good but I am not consistant and thats why I am having problem to lower my score. My putts are not bad I rarely take more than 2 putts.

  14. Syed says:

    Thanks for all the tips. Really appreciate the mails you sent me.

  15. Clive says:

    Hi Andy, Just a note to let you know how much I appreciate receiving your mail. You enhance my love of the game.
    Clive. Sydney Australia.

  16. Kevin says:

    Dear Andy, great article, I am a former college athlete and know all to well the value of being in shape to be at the top of my game, it is no different in golf, and i think Tiger has proven that and set an example for all of us. When i have swing issues it is usually my hands to far behind the ball at impact
    and the tendency to block shots out to the right, my set up is pretty consistent and it takes a couple of holes to work out the kinks. But when that happens, that is where boggies, I hope I spellt that right come from and are hard to make up. Thank you for your golf tips i enjoy reading and applying them, I appreciate the help.

  17. Philip Walker says:

    Hi Andy
    Ever since I subscribed to your four magic moves my golf game has improved.With your grip techniche I find I am hitting the ball more consistantly,and much straighter.The mental tips really help.

  18. alex says:

    Good tip about the mat Andy but have used something similar for years.

    I really appreciate all the tips you have given me, the early wrist break in particular has been a revellation-trouble is I have had to relearn all my distances with every club because I am hitting each one one club further – a happy problem to have! My mates think i’m on monkey glands!

    Many Many Thanks Andy


  19. matt says:

    I have only been golfing for about 4years and just with these tips i have gained about 40 to 50 yards on my drives… thanks

  20. Dave Davison says:

    I’ve received the email you were questioning about and have I had purchased the 4 magic moves to winning golf in the past.
    It has helped my swing and accurcy tremendously. Thanks Andy

  21. Dee says:

    Hi Andy,
    Thanks for the tip, and others. I am also in that category, I can go out and hit them long and straight one day and the next time I play perhaps one out of 8. Needless to say my score is very inconsistent and I dread having to play in a competition when this happens. Shall be giving the mat thingy a whirl.

  22. John Till says:

    Hi Andy
    Yes I did receive your Email and I have subscribed to the New Four New Magic Moves.
    Has made a significant improvement in my game, still working on it!
    Kind regards
    John Till

  23. Jerry says:

    Hi Andy, 10/12/2008
    It’s about time I wrote a few lines as to how I’m doing after getting
    Your FOUR MAGIC MOVES OF GOLF last Dec..Without question,i’ve never
    enjoyed the game more….Last year I diden’t win a match in our men’s
    club…..This year I won 7 , yes,I said 7…I diden’t make the finals in the
    many We play,but what a great summer I’ve had….At age 76 I now walk
    down the fairway with spring in My step knowing that I will be hitting more
    good shots then bad,and that’s a tribute to You Mr. Andy Brown.
    Thanks A Millon,

  24. Carol says:

    Thank you for your advice. I will try everything that you suggested. Thanks again,


  25. David says:

    Hi Andy
    Feet in open stance with shoulders parallel to target line works for my chipping.
    I have been experimenting on my back lawn. The swing feels more relaxed and easy; in a word natural. Both feet and shoulders parallel results in predominately pulled shots and the swing feels strained and tense. This is something I have been struggling with since I started playing less than two years ago. I have been using the perfectly square model of stance and it ain’t been working. Looking forward to trying it for pitching and fairway shots when I have more room. Thanks for the tip

  26. Luis says:

    Dear Andy,

    You must be psychic! You have described a problem that plagues me from time to time. I bought and studied your book and it was an amazing sight when I drove the ball straight down the fairway and long! Now I am struggling with my swing and I have re-read your book and have tried everything over and over again to no avail. It seems that I can not hit the ball. It is really ugly, which means that I am on the verge of donating my clubs to someone worthier than me. However, before I do this and divorce the game I love, I will try your tip and let you know how I do. I truly hope it sets me up for success.

  27. toby says:

    thanks for the reminded. i have been in a slump right and left off the tee,but i think you might have just fixed it. thanks

  28. Hassanali says:

    Hi Andy
    I agree to your tip fully.I do this all the time.It really works.



  29. Mark A. Stevenson says:

    Andy thanks for sending the e-mail. Great advice!!! When things go wrong a trip back to the basics always seems in order! But to have a blue print of what one looks like when when one is in the “zone” is invaluable! All the best! Mark

  30. Andy,

    Great first tip there about how to stay consistent by staying physically active. Fitness level really has an impact on your handicap. I also find your setup tip very interesting. Thanks Andy.


  31. Shirley Walters says:

    Andy, I have been playing for 2 years off and on and find it is the back swing which is the biggest problem especially not playing regularly. I can play a good round and 1 week later mis hit often how frustrating this is. Makes me want to go back to Tennis. Cheers Shirley. Thanks anyway for tips.

  32. Pete Conzelman says:

    Thank you for this e-mail. This is the subject which lately has bothered me the most – consistency. My first four rounds I played in July, I played in the mid to high 80’s, the best that I had played all year. Since then I have played in the 90’s, and have no consistency from hole to hole! Your e-mail and the DVD you sent me WILL help me with consistency in the game I love!
    PS: I am now 80 years old and don’t hit the ball far (160-170 yard drives). But I expect to get better, and hit my drives straiter down the middle!!

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