Most avid golfers have experienced that sickening feeling of a round that's spiralling aimlessly out of control. When that single round of head-scratching becomes a few weeks or a few months, it could be the perfect time for you to reboot your golf game and get back to basics.
Here at Hole19 HQ, we're painfully aware of the peaks and troughs in any golfer's development; a simple glance at our own Hole19 stats confirms we're firmly in that same boat.
When the seas of golf improvement get a little too choppy, the collection of golf tips below should help you hit the reset button and rediscover your best form.
Review your Hole19 stats
If you're failing to score anywhere near your best, it's going to be important to accurately assess where it's going wrong. Premium users can review their Overall Statistics section on the Hole19 App and find performance graphics showing Driving Accuracy, Greens in Reg, Putting stats and much more.
Now you can pinpoint the problem areas of your golf game and begin to practice with real purpose.
Eliminate swing thoughts
We would all love to find a 'silver bullet' piece of golf advice to solve all our golfing woes, but sometimes amateur golfers can become lost in a sea of information overload and, when that happens, we may end up carrying around more swing thoughts than we have clubs in our golf bag.
If that sounds like you, it can be a liberating experience to go out and think about nothing other than hitting that little white ball toward the flag in the distance. It's amazing what a spring clean of your mind can translate to on your scorecard.
Rediscover your tempo
It's generally good practice to work on your golf tempo at intervals through the season, particularly when you're in the middle of a bad patch.
One of the essential points to make when we talk about golf tempo is maintaining a constant rate in both the backswing and downswing. Ideally, the tempo would be neither slow nor fast; instead, maintaining a neutral speed back and through would serve most amateur golfers well.
Our good friend Eric Cogorno explains more below.
Work on your mental game
You've no doubt heard the famous quote from the late, great Bobby Jones - "Golf is a game that is played on a five-inch course - the distance between your ears". Any negative reaction to a bad shot or a bad round can have a real cascading effect.
If you can learn to stay present and rational, you're more likely to find a route back to your best swing.
And check out some other tips on the mental game - they could help straighten out your mental approach to the game.
Refocus on the fundamentals
A solid golf swing should be built upon solid foundations so, when it starts to crumble, it could pay dividends to focus on your golfing fundamentals.
Check your grip. Check your posture. Check your alignment. Often many poor golf shots can be traced back to issues before the golf swing even begins. Another thing that's often overlooked, or that can escape your attention when things are going south, is ball position.
Check out Matt Fryer's recent video for a helpful reminder.
If you're finding it hard to personally diagnose exactly what's going wrong in your swing, then perhaps it's time to move on to our next tip.
Contact a golf pro
Whether your coming back to the game after a few months off, or if you just can't find any confidence in your golf game, it would be a good idea to link in with a golf pro either in person, or online.
Having a qualified golf coach run their eye over your swing can help identify a root cause for your mishits, and he/she can provide the perfect advice, feels and drills for you to get back to shooting your best numbers (and ideally lower).
Commit to practice
It's been said that nothing worth having comes easy, and that's true of anyone who has ever played the beautifully frustrating game of golf.
With that in mind, when you've pinpointed the areas of weakness, and what you need to work on, it quite obviously follows that you'll need to commence the grind at the driving range, at the short play area and on the practice green.
Particularly if you are paying to engage with a golf coach, to get the most 'bang for your buck' dedication and repetition is key.