In Case Of Emergency Break Glass

Turn your game around when it starts heading south

When things start going sour out on the golf course, it's critical you get to the root of your problems and get back on track as fast as possible. In many cases, it's not so much a swing component that's run awry; instead, how you approach your shots, your routines and your basic fundamentals are the culprit.

Let's take a look at a handful of immediate fixes to use in case you need a quick remedy. I'll bet these are just what you need to alleviate your swing woes and start shooting lower scores.

Getting Nervous?

When you're on the golf course, whether just before, during or at the tail end of your round, getting nervous can wreak havoc on your ability to play your best golf. When you get nervous, your thoughts can get the best of you, often leading to trying to steer or control your shots, which prevents you from making your natural golf swing.

To help relax, take your mind off the golf swing and get in a tranquil state of mind, concentrate on taking long, deep breaths. Deep breathing is a great exercise for helping the body and mind calm down. As you're doing this, rehearse a few practice swings, and hold your finish position. Feel what it's like to finish the golf swing in a relaxed, balanced and comfortable finish position. Come time to hit a golf ball, having the finish position fresh in your memory will help you make a fuller, more natural swing without any contrived motions or manipulations.

Tee Shots Getting Wild?

If your tee shots are getting a little wild, consider teeing the ball a little lower. This will do two things. First, it'll force you to stay down and over the ball at impact, preventing you from lifting up and trying to murder the golf ball. Second, a lower tee ball will likely put more backspin on your tee shots. And in this case, backspin actually helps you by negating sidespin and helping you hit straighter shots. You might lose some distance, but at this point, reigning in your wild hit is more important than hitting big bombing tee shots.

Lost Your Rhythm?

I love the waggle. It's a great way to keep the body in motion before you make a golf swing. It's almost as though the waggle is part of the actual golf swing. The other cool thing about it is the waggle is something you can dial in yourself. There's really no wrong way to do it. Some players like to waggle their arms and do mini-rehearsals of their takeaway. Other players, like the Tour's Jason Dufner, keep their waggle confined to their wrists, and yet others do a combination of both. The key with your waggle is to have it match the rhythm, tempo and feel of your overall golf swing. If you're a long, smooth swinger, your waggle should also be long and smooth. Stick with a waggle that matches your swing and you'll find it easier to stay in rhythm throughout the round.

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