If you haven't suffered a slump in your golf game, it only means you started playing yesterday. Slumps are a guarantee. I know it, you know it, and the American people know it. Slumps are frequently taboo topics. Suddenly you can't keep it on the property, but your regular playing partners hesitate to comment for fear that the obvious "slumpitis" will transfer to them. Shunned like lepers, the slumping golfer had no one to relate to, until now. NBC golf announcer Jimmy Roberts has parlayed his backstage pass with golf professionals into a compelling and rare insight to what we thought never existed, slumps by the greatest golfers in the world.
From well known slumpers like Scott Verplank, David Duval, and Johnny Miller, Roberts reveals icons we figured as slump-proof. A collective sigh of relief will be heard when read what Nicklaus and Palmer have to relate about their respective downturns in their golf games. I found the chapter with George H.W. Bush particularly poignant, since he's a routine duffer with more than 70 years of playing the game on his stat sheet. His love for the game after all that time is reason enough for me plow forward, despite my obvious shortcomings.
The crux of bootstrapping out of a golf slump that I gained from the book is that the fix is almost always within ourselves. Some swing thought, drill, or previous lesson is the key to discovery. When our golf is going great it seems effortless and without thought. When it dives into the abyss even the easiest of motions seems impossible. The fact is we've deviated from whatever we did well that kept us hooked on this Rubik's Cube of a pastime. Rediscovering it is the tough part. Roberts by chapter interviews with stars of the sport give us a lifeline to realize that if we've done something once, we can do it again.
A sample of the books innards would have to include Dotttie Pepper, whose thoughts on slumps include, "Forget the stuff that's bad. Go do a little something of what you're good at." And, "Play by feel, not by theory." Great advice, but it's up to us to incorporate Dottie's wisdom into our individual games.
Roberts manages to place us in the third chair at his interviews. His comfortable style weaves us into the web early on. The book reads itself and you'll find yourself turning pages without realizing it. Roberts' book best presents us with knowledge that slumps aren't our sole provision. The world's greatest have suffered them, worked through them, and emerged on the other side with their games intact. Why should we be any different? Truth is we shouldn't.
Breaking The Slump, by Jimmy Roberts. Published byHarper Collins. Available on Amazon.com.