What plans have you made to ensure that you make the most of winter, I wonder? When you stand on the first tee next spring, what sort of condition will you and your game be in? Will you have made the most of the winter months? When playing opportunities become limited, daylight hours are short and the ground is frosty, we have a window of opportunity to address the weaknesses in our game.
Sadly, in the same way that the majority of people spend more time each year planning their holiday than they do planning their life and career, so the majority of golfers focus more on the condition of their clubs than their body. In stark contrast, to give them that ‘extra edge’, Tour players perform conditioning routines on pretty much a daily basis. It is time to develop a more ‘professional’ approach to game improvement, to realise that your body is the most important item of golf equipment you own and to ensure it’s in great condition for next season.
So, this winter help your body to help your swing. Commit to getting golf fit. Take our free-to-download screening evaluation to identify the areas of your body that are restricting your movement and inhibiting your swing. Then use your screening results to select the relevant modules from our programme and draw up a schedule for your conditioning workouts. Maintaining a focus on the long-term benefits for both your health and your golf game will help you summon up the resolve to stick with your programme.
Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance, so here’s a few further tips to supplement your conditioning work.
Take up another activity (maybe with your partner) that will help your golf game. Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga are all great for developing balance, stability and range of motion and will enable you to make a fuller turn over a more solid base.
If you have access to one, make use of a golf simulator. It will give you a lot of useful feedback/data on just how well you are striking the ball. How you use that information is critical to game improvement. If it flags up an issue with your swing, you could refer to the ‘Are Your Problems Physical or Technical?’ section of our website to link the issue with possible physical causes.
If you venture out to the driving range, practise smarter by never hitting the same club twice in succession, by shaping shots, perhaps even simulating a round of golf at your local course.
Closer to home, set up a doormat and chipping net in the garden and regularly spend 15 minutes trying to land the ball in the net from different distances. It will help with ‘feel’ and build your confidence.
When the weather is really bad, try watching golf on television with an analytical eye. (You can learn a lot about things like course management, for example.) You can check your grip while watching TV, or just relax in an armchair and visualise making different types of shot, or playing a round at your local course. You can work on your mental pre-shot routine, or practice short putts on the carpet. You can make super-slow motion swings in front of a mirror to synthesize what you’re feeling with what you’re seeing and make adjustments as necessary. With a little imagination, there are countless things you can do to help your game.
Whatever else you do, make it your priority to get golf fit* before the start of next season and give yourself the chance to play golf better for longer.
[*Every golfer should be aware that from the age of thirty onwards, conditioning exercises become increasingly important. This is because, in a process called sarcopenia, each and every year thereafter your body will naturally lose muscle unless you work to maintain it. Any age-related muscle wastage would obviously have a deleterious effect on your balance, stability, range of motion and power.]