Playing golf in mid-winter can be no fun at all, especially if the ground is frost-hardened and the wind’s finger-numbingly cold. However, it’s the perfect season for working on your game and realising your game-improvement ambitions.
Change takes time. For one thing, a single swing ‘fault’ will often come wrapped in a bundle of other compensatory issues, so, when changing the fault, you must be patient and allow yourself time to resolve these other issues too. Also, a swing change requires countless painstaking repetitions before it becomes ingrained in your neuromuscular memory and no longer needs conscious thought and effort.
Winter is the perfect time to schedule in this kind of work on your game, not just because you have more off-course time available, but also, crucially, you don’t need to worry about outcomes, so the inevitable short-term drop in performance can be accommodated more easily. It allows you to focus fully on the movement itself. You can practise at home with an impact bag and a mirror to really ‘groove’ the swing change, before eventually progressing to hitting air-flow balls off a mat in the garden.
It is always advisable to work on improving your game under the kind of expert supervision that your local teaching professional can offer you and here again winter is your friend because it allows you the time to undertake a series of lessons to iron out any technical issues.
Now, a word of caution. For any game-improvement effort to be fully rewarded, it is important to understand the inextricable link between physical and technical ability.
The swing fault that plagues a golfer’s game is often the result of a physical limitation, rather than being purely a technical issue. It will be absolutely vital when correcting any swing faults that your body can easily accommodate new swing positions and move freely and effortlessly through the requisite new movement patterns.
Luckily, winter also affords you time to ensure that the most important item of golf equipment you own – your body – is totally fit-for-purpose.
If you go to the ‘Game Improvement’ drop down menu on our Homepage (see above) you will find a page entitled ’Are your Problems Physical or Technical?’ Simply hover over that title and it will open up a list of pages covering all the most common swing faults and their most likely physical causes. You can then download our free self-assessment screening tests to confirm whether the problem you are having with your swing is indeed the result of a physical restriction. Once identified, you can target that limitation with the appropriate conditioning module from our comprehensive programme. All the modules in our Foundation Programme have been specifically designed to be done at home without any need for specialist equipment, so there are no obstacles to overcome and you can begin immediately.
Opening up an appropriate dialogue with your teaching professional is vital. If you are serious about improving your game, make it clear that he/she doesn’t need to compromise in any way and that you are fully prepared to undertake golf-specific conditioning in order to facilitate any swing changes that ideally need to be made.
Winter’s the perfect time to start a golf-specific conditioning programme that will improve your balance, stability, strength and mobility. So, why not start next season hitting it longer and straighter than ever before, enjoying shorter approach shots into greens, really attacking those pins and taking full advantage of more birdie putts.