It is that time of year again when our free time is eaten up by football season, hunting season, holidays, etc. There is very little time left over for golf for most of us, so here are a few tips to keep your game decent over the winter. This will help you when you come out of golf hibernation next spring.
Stretch regularly. The colder it gets, the tighter our bodies are. Please remember to stretch regularly. It also wouldn’t hurt to swing a weighted club 20-30 times a couple times a week.
Use alignment aids. When you are able to get out and practice use alignment aids to help your body remember how to line up correctly. When you are on the range this can be done by laying a club just to the right of your target line and one parallel left of it a couple feet away to keep your feet, hips and shoulders in check (for a right handed golfer). Those alignment sticks are useful for this also when you practice. It is amazing how our bodies forget how to line up when we don’t play or practice regularly, so using aids makes it easier to line up correctly.
Remember your weight shift and shoulder turn. Again, since it will be cold our bodies will naturally be tighter. If you don’t consciously remember to shift your weight and make a good shoulder turn you could easily start using “too much arms” in your swing and it could severely throw off your timing and rhythm. Many bad habits are born from not making a good shoulder turn and properly loading on the backswing.
If you can come back next spring a little ahead of the game it will help tremendously in your efforts to improve your game. You will reach “midseason form” much quicker if your body remembers what a good swing feels like over the winter. Naturally, the turf is going to be thin. It will probably be mushy. It will be cold and the ball won’t fly as far. But remember the above three tips, and when the grass starts growing again – you will be ready!
Phil Schmitt, PGA