We are in the backswing of winter and if you are like us you are ready to get back out on the links! Here are some pointers to help make sure you come out ready and swinging this spring.
The past three months we have traded our clubs in for snow shovels but this doesn’t mean our games have to suffer during the offseason. A long layoff affects all aspects of our games especially our fundamentals and short game; all of which we can work on in our basements to help us be a little less rusty come spring when the courses will reopen again.
Our setup is the easiest thing to go array during a long lay-off, but it is also the simplest to monitor without having to hit a single golf ball. After a winter break the body naturally sets up in something that is easy, which generally means hunched over and not athletic. The only piece of equipment we need to monitor this is a full length mirror. Simply check our setup positions once a day, including spine angle, hip flex, and knee flex. This simple check once a day will help us from be-coming lazy and struggling in the spring.
As we all know, the short game is the most important part of all our golf games. Unfortunately extended breaks can cause us to lose any touch we had around the greens throughout the year. All we need to do to keep our short games as sharp as possible is to set up a couple simple practice stations that work in any basement.
There are many inexpensive putting aids that set up an artificial hole in our homes. Try putting as often as we can throughout the winter especially the short putts, and just work on feeling a good pace and tempo in our strokes.
Chipping practice can be a little more “dangerous” so maybe consider buying some whiffle balls that won’t break that expensive lamp or TV if we happen to hit a bad one. Even with whiffle balls we can still feel the proper chipping motion and practice hitting different length shots (if space allows) to help us retain the feel we had throughout the golf season.
While the winter can be long and frustrating not being able to head out to the course and play golf, hopefully these drills will help alleviate some of that frustration, while helping make our games as sharp as possible going into spring.
Head Golf Professional, The Winston Golf Club
PGA of Canada Class A Professional