Game Improvement Tips for the Winter

Here’s some tips to improve your golf game during the winter months.

 

Unfortunately the Golf season is ending for those of you up north. What do you do in the off-season to improve your game? Do you go to the golf dome and hit balls? That’s great you should be doing that regularly. Hitting balls is merely the tip of the iceberg in preparing yourself for next golf season.

We all know you pack a few extra pounds during the winter months because it’s harder to be active. That certainly won’t help your golf game in the spring. Here’s a few tips I have to improve your golf game when you can’t actually play golf:

  • Work on your body
    • Lose a few extra pounds and get in shape!
    • Remove limitations from your body that prevent you from swinging optimally. Get assessed by a TPI Medical Professional.
    • Improve your ability to generate club head speed
    • Doing a few simple exercises can have you hitting the ball 15 yards further in only 2 months!
    • No equipment is needed. However the best results can be achieved with minimal equipment. I recommend at least Superflex bands, 1 or 2 dumbbells (20 lbs) and a Kettlebell. Other equipment that would be beneficial would be a Swiss ball, medicine ball and balance disc.
    • Yoga for Golfers is also a great product for increasing flexibility.
  • Work on golf skills
    • Improve your Putting stroke
      • Invest in an indoor putting green. I suggest one from Big Moss Golf. They’re great!
      • If you lack space and/or funds, you could also get an automatic ball returner and putt on the carpeting.
      • Some other training aids I like to use are the putting mirror and putting rail by Eye Line Golf.
    • Work on swing drills
    • Work on swing faults
      • Swinging in a mirror
      • Using tubing with a technique called Reactive Neuromuscular Trainging (RNT) to work on your swing faults. The most common faults which are successful with RNT include sway, slide, reverse spine angle and early extension.
    • Practice
      • Some golf facilities have outdoor hitting bays where you can practice just like in the summer. If not there’s always indoor golf domes.
      • Search for a facility with a golf simulator near you. Golf simulators are not nearly as good as outdoor ranges and golf domes but are still beneficial. Many have leagues so you can still get together with your buddies.
      • If you have some space and money, invest in your own simulator like the Optishot. Last year you could get one pretty cheap on Black Friday and after Christmas.
    • Strengthen your mental game
      • Determine what strengths and weaknesses you have in your mental game. Develop a plan to improve these. There are golf mental programs available online. You can Google them.
      • Purchase and read these books
      • Improve course management skills
        • Write down a game plan for how to attack courses your commonly play.
        • Be specific, write what club to use off the tee, what side of the fairway you want to attack the green from etc.
      • Analyze your stats
        • If you were smart enough to record your stats for the year, now is the time to analyze them. Determine what your strengths and weaknesses are and develop a plan to improve.
        • If you didn’t record your stats spend some time analyzing rounds from the past year and develop a plan. If not pick the worst part of your game and make a plan to improve it.
      • Develop/Modify your pre-shot routine
        • Determine what works the best for you, and work on it. Work on it with practice swings, and when you get a chance to go to a heated outdoor range, dome or simulator.
        • Make a checklist to follow so that you don’t forget anything when analyzing a shot. IE wind, elevation, weather, lie, etc.
      • Read about Golf
        • There’s not much else to do during the winter so why not learn something about golf.
        • I try to read something fun every day before bed. Although sometimes I study, read research or school books, I try to read something fun. Usually it’s something golf related. Here’s some good ones

 

The most important part is determining your plan for the next year. Create goal for each of the areas I gave you and vision what you want to do next year. The best way is to set a big goal, then set smaller goals and medium goals in order to develop a specific plan. Setting smaller goals will keep you on track and from getting discouraged. I’ll give you an example.

  • Big goal
    • Drop your handicap from a 15 to a 10.
  • Medium goal
    • Now that you determined your big goal, how will you do that. There’s many ways and developing more specific goals will improve your chance of succeeding.
      • Improve your flexibility and hit the ball further. Let’s say specifically you have a limited rotation on your back swing and you hit your driver 220.
      • A medium goal would be to your goal is to improve your Thoracic spine rotation and hit your driver 240. 20 yards is a big deal! It means a 1-2 shorter iron into the green.
    • Let’s say you tend to miss short and to the right. You might want to work on not coming over the top and getting your body in a better position on the downswing.
    • Lastly you have trouble lag putting. From what I know, one of the more common causes of poor lag putting is using too much of the wrists.
  • Small goal
    • Set aside a certain amount of time each week to work on your body. Let’s say 20 minutes 3 times a week. Meet with a TPI professional to develop an exercise plan with specific exercises to improve your thoracic spine mobility and some strength exercises to improve your strength.
    • Set aside time to improve your position at the top of the backswing and your sequencing on the downswing. Spend 10 minutes each night swinging in a mirror to get yourself in a good position at the top and dropping the club into the slot on the downswing.
    • Set aside time to improve your lag putting stroke. Spend 10 minutes a day putting in front of a mirror using only your shoulders. Let your arms just hand there and your wrists relaxed.
      • Practice lag putting by selecting an object in the house and try to stop the ball as close as you can. Ideally the best lag putters stop the ball past the hold but not more than 3 feet behind.

 

This list is not mutually exclusive. It’s only a guide to head you on the right path. There are plenty of other things you could do to improve your game in the off-season. I only gave you a few ideas based on past experiences.

 

Hope this helps! And good luck!

 

Attention: Please consult your Physician or a Fitness Professional before starting any exercise program. Also I do not get paid to endorse any of the products I listed above.

 

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