Hello Golf Friends:
I've only been in the sunshine state for one winter, but I definitely remember feeling the pain of the cold Wisconsin months fast approaching. One of my former HS team members bought my book and asked me what he could do this winter to stay in "Golf Mode". So, that is the impetus of this blog post. Thanks for the idea, Jack!
One of the first things I did at the end of every season was to assess where I was at with my game. I wanted to look back and check my goals and if I reached them, or to what level I reached them. I looked at my strengths and weaknesses and made an overall assessment of my season. Then I designed new goals that I wanted to achieve over the winter that would have me ready to play when the snow melted and the ground thawed.
Goal #1 was always to keep, and hopefully increase, my strength and flexibility. Phase 2 in my book addresses strength and flexibility with special attention to these body areas: Hamstrings, quads, core; Hips and IT band; Chest and back; Forearms, wrists, hands; Cardio. While increasing strength is always good, DON'T overlook the flexibility and body dynamics needed to move the golf club in the right direction. The appendix in my book lists some of the workout sources I recommend to increase strength, flexibility, and endurance.
Goal #2 follows along with goal #1. I used a swing fan 3-4 days a week. It is a great tool to maintain your golf swing, speed, and endurance. I swing it from the left and right side to make sure I'm working my swing bilaterally so one side doesn't become dominant. When you take 20-40 swings from each side with a swing fan and you will feel the burn! It's an awesome tool.
Goal #3 was to take at least 100 practice swings a week with my 50% full motion drill. I did this in front of the mirror so I could check positions of my swing. I still do that drill every day as part of my warm up! Using a mirror in the winter to do self checks is great. If you don't have a mirror you can use the glass of your patio or door for the mirror.
Goal #4 was to hit balls in an indoor facility at least once a week. I had two places I went. One was an indoor range with about 70 yards of space so I could see ball flight. It also had an excellent short game area. The other was a heated double wide trailer cut in half hitting out to a frozen, plowed driving range. I've never been a huge fan of simulators but a simulator definitely beats not beating some golf balls! Since I was a teacher, I had access to our gym. I bought a mat, .3 golf balls and hit 5 irons into the back wall of our gym. They are realistic in terms of hit and ball flight.
Lastly, I would recommend buying a small mat or carpet square. I used to chip the 3 golf balls into the back of the couch. I also think it is hugely important to keep putting! Buy a putting device and a 6-8 foot putting carpet and keep knocking the ball in the hole.
Note: I did all of the above so when I had the chance to hit balls inside, I knew I was working on something to get better, not just to waste time. Our goal in golf is to always improve, work towards our goals and aspirations and become the most "Complete Golfer" we can become.
Until next month, Best Regards!
Heritage Isles Golf & Country Club