When chilly weather is the understatement of the year and your hands feel like they might fall off any minute before you’ve even grabbed a golf club some of us can only look out of the window and dream in anticipation to go out and play, or can we?
Well I think quite the opposite is the truth for the colder season of the year. If you play your cards right winter could be even the most productive time of the year for your golf time.
Why, you’re asking? Well, good question.
First you can focus on technique and practice because the limited time you have can’t be used to play anyways.
And secondly a little distance to the golf course can help you to focus on the essentials of your game which is your golf swing and other golf skills.
I bet now you want to know how to use your time best? So without further ado…
Here are three of my favorite tips for you to boost your game and use your off season for maximum results. Winter time is practice time. Or so they say. But that’s a little bit vague. Let’s hit the ground running once the snow’s melting and the grass is green again!
The end of the last year and the beginning of the new is the best time to make plans and set goals. I don’t know how it’s for you but a new year always feels like a fresh start, like a clean slate to me.
Many people have the habit of setting new years resolutions. I think making resolutions is a positive thing. It’s a sign that you want to become better and achieve something. Unfortunately our results don’t often match our goals.
I think most people who don’t follow through get basic goal setting all wrong. I know that a rant about goal setting can become a very boring conversation very quickly.
So without preaching you all the things you probably already know here’s my spin on the whole thing. I think the most important part of it all is…
Goals are all about the changes and not about the goals themselves!
Setting goals is fine and dandy. But if you’re not prepared to change you’ll be getting about what you’ve been getting before. Duh! What a deep insight right? But hey, most people don’t think about this.
So if you want to set some new goals for your next golf season (Which I think you most definitely should ;-) ) make your goals as realistic and specific as possible and then focus on the changes you’ve got to make to achieve them.
If you want to break a specific score what would you have to do to achieve that goal? What changes in your game would you have to make? What people would you have to talk to? What books would you have to read? How would you have to practice differently? What habits would you have to ingrain?
You see the juice is all in the change and not in setting your goal. That’s only the finish line, you still have to run distance by setting one foot in front of the other (hopefully in the right direction).
People always ask why Tiger is trying to change his swing (“His old swing was so much better why did he ever leave Butch Harmon…” yada yada…). Tiger always strives to become better and he knows that if he wants to get better he has to make changes. That’s why he’s switching things up. And that’s why he’s been able to play at the level he’s at.
Keep It Moving Through The Wintertime
I really like the 100 swings a day mentality that Hank Haney (You know, the former swing coach of Tiger Woods.) advocates. Here’s a short video of him explaining the idea:
I think what’s great about this is that it’s so simple that anyone can do it. Plus you’ll improve all kinds of important things doing 100 swings a day. Your awareness of the golf club, your flexibility, your rhythm and most importantly your balance will all improve if you do this for a month or two.
And don’t get hung up on the number. If you can do only fifty do fifty, if you’ve only got time to do twenty – twenty it is.
This commitment is not about the number but about the consistency by grooving your swing day by day.
When you swing your club focus on a full finish with your weight on your front leg. Secondly try to do a complete shoulder turn, always.
The rest of the magic is just sticking to your commitment.
Drive for Show And Putt For Dough
Many a golfer spends most of his time on the driving range hitting one ball after the other but 3-putting 70 percent of the holes he plays. Than he wonders why his score’s so high although he’s hitting it reasonably well. Well the answer is kind of obvious.
If there’s one thing you can practice indoors when it’s freezing outside it’s your putting stroke. So if there’s one thing you should add to your 100 swings a day it’s a little putting. Putt to a coin, putt into a cup, use a putting mat, work on your setup or stroke without even hitting a ball.
Just do something. You see, in my opinion most people over complicate things especially when it comes to practicing golf.
Trackman numbers, complicated drills and training aids can all help but if you do just these two things over the winter (100 swings a day and grooving your putting stroke) I guarantee that you won’t regret your effort once you tee it up again.
Maybe you even finish your first round of the new season with your lowest score ever.
Wouldn’t surprise me and it would be well deserved. And if you’ve got some goals that keep you motivated once the ball it rolling again the sky’s the limit baby! :-)