Virtually all golfers say they want to improve their game. But in Saskatchewan where you only get 150+ days to play providing its not too hot, cold, wet, or windy. Of course, and in more ways than you think.
It’s not about weather. It’s not about location! It’s not about CAN I!
It’s about MAKING CHOICES and TAKING ACTION. We can improve before we even get to the golf course and not waste valuable playing time for learning time.
Think about this. Eighty percent of the golf population has a 16+ handicap according to numerous accounts. Ten percent break 80, 49% break 90, 86% break 100 and 14% score 100+. These people all made choices. But the numbers are staggering and unacceptable. With the enormous resources available in the game today the largest percentage of golfers in the game should not be the lowest skill levels playing the least number of rounds.
If we truly want to improve we have 12 months a year to do it. It’s not just being at the range or playing a round of golf that will help us improve. So how do we improve in Saskatchewan over 12 months and not 4 1/2 – 5 months.
Try one or all of these:
1. Sign up for golf lessons. If you are new to the game it may mean taking more than 1-3 lessons. This will get you started but it won’t be all you need. These will introduce you to the overall parameters of the golf swing and parts of the game. Think in terms of a series of lessons for the first few years (group lessons of 4 or 5 one hour lessons )early spring will refresh and renew information from the previous year you forgot about.
2. Start a fitness program. This will improve endurance, rotational ability, flexibility, strength, and power. You need to get medical clearance prior to any activity but if you are able to undertake the efforts of fitness find a trainer at a local fitness center or city facility and devise a program that suits your needs. The trainer will show you the proper way to use devices or exercises to prevent injury much the same as the golf instructor. If you can WALK the course instead of riding a cart. You might rediscover how much fun golf was before the advent of the power cart!
3. Eat healthier foods. Nutrition is often overlooked and undervalued by golfers in general and certainly by most golf shops. It’s a hamburger, hot dog, processed sandwich, chips, and a coke. YUCK! Think about eating more organic foods, meat that is grass fed or no meat at all, more vegetables/salads, and fruits. Proper hydration and food intake before, during and after a round is critical to performance and recovery. While fitness and nutrition are invisible dimensions to practice they are valid components to performance levels both physically and cognitively. You will start to feel the difference around hole 14.
4. Drills @ home. You have more time in the off season than you do in season to learn new skills. Improvement in your game or swing doesn’t just happen at the golf course. You don’t need to hit balls on the range to practice. In fact, it’s probably better if many didn’t hit balls in the early stages of their developmental learning. Golf is about positioning and angles. It’s about fixing before the shot is even attempted. Work on Posture angles, hand positions and pressure, alignment, balance, putting drill positions, chipping position drills, and a host of others. Practice in front of a mirror with or without a club, use a household chair or walls for learning body positions. You’ve got 7 months – DON’T WASTE TIME.
5. Equipment. You will notice I put this down the list. While equipment has had an impact on the game it is one tool but not THE tool. Equipment will never change your golf swing or fix your swing faults. It may alter them but it is only temporary. If you must use this as an excuse then at least get fitted for a custom set of clubs. While not a perfect answer it is far better than the other alternatives. If you are sticking to your existing set then make sure to check for wear in your grips. Dirty, slippery, or worn grips force you to grip tighter during the swing which will tighten muscles and restrict movement. Replace them or wash them with soap and water to restore tackiness to the grip.
These are just a few examples of how to spend 7 months of winter rehearsing and improving your game. Try it!