My focus in this article is to get you re-motivated about golf! I get it, itâ??s winter, and golf may be the last thing on your mind at this point. You have probably spent the last few weeks celebrating the holidays with your family and doing pretty much anything but playing golf. However, now that it is January, you will soon be bit by the golfing bug once again. Whether itâ??s the start of the 2011 PGA Tour or a few nice days to remind you that spring is near, golf will once again be on your mind. The big question is: â??What can I do to avoid the almost certain slump that plagues me every winter?â? Here are a few solutions to help you get your golf game ready for the 2011 season.
Stay in Shape! If youâ??re like me, you have surrounded yourself with family and food during the holidays. In order to maintain the athleticism that it takes to play a good game of golf, you must get back into what I call â??golf shape.â? This does not mean that you need to spend two hours at the gym pumping iron every day. (Just look at John Daly!) However, getting out and walking or jogging whenever possible, or even doing some core exercises, will help get your body back into an athletic routine.
Take a Lesson. I know you may think taking a golf lesson when you can hardly play outside may seem pointless, but it is actually the opposite. Winter is my favorite time to work with students, because we can make serious technical changes without having to worry about immediate results. I give most of my winter lessons at Golf Plus, which has several hitting bays indoors. The great thing about hitting into a net is that we can focus more on what we are working on in our swing than what the ball is doing after we hit it. You may or may not know this, but most tour players make major swing changes over the winter. They do this because they realize that sometimes you have to take a step backward to take two steps forward, and they donâ??t want their step backward to happen in the middle of their tournament season. Neither should you. That is why I encourage you to go to your local golf professional and take a lesson before the season starts. This lesson will help give you direction, improve your golf swing and hopefully excite you for the upcoming golf season!
Practice. Now, you might ask, â??How do you expect me to practice when itâ??s 30 degrees outside and there is snow on the ground?â? Keep in mind that practice does not always have to include hitting a golf ball. Practice can be as simple as swinging a small weight or even remote control in your house. Simply making the swinging motion will give you the repetitions needed to familiarize yourself with the golf swing. With that being said, this option should be your bare minimum for practice. Ideally, I like my students to find an indoor driving range and spend at least one hour a week hitting golf balls. After all, there is no true substitute for the real thing. I also recommend working on your short game whenever possible. It is true that your feel is the first to go when you take significant time off from golf, which is why I ask my students to work on the following drills to maintain their touch:
â?¢ Putting on Carpet â?? This one is simple … practice putting from different distances on either your carpet or a small practice green that you can purchase from any golf retail store.
â?¢ Indoor Chipping/Pitching â?? For this drill, I recommend a soft foam ball or plastic golf ball. Now, making sure that there is nothing breakable near you or your target, set up a small area where you can work on your chipping and pitching. Try to vary your trajectories and focus on contact and your target. By working on different types of wedge shots, you will no doubt be able to improve your touch and improve your technique.
â?¢ The â??Tigerâ? Drill â?? I call this the â??Tigerâ? Drill because it was made famous by Tiger Woods in a NIKE commercial. Although Tiger makes this look easy, some of you may find it near impossible at first. Again, for this drill, make sure that there is nothing breakable around you. Grab your wedge and a ball and simply try to bounce the ball off of your wedge as many times as you can. Start with your dominant hand. Can you get 10 bounces? How about 50? 100? Once you feel comfortable with your dominant hand, switch the club to your other hand and see how many times you can bounce the ball off your wedge without letting it fall. This drill will not only improve your touch but also give you a trick that you can use to impress your friends this spring!
I hope that you are as excited about the 2011 season as much as I am. The golf course is a great place to go to relax and spend time with friends and clients. The game of golf can take you to the most beautiful places in the world. Of course, we all know that it is much more enjoyable when we are playing well! Enjoy the rest of your winter, and donâ??t forget to take the necessary steps to prepare yourself for the upcoming golf season!
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Author Bio:Â Colby Wollitz is a PGA-certified teaching pro at The Players Club of Henderson in Kentucky.