There’s no way around it, winter can be brutal , or at least it does in parts of the Midwest where outdoor golf opportunities are limited. The good news there’s always creative ways to immerse yourself in your golf game even when the fairways are covered in ice. In this article you will see a short list of helpful ways a golf nut should be doing in the off season. So come spring time you will have a more positive mindset and you will be that much sharper to begin your season.
Work on Your Putting – A synthetic mat with an actual hole is your best bet for trying to recreate the pace and feel of a real putting green. Short of that, a coffee mug on your living room carpet will do. Focus on your alignment with the putter head and work on the rhythm. Spending three months hitting dead-straight six footers will at least make you think you’re a better putter. And that, we all know, is half the battle.
Make 100 swings a Day – The best way to groove a swing is to repeat it without worrying about where the ball is headed. You can do this in your backyard, or if you’re blessed with high ceilings you might not even have to leave the house. My opinion your practice swing and your swing when the ball is in the way shouldn’t be any different.
Strengthen and Stretch your Golf Muscles – Most experts will tell you building your core strength will serve you in multiple aspects of life, not just golf. But for the purposes of helping your golf game and improving your body you owe this to yourself. If you dread going to an actual gym like me, just stay home and pop a workout or yoga video in the DVD player for 30-45 min. I promise you will see an improved difference in what your body can do.
Test Out and Step Up your Equipment – There are all kinds of reasons why you should do this—your clubs are outdated, your swing and golf is improving, someone got you a gift certificate, etc.—but there’s no need to rush. Test out a bunch of new clubs. Hit into the nets at the big box stores or go to a demo day. Get fit on a launch monitor. I always say, if want to be serious about this game then you need serious equipment.
In closing I can’t leave out a comment about taking lessons. The off season is probably the best time to take lessons. Most of the time through the cold winter months you’ll be hitting balls into a net, a simulator , or at a heated outdoor range anyways. Develop some better habits and gain that confidence you need to make it your best golf season yet.
Andy Podolak is the Head PGA Golf Professional at Fire Ridge Golf Club in Grafton, Wisconsin. Andy is currently in his 9th year and before his days at Fire Ridge he played professionally on NGA/Hooters, Various Mini Tours and many Nationwide/ PGA Tour qualifiers. Andy’s lesson rates start at $45 per half hour or $75 per hour session. Various lesson packages are also available and he can be reached at Fire Ridge GC by calling 262-375-2252 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also visit Andy’s facebook page at Podolak Golf Instruction.