Spring Into Spring
Terry "The Wedge Guy" Koehler dropped his post in the wrong spot Friday, but it won't cost him a two-stroke penalty because we know how much y'all enjoy reading his take on golf. Get ready to enjoy back to back days of The Wedge Guy. Enjoy!
This is an exciting time of year for all of us golfers. Whether you are already able to get out and begin playing more frequently (southern climates), or counting the days until the courses open, Spring is the time for renewal. Down here in South Texas, the grass is greening up, the trees are budding out with new leaf growth, and the weather is getting nicer each week.
And with all this spring renewal comes our hopes and plans for our best golf season ever. But if you want to get off to a great start to the season, it’s going to take some work on your part. Over the off season, you’ve lost a lot of your golf flexibility and strength, as well as your golf eye-hand coordination. The latter is just going to take some time hitting balls, but you can do something about the former each and every day.
I strongly suggest that you begin a daily regimen of stretching exercises to get your golf muscles back to their suppleness and flexibility they had at the end of last season. Your “memory” is going to recall positions and length of your swing, but if your muscles just “won’t go there”, you are going to have real troubles. So, the way to beat that is to get into a routine of spending a few minutes each morning and evening going through a stretching routine to help them out. You can find hundreds of videos and tips online to help you with this, but YOU have to do it. YOU have to have the discipline and drive to make this a new part of your daily routine.
Focus on stretching those big muscles in the legs and back, the arms and shoulders, hips and thighs. Those are the ones that will restrict you the most. Then give stretching attention to the little muscles in your hands and wrists, ankles and lower legs, too.
Along with your stretching exercises, you can also work to rebuild the strength in your basic golf muscles – legs, arms and hands . . . particular the forearms and hands. The way those muscles rotate the club through impact are pretty darned specific to the golf swing, and that motion doesn’t occur in your daily routine. So, work it out. The best exercise I know for this is with one of the short weighted clubs that has a training grip and a weight on either end of it. Mine is made by Momentus, and is the 6.5 lb model. You will be amazed at how quickly swinging it back and forth turns into a workout where you can “feel the burn”.
Flexibility and strength. A few minutes a day working on both will do more for your power and distance than any new driver on the market. I guarantee it.
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I have been using a weighted donut for golf clubs. It's not 6.5 lbs but it's heavy enough to make a difference. I have postponed my desire to get a new driver until mid-summer. By that time, I will have a consistent and improved swing to test drivers and shafts. I'm still working on stance, posture, and balance.
Can't agree more with the exercise and flexibilty training as the season gets closer. Along with my workouts I have been swinging the Orange Whip to keep the Swing muscles engaged. Of course here in the Northeast we have had a mild winter which has allowed me to play regularly, one of my concerns has been that some tendencies have crept into my swing that winter play brings on. Has playing on harder, less maintained turf made me develop habits that will carryover into the warmer temps. For a fact I know my swing is affected by the amount of extra clothes you wear for winter play and what about a putting stroke thats now used to frozen tundra greens. Just over the weekend I noticed a difference in how the ball was flying just because there wasn't any wind for the first time in months. Now I know that I have to spend some time refining my swing back into regualr season mode.
I use the momentus too. It's the only training aide I own. I don't need to get ready for spring, I'm ready now.
Speaking of this, i have some SWING SOCK weights I was given by the inventor, maybe we should give some away on OOB golf. Maybe I'll hit Mustang up and see if he wants them... I better dig them out first :)
Stretching and doing things now to get you back into shape is great, but the real work should be done over the off season. Waiting until the season gets close is the main reason improvements aren't made for the average golfer. Pretty much everyone has said "i was shooting high 80s last year and now i can barely break 90". It takes time to get into the swing of things again (pardon the pun). If you want to get better and retain your game, you should be stretching all through the off season. If you start now, you'll be better off if you don't start at all, but it's like a swing change. You can't implement something and figure yo'ull be fine in a couple weeks. it takes months to build that memory needed. even just a few months of doing nothing is going to take a serious toll and you may be half way through the season before you start seeing improvement, even with daily work. This time keep it going through the off season.
You tell em coach.
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