Is It Winter Already?
Maybe this seems like a strange topic for me to write from South Texas, because we are blessed to be able to play golf year-round. That said, I sympathize with all of you who have to completely put the sticks away for a few months each year. Down here, we might have to pick our days, but the unplayable ones are not that often (depending on your tolerance level). What prompted me to write is because it was pretty darn cold this past week, and we had some of our seasonal howling north winds. And I’m seeing more and more emails from golfers who are talking about “the end being near”, or already here . . . for their golf, that is.

Whether your clubs go to the garage for the next few months, or just get used less often, winter doesn’t have to be a time for rust to form and golf to get tougher. You can use these cold months and shorter days to work on things that will make next spring something to look forward to even more than usual.

If you live in a southern climate where you can play through the winter, realize that cold air and dormant grass makes the game a little tougher. Lies will get tighter on courses that don’t overseed with rye grass, or wetter and softer on those that do. That requires more impact precision, and the best way to get that is to flatten out the bottom of your swing path. If you’re playing it dry and fast, move the ball back a bit to sharpen impact. If your course overseeds and keeps the fairways moist, try moving the ball a bit further forward and make a shallower swing path with a smaller divot.

Also realize that your scores are going to go higher in the winter. You’re playing less, conditions are tougher and that’s just going to happen. Accept it.

Now, for those of you who are going into hibernation from golf for a few months, all is not lost. This is a great opportunity to work on skills away from the golf course, particularly on your short game and putting. Here are my suggestions for doing just that:
1. Study. Get some of the better books on putting and the short game and focus on learning a better technique. Dave Stockton’s book on putting is one of the best, and Stan Utley has penned two excellent ones, “The Art of Putting” and “The Art of The Short Game”. There are many more.

2. Invest in a putting zone. You can get a scrap of office-texture carpet about 2’ x 7’ and build your own putting track cheaply. Just glue or tack it to a board and paint a 3” white circle on one end (putting to a small target all winter will make the hole look huge next spring). That size will slide under a bed or go against a closet wall to put it out of site.

3. Build a short game setup. All it takes is a few pieces of PVC to build a backstop over which you can drape an old sheet, and a small fiber mat off of which to hit balls. This can set up in your den or garage, even your bedroom. The Almost Golf balls are good for indoor practice, and you can hit real golf balls if there is no fear of taking out a lamp or window. The idea here is to work on technique (which you are learning from the books). If you perfect the ball-striking aspect of chipping and pitching this way, when you get to the course next spring you can focus on the shot.
I know it’s not a great substitute for playing, but off-season practice will pay big dividends when it starts greening up next spring.

Final Weeks to Get Hi-Spin Wedges

Well, we’re down to the wire for being able to build and sell EIDOLON wedges with our legendary spin. The good news is that we still have some and we need to move them to make room for new 2011 inventory. So we’re beginning a special sale with you oob’ers. Click on the EIDOLON banner and you’ll find a landing page with Coupon Code offering you an exclusive discount on all EIDOLON wedges – they start at $79! Click away, buy away, and forward this special opportunity to all your non-oob golf buddies.

Thanks for bearing with me these past couple of weeks while I get back on track with this dang computer. I’m finally almost there.

photo source
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[ comments ]
sepfeiff says:
I like to cut 4 inch circles out of black construction paper as mock holes. I put these all over the house and practice putting. If you don't have carpets a small rug will do.
thompsonc715 says:
Funny, as I read this, I'm heading out to play. I'm in connecticut, but todays a balmy 35. Should even hit 40. Just layer up and go for it..great way to stay crisp..err uhh fresh?
lcgolfer64 says:
We up here in the upper midwest had a pretty abnormally mild fall. But went through a pretty drastic change, it was 60-70's starting the first week of November, to 8 inches of snow and teens for the highs by the weekend. So, it was tough to take.
Plan on doing some indoor dome work and maybe getting a few indoor tech-lessons in. Also have been looking into some good reads as well. I like the reading suggestions above TGW, and will be looking in to those.
Kurt the Knife says:
BTW, I just bought two at the promo price and from the sounds of the response, if you are the very least interested in acquiring Eidolons with the hi spin grooves ya better move quick.
fausty111 says:
I won't stop golfing unless the snow makes me. Golfed today in South Eastern PA. It was 36 degress with a 10-15 wind and gusts up to 25 mph feeling like the high 20's. There were flurries all day. Some greens out of the sun were hard. I still shot well. Layer up and walk and maybe even take a small flask to keep warm to sip. Cold weather doesn't mean you will shoot worse, unless you just really don't like the cold, but then again who does. I wear gloves on both hands and it doesn't effect anything. I guess you just need to get used to wearing gloves on both hands and you'll be fine and maybe even enjoy late/winter golf since the course is empty. Walk,layer up and try it.
Panerai111 says:
I haven't golfed in a month. I'm not a happy person.
hp says:
I once golfed in New Jersey with a friend when the ground was frozen. My friend and I were amazed the course was even open. I wore a down jacket and ski gloves on both hands. My swing was shorter due to the thick jacket, but that turned out to be a good thing! I hit straight drives that went for ever since the ground was rock hard. We had to find big rocks to pound tees into the frozen ground. I hit into a pond, but didn't have to take a water hazard penalty since the pond was frozen and I was able to punch the ball out! We have both since moved to Northern California and thankfully, can play in the winter after the morning frost delays.

If you can't play this winter, practice putting indoors and really concentrate on a square shoulder and feet alignment. Lay down a club or a long stick and really check that feet alignment. I'm a firm believer that an open putting stance, even slightly open, leads to a lot of inconsistencies.

Oh and I bought some Eidolon wedges at the promo gift for myself!
windowsurfer says:
On frozen greens it is amazing to see how a high, rapidly spinning approach shot reacts. Shots that would normally bite and stop or back-up act totally the opposite on frozen greens. On ice, a spinning ball actually kicks forward, hard, at a low trajectory. The spin makes it worse! Played ystrday and observed this repeatedly. Seem counter-intuitive, but maybe an engineer can 'splain?
SteveS says:
Another suggestion on a putting zone. In our "new" place we have a garage where one bay is used for storage. In that bay I put a 3'x 12' (12' since I have the room and the carpet generally comes in 12' or 15' widths; no cutting) I used double sided tape to keep the carpet down. I then can store "stff on top if I need to or, I'm the one who ends up putting the storage stuff in the garage, I'll place lighter, smaller stuff on top my "green" so that I can move them when I need to.
legitimatebeef says:
Oh god, I'm not looking forward to these next few months of darkness and despair. Things get pretty bad. Although this year I'm just gonna say "fuck it", put on my warmest down jacket and gloves, and head out like poster HP described above. It is extreme behavior yes, but it definitely beats sitting inside pining away for golf.
mabowen says:
I am too cheap to buy golf-specific attire, so I usually wear wool/cotton knit sweaters. The bulk of extra layers really kill my swing. Tried to play the other day and had to rip off the layers and be chilly in a Polo.
cpercy says:
Played here in KC Saturday 30 degrees 25 MPH NE wind with gusts to 35 shot my best round in 6 months, guess I need to restrict my backswing on a regular basis. Greens were not frozen this week but they were two weeks ago very difficult to stop a ball when they are like that. Most courses here will let you play as long as the frost has evaporated (notice I did not say melted) and there is no snow on the greens. Have had to use an ice pick to get the tees in the ground but damn you can drive it a long way. There are not many of us here who play in those conditions, but I seldom play alone. By the way best tip for staying warm, walk and carry your bag.
Banker85 says:
ya its in the teens now in chicagoland. might get out if we get above freezing otherwise i will just have to settle for the golf channel and looking at all the new fancy clubs when i go to Dick's.
golfnut358 says:
I can't believe it's December and I'm still playing here in New England (RI). As long as it isn't snowing,or frigid cold,I'll play.Some thermals and a windbreaker work wonders.In case you never seen or heard of this,if you can't get your tee in the ground,take a golf ball,drill a small in it.With five minute epoxy,cut the head off six penny nail and epoxy it into the hole in the ball.Leave it in your bag for those frozen tee boxes.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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