More on Off Season Work
No sooner than I started gloating over the wonderful mild winters we have here in South Texas that our first blast descended upon us. This week is going to be cold (for us – highs in the40s), windy and wet (hopefully, God knows we could use the rain!). So, I’m feeling like my golf brothers in the north, where it’s just not in the picture for a while. That got me to thinking what I could be doing on these cold wet days to help my golf game when practicing is out of the question.

These are things any and all of us can do throughout the winter when actually getting out to play or practice just isn’t in the cards. And we’d all benefit next spring and summer if we just spend a little time and interest away from the course working on simple things that will help our golf performance.

  1. Work on flexibility. One of the frustrating things about getting older is the loss of flexibility in my muscles. I’ll be 60 next March and I’m finally starting to realize that this body isn’t the same as it was 10, 15 or 20 years ago (duh!). So, one of my winter resolutions is to stay with a regular stretching routine. The idea is just to keep the muscles as long and supple as possible to ward off the natural contraction and loss of extension caused by age . . . or inactivity! It only takes 5-8 minutes each morning and afternoon to run through a routine that stretches the legs, back, shoulder and torso muscles. Then move to the smaller muscles in the forearms. The internet is full of videos and free information to guide you.

  2. Left side strength. If you read here often, you know that I’m a huge believer that the lead side has to be dominant in the golf swing. You can hit it as hard as you want with your right side, as long as your left side isn’t getting overpowered. But if you’re right-handed, that is tough to do. So, I’m now keeping a small dumbbell and squeeze ball on or near my desk so that when I’m on the phone, I can just work that left hand and forearm to build the strength there.

  3. Putt!!! I know for me, missing short putts is the biggest area I can improve my performance. The dreaded “yips” are always waiting to afflict me, and I’ve developed a tendency to come out of my short putts – peeking too soon. So, I have a putting track in my spare bedroom, and I am going to make it a habit to go in there and hit 40-50 short putts several times a week, working on staying down through impact and ingraining the slower tempo and finished backstroke that are my keys to better putting. You can do the same with a 2’ x 8’ piece of tight commercial carpet, preferably tacked to a board to make it smooth.
Just because you can’t play doesn’t mean you can’t work on your game. I’d like to hear from you readers about other off-season things you do to keep in touch with the game when you can’t get out and play. Sound off!!!!
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[ comments ]
BAKE_DAWG40 says:
My next purchase will be an impact bag. Toward the end of the season I started not releasing the club and losing all my shots to the left(I'm a lefty). Don't know where that came from but I need to fix it.
birdieXris says:
I did a lot of work with the "gate drill" last night putting. Also worked on my hand and grip position on the takeaway.
DaRupp13 says:
Upstairs I have a loft and french doors that open to my master bedroom where my bed is straight ahead. I grab a blanket and roll it into a circle, about 2 feet diameter in the middle of the bed. I bought a dozen of the plastic golf balls and will practice chipping into the circle. I stop whenever I get at least 6 in the circle and all on the bed. Granted it doesn't substitute for hitting an actual golf ball but it at least keeps your form in shape. I'll also put 2 quarters about 20' away from each other on the ground in the same loft area. I'll practice putting back and forth, usually from different distances. Again it's not a green, but you keep your form in shape so when you get to a green in the spring, you can adjust much quicker.
GolfSmith7 says:
I like to read in the winter. In the past week I read on my iPad, Golf is not a game of perfect, Unconscious Putting, Fearless golf and "hit down dammit" all great books.
knh555 says:
My nine year-old son and I putt for points. We set up a plastic hole on a pretty fast carpet. The hole we use is very speed sensitive. We lay out a tape measure and you get a point a foot for anything over three feet. If you make it, you get to keep going before the other person gets a turn. Last winter, this exercise really stabilized his putting and making a game of it made all the difference for keeping both of our attentions during the long, New England winter.
Dusty23 says:
my goal is to stick with my exercise and flexibilty programs, trimming off a few pounds will help with a full turn. weather permitting, and so far it has, i will still play once a week and with it being offseason i'll try to work on some different shots or with clubs that i don't always hit well... Driver. i am hoping to be able to work in some range work for the driver and short game too.
sepfeiff says:
Cut 4" holes from black construction paper. Put 10-15 times a day from 2-5 feet away. Focus on stroking it pure and on line. Confidence to hole those short putts to save par or bogey comes quickly.
GBogey says:
My off season is about putting, putting, putting. I read the other day about using toilet paper on top of carpet to map out the putting line to test how straight you are putting. My wife thinks I'm crazy but I'm going to try it.
stedar says:
I recommend BOLF. A great game for the family and you get to practice putting while disguising it as family time :-).

Basically you have a jack, like bowls and 4 golf balls each side. The idea, is to putt your balls as close to the jack (coloured golf ball) and score the closest to the jack. 1st to 21 points wins. Keeps it entertaining.

Hope this helps...
Matt McGee says:
I'm going to have new carpet installed in our living room. My wife thinks I was kidding when I told her that I'm going to take my putter and a golf ball to the carpet store. Lots of putting practice over the winter. Carpet must run true.
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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