Getting Ready For The Winter LayOff
Living in South Texas, I really don’t think much about putting the clubs away for the winter, as it’s a nice break from our hot summers to get to play this time of year in nothing more cumbersome than a windbreaker or sweater. But I realize that many of you are dreading this time when you have to put the clubs away for a few months. What made me think of it is a question from Jeremy H., who asked:
“Are there any good indoor drills I can practice or training devices that can keep my swing snf putting stroke from deteriorating?”
Well, Jeremy, there are a number of things you can do that will help you stay sharp through the winter and snap back into form quicker when spring arrives. Here are my suggestions:
Five Ways to Survive The Winter
1. Stretch daily. Actually this isn’t something that should be limited to the winter, but it’s even more important now. If you will spend five minutes each morning doing structured stretching drills, it will do wonders for your golf game. The keys are keeping your big leg and torso muscles flexible, and your shoulders. Do a little internet searching and you’ll find great information. And never bounce when you are stretching; that can really damage your muscles. What you are after is a routine that keeps your muscles longer and more supple so that they can perform properly in the golf swing.
2. Practice putting. On one end of the scale is the purchase of a good quality putting mat or practice platform. You can spend under a hundred bucks, or up to $4-500, but all you need is a place that allows you to stroke 5-7 foot putts to a target smaller than a golf hole. I have one by TourLInks that is wonderful. If you are on a budget, just visit a commercial carpet store and get a 2’x8’ scrap of commercial grade tight nap carpet and use that.
3. Practice chipping. You can chip balls from a small piece of carpet into a small chipping net or even a hung over the side of the bed or sofa. A few minutes chipping several times a week will keep your contact skills sharp and pay off big. If you have room in your garage for a larger net or blanket hung from the ceiling, you can work on your half wedge shots as well.
4. Strengthen your muscles. One of my favorite items is the Momentus Strength Trainer. It is a short golf club with weights above and below the training grip. It’s short enough to swing indoors and the separated weights really do help you build up your golf muscles and train a more sound release of the club through impact.
5. Read . . . watch . . . learn. You CAN read and watch your way to better golf, and what better way to spend time during the dead of winter. For me, a winter refresher of Ben Hogan’s Five Lessons is key to my golf game. Yours might be another. Books on the short game and putting are good, as are those that deal with the mental side of the game. Don’t get yourself all confused but I’m a firm believer that the more you know about this game, the easier it is to learn to play it well.
6. BONUS TIP. Take a golf vacation during the winter. You don’t have to go to the fancy resorts, as the main idea is to get away and play, play, play. Get a few of your buddies and go to Florida or Arizona and play from dawn til dark. It is great fun, it will do wonders for your game and psyche, and your wife would probably love for you to disappear for a long weekend after being cooped up with you for a month or two.
So, there are my tips. I’m sure all of you have many more, so let’s hear ‘em. And Jeremy, I hope you enjoy your new EIDOLON V-SOLE wedge.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
[ comments ]
God, if that's the same Jeremy H. that won the Mizuno wedge I'm gonna ralph. Some dudes...
Tim Horan says:
We also don't get long lay offs from golf unless it snows but I discovered a piece of kit that has certainly paid dividends for me(Look up Leaderboard in the equipment section on OOBGOLF). It is principally a golf training aid but is also a valuable piece of all round fitness equipment with exercises designed specifically for the golfer. It is not cheap but well worth the investment. It really promotes correct weight and power transfer as well as keeping you supple.
Tim Horan says:
Follow up Leaderboard no longer available from Proshot Solutions try www.proleaderboard.com
Merry Christmas to all Oobers!
Eric Duquene says:
Put the clubs away? No way. I live in chicago. Luckily we have TopGolf. Heated microchipped golf ball driving range. And I love my Executive membership. I'll be indoors in pants and a short sleeve shirt hitting balls out to the range.
kjn122, Me again w00t! I've never won anything in my life. Now I get two wedges in one week. Woohoo!
Good article also. Great things to work on in the off season which is exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks Terry!
are you kidding me. Merry xmas jeremy! This is all on the money. I am going to be learning as much as i can by reading watching videos you name it. I should be practicing my putting i have a mat but it gets boring after about 20 minutes. I want to get a net to take full swings with.
Practice putting at home? That's what my office door and coffee mug are for!
@jeremyheslop - Congrats on the new wedges!! We're all a little jealous, of course. So does the beginner's luck run in to your golf game too?
Bryan K says:
I'm actually glad to see Jeremy win twice...at least if I win something that I don't really want, like that weird pendant that oob gave away a couple of months ago, I know it doesn't ruin my chances to win something else.
@lcgolfer64 If today's driving range session is any indication of what is to come then the luck has run out LOL but I have been pretty consistent with my game since I started in Spring. Around 20 HC which is not bad since I just started playing this year.
@bjohn13 Thanks. I wish everyone could win twice, but I'm not complaining :) Have you tried the pendant? Does it make you swing better?
Frankie C says:
It's sad that everyone doesn't have a winter home in South Florida. Golf season has just begun here.
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