With golf season right around the corner, it’s essential to get your mind and body prepared.
Growing up in New York, and knowing that my season was limited by the weather, helped me devise strategies to ensure I was ready for my best round as soon as possible.
Here are some of those tips and tricks so that you don’t waste a single day of the golf season.
Table of Contents
- Develop a Strong Strength Training Program
- Winter Cardio Is Key
- Schedule Putting Practice
- Swing As Often As You Can
- Fitting a Golf Club
- Regrip Your Golf Clubs
- Get familiar with the rules
- Set a goal for the year
- Chipping Practice in The House
- Mentally prepare your game
- Be sure to check the fundamentals before bad habits develop
Create a Strong Strength Training Program
Experts in fitness will tell ya that the strength of your body can have a significant impact on your ability hit the ball far and consistently.
As long as your dumbbells or bands are basic, you can do exercises that increase leg strength, arm strength and muscle tone.
It’s best to devise a physical fitness routine that you can do consistently throughout the offseason. This doesn’t mean doing a few squats, push-ups, or curls the day before you head back out on the golf course.
Your stomach muscles and abdomen should be part of your strength training program to ensure your core is strong, efficient, and quick in the swing.
Winter Cardio Is Key
Many golfers neglect winter cardio.
Jumping on the treadmill a few days a week and walking “9 holes” will pay off when the golf course doors open. Golf is not the most demanding sport. However, if your heart is healthy, you will find it easier to play nine or 18 holes.
Players will make mistakes often in the first part of the golf season. This is not due to your golf swing, but because your body and mind are tired.
Schedule Putting Practice
Although it might sound absurd to add putting training to your daily schedule, it is actually quite possible.
Set up a practice area in your home to work on your putting. This can be broken up into 3 sessions of ten minutes.
You will have better results if you choose a putting mat that challenges you and holds your attention.
The greens will be rough in spring, but your consistent stroke will help you get through the first round.
Swing As Often As You Can
Professional golfers often have this advantage because they have large studios in which they can work on their game and monitor the progress of their swing on launch monitors. Amateur players often do not have the same opportunity.
There are indoor driving ranges and garages where you can at most swing a golf club. Even if you only have the ability to swing a few times a week, it will make the start of the season much easier.
Fitting a Golf Club
A lot of people think that a golf club fitting is just for players looking for new clubs. But, this is false. Golf club fittings can be used by golfers who want to ensure that their equipment is the best.
A fitting could be the return of a new golf club. However, it could also mean a slight modification to the loft or lie of your current club.
A launch monitor and a fitting expert determining if the equipment you are using supports your goals is a smart decision.
Regrip Your Golf Clubs
You can either do it yourself or have someone else do it. This is a great way start the new season. Grip pressure on your golf clubs will increase, making it more difficult to release the club.
You must ensure that you have the right size grips and the right thickness material when you are regripping clubs. Regripping golf clubs is an investment, but it is worth it if you want to keep your equipment going through the season.
Get familiar with the rules
Rules changes are happening more often in golf than they used to. You can make sure that you are well-prepared to follow the rules of the course by reading a new rulebook. Many golfers believe that the rules are there for punishment. However, they are there for your benefit.
Knowing the rules of golf can help you to understand your options should you hit a bad shot. Trust me on this one – for many years, I didn’t have enough of an understanding of the more detailed rules, and I ended up dropping the ball in areas where it didn’t make much sense.
Knowing the rules and your options can help you save time this season.
Set a goal for the year
What is your goal for the golf season?
You can set a goal and then develop it in the offseason to help you plan and create a strategy. The goals don’t always have to be scoring-related.
You might find that you enjoy playing golf on Wednesdays more or that you are looking for new golf partners. These are all good goals. However, in the months when you can’t play golf because of the weather, you can think about your goals and how you will accomplish them.
Chipping in The House
While we mentioned practicing in the house, I highly recommend that you also work on your chipping.
Find foam golf balls, a small hitting mat, or a carpet that can be used to hit some wedge shots. You need to move effortlessly and make sure you make contact.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or get fancy to practice chipping. You can use a small bucket in the garage or a bowl in the kitchen to chip the foam balls into it to get your lower and upper bodies working together.
Chipping is often about the tempo. This determines when it is most effective.
Mentally Prepare for Your Game
The mental game is so important that many amateur golfers fail to pay attention.
It is important to practice mental preparation for your game. There are videos and books that will help you learn the right mindset and other ways to approach scoring.
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I recommend that you have a consistent pre-shot routine. It might be worth looking into an app or device that can help you track your stats once the season begins.
Knowing whether you are hitting greens or fairways can help you determine what you need to improve. Mental preparedness will pay off more than physical readiness over time.
Mentally tougher golfers on the PGA Tour are those who win each week. Everyone is capable of making good golf shots at some point. But the mentally tough will prevail.
Be sure to check the fundamentals before bad habits develop
When you finally get to start hitting golf shots, make sure that you use alignment sticks to check that the golf ball’s direction is as straight as you think it is. The first few weeks of golf season are when you notice problems with bad habits returning.
Many players get out on the green and start swinging after months of preparation. Of course, this is not necessary, and until you get your setup, stance, posture, grip, and tempo down, don’t attempt to do all that much.
You don’t want to start the golf season without any preparation. This can cause frustration and lead to lower scores and a less successful year. Start slowly and be patient. Also, take your practice seriously.
The most important thing is to focus on the basics.