For most of golfers, winter means placing the golf shoes and clubs away and waiting anxiously for spring to show up so that you can return to your favorite courses. Taking a couple of months away from the game, nevertheless, is certain to leave you rusty and might result in the loss of a few of the developed skills you made in enhancing your game throughout the season. There are different solutions to exercise your swing during and short game the winter season and remain sharp. It could take a little creativity and a little searching, but one thing is for sure, those clubs do not need to sit and collect dust until next spring.
Kung-Fu Golf Grip
A fantastic swing begins with a perfected grip. Learning the correct way to hold your club or position your hands can be very awkward at first. The easiest way to deal with this, and just stick with us, is while you are sitting around watching some of your favorite TV shows. Before the program starts, take a practice club (ideally with a training grip on it) and put your hands in the best position. While you are enjoying, you will be concentrating more on the TV program than your grip. As a commercial comes on, take your grip off. Once the program resumes, re-place your hands on the club once more. Due to the fact that you are focusing on the TV, you will not be thinking about how awkward it is to find that perfect grip that you struggle to get comfortable with. If you keep doing this regularly throughout the winter season, you will certainly have the correct natural hold figured out as the upcoming spring season rolls around.
The Set Up – The Home Golf Practice Station
The appropriate golf stance & hand positioning takes time, patience and practice for any golfer. After a long lay off, your body will certainly attempt to establish a much more relaxed position that takes really little effort. However, after working several hours or being stressed, you could end up in a position that is all hunched over or not optimal at all. To treat either symptom, set up a golf swing practice station at home utilizing a full length mirror (these can be purchased cheaply at Home Depot, Lowe’s or Wal-Mart). Once you have your mirror(s), establish your best positioning and have a family member or buddy place masking tape on the mirror in order to visibly mark your spine angle, hip and knee flex. Throughout the winter months, keep using this set up and update your alignment to see if you match the masking tape when you are in your established position. This is a simple means to ensure you don’t get out of practice and lose your correct angles throughout the wintertime.
Put a plastic cup against a wall in your home or buy a putting practice mat. Practice putting into the cup or on the mat. This works best on a carpeted area. The old golf adage that one drives for show and putts for dough is very true. Keeping your putting stroke fresh will help eliminate numerous unnecessary strokes when you get back on the green come spring time.
Try using a sponge or Wiffle practice golf ball to swing indoors. Make sure you have room enough for a full swing without hitting any type of walls or ceilings. Even half swings will help with your pitching and chipping, if ceiling height is limited.
Use some of the motion-sensing game systems offered to help keep your form in line. Golf games on such video gaming systems as the Wii or Xbox Kinect could give reasonably accurate results, however more notably, allow you to continue to practice and perfect your swinging motion.
Search your local area for indoor driving ranges or locations with golf simulators. A driving range with heated tee boxes, or a big, inflatable temporary range, allows you to practice during the cold months. Golf simulators are made to let you strike a ball into a screen with your full, normal swing and simulate the results in a video-game format. These aren’t always exceptionally precise but it beats not playing at all.
Video your swing with a camera if you have one. Mini HD cams or HD Pro cams are easy to set up on a tripod and video yourself. Each time try to capture your golf swing from different angles while making practice swings. You could play back the video and analyze your swing, making modifications as required.
The Short Game
As you already are aware, the short game is an essential part of your golf game. Regrettably, a long break from practicing truly causes you to loose any type of touch you might have had around the greens last spring. All you really need to do to keep your short game sharp, is practice a little throughout the winter months.
First, you should already have your putting station set up somewhere. There are plenty of economical putting gadgets or ideas out there that will produce a fabricated golf hole that you can set up at home (some even include indoor outside carpet for those who do not have the right amount of space). Always be sure to exercise putting as often as you can (particularly the short putts). If you have a buddy or partner that likes to play golf, try and create a few fun competitions regularly. This will certainly help you to keep your short game sharp when the season rolls around.
Secondly, you can utilize this same putting station to practice your chip stroke (if you don’t have the proper surface, simply use a 1 x 1 piece of higher pile carpet and lay it on the ground to chip from). If you do utilize a piece of carpet as I recommend, you can move it closer or farther away from the hole, to vary your chipping distances. When following golf season begins, you will certainly be able to get the ball close to the hole instead of leaving these chip shots short of the green.
Finally, pitching could actually be challenging if you have not practiced in a while. What I would do in the wintertime, was to practice hitting pitch shots into an old chair. This provided a certain target to aim for while practicing. If you do not have an old chair like this laying around, you can certainly get a small pitching net at any local or online golf store. Simply place your net or chair in an area that you will not break anything, of course. Then, utilize your small piece of carpeting to pitch from and you will keep your touch around the greens, or even better, improve it.
In order to eliminate the irritation of being rusty at the start of the golf season, it just takes a little creativity and practice. Ideally, you will set up a practice station at home and try a few of the drills I pointed out. It does take a little effort, but once the next season rolls around, you will certainly be glad you kept working on your game. If you play with a regular group, you might even find yourself giving expert advice on how to stay on top of your game.