Nov 10, 2014
Winter is well and truly upon us now that move into the eleventh month of 2014. The prospect of the next 5 months of practicing on dark nights, playing in damp conditions, mud sticking to the ball upon landing, can always leave a golfer feeling empty and unenthusiastic about playing with the words “Great; Winter golf. I am certainly not looking forward to the next five months” being muttered in the clubhouses around the land.
But by employing a basic technique, any golfer can make the most of the winter months, allowing them to effectively prepare for their 2015 season. So let’s ‘reframe’ the above sentence, to ‘“Great; Winter golf. This provides me the perfect opportunity to take what I have been working on during my lessons to the golf course in preparation for next year”.
Summer is the time of individual handicap qualifying competitions, where nothing but score matters. As much as this is often seen as the backbone of golf, playing to get your name on the honours boards within your clubhouse, I often see golfers struggle to take swing changes to the course.
Winter on the other hand, with more betterball and Am-Am competitions being played, provides a great opportunity to do just that - take your swing changes to the course, without the fear of a handicap repercussion.
Most of the time, swing changes occur on the driving range or practice ground, and are worked on under very little pressure in a very closed loop environment. Basically meaning that it is not a problem if you hit a bad shot, as you can pull another ball across, and try the same swing again.
As much as this is a useful and important part of improvement, it is also essential that you are able to replicate the same technique in a game situation, when external factors and pressures such as wind, hazards, the lie of the ball all will influence your decisions and shot execution.
So what can you do to ensure that you make the most of winter………..make a plan!
If you are seriously keen about improving your golf for next year, by now you should have sat down with your coach and made a plan of action for the upcoming months. This should include a review of 2014, analysis of your strengths and weaknesses and an initial goal setting process so you can set your targets for this time next year.
Even though a great plan can be made, it is then down to you to commit to your practice, lessons and whatever you need to do in order to reach those goals. Every practice session you have, ensure that you make notes on what your goal is for that session, what you have worked on, and measure the success of the practice through a basic scoring system that is relevant to you - be inventive if you have to.
As long as you and your coach understand how your scoring system works, it will provide you with a definitive measure of your improvement over the next few months. And if you don’t improve, then you will be able to see why you have not!
This way you will be accountable for your OWN game, and it will give you a greater satisfaction when Spring 2015 comes round knowing that you have done everything you could possibly have done to ensure you have your best season yet.
Enjoy the winter months; make them as productive as you want them to be!