We have the wonderful winter season to go indoors and re-focus on swing fundamentals, improve our chipping and pitching and putting. But, should it stop there?
At the start of every winter season I advise my students to do at least two additional things:
1. Club/grip tune-ups
2. Body tune-ups (the mind)
You have used them all summer, now is the time to check if the lie angles have changed (easy enough to tell with a lie board and lie tape without going to your master fitter). Cast clubs may go 2 to 3 seasons without need of adjustment, forged clubs every season usually minor adjustments.
If you play/practice several times a week, every season you may need new grips, or a least a good cleaning with warm soapy water and a nylon brush (if you were not already doing that on a monthly basis). This will get the oil and dirt from your hands out of the grips returning them to a "like new" condition. Keeping your grips in good condition will help you restore surface tack, prevent hand slipping and ensure you’re using an ideal light-pressure grip to swing easier and hit more consistent shots. (Check also they are the right size if you had gotten new clubs).
Most of my students have now realized that golf is an athletic sport and Yoga adds a lot of benefit. Most do not realize that at whatever level of golfer you are basic strength and flexibility to improve lower body stability, core strength, rotational ease in the lower , mid , upper back and shoulders is also of great benefit. If you sit a lot for your job, it will benefit you there as well. Focus on functional movements, movements based on real-world situational bio mechanics. They usually involve multi-planar, multi-joint movements which place demand on the body's core musculature and innervation. (Try Wall Balls, Rip Trainer, TRX suspension, Battles ropes, and good old kettlebells- make sure you are coached properly to avoid injury)
Why did I do Golf Psychology? Seems a bit out there? I think everyone realizes that to play good golf the 6 inches between your ears also needs some work! For the recreational golf explore or ask about ways to relax the mind when playing. Also realize that your bad golf of 2017 is behind you, do not bring it into 2018! So often I will hear a student in an on course playing lesson say " I knew I was going to hit that shot thin, I always do" Whether you are a student of neuro-linguistic programming or not, please realize that whatever you believe you can do, whatever result you believe you can have, if you keep saying it you will realize that you were right.
Make the decision this winter season as to what facets of your game you want to improve and determine a game plan, either on your own or with your coach, but at least have one. Old saying 'if you fail to plan, you plan to fail'.
Auld land syne to 2017 (almost) and welcome in 2018 , to your best golf ever.