We love the Groundhog- even today-ish!
Personal Note of reflection
From the desk of Coach Franz:
Winter is coming to an end with an early spring according to Punxsutawney Phil the groundhog, in spite of the whopper of a snowfall predicted today. As usual this winter you should have been working on your mechanics/fundamentals, strength and conditioning, so that when the playing season finally starts in Canada, you are ready to rock.
For me today's forecast means catching up on some overdue paperwork, finishing a few video analysis for clients, and doing a couple of online/virtual lessons for distance students. Have to stay productive!
Too many people wait until March to start their prep and get on track. Whether you are a recreational player or a full fledged competitor, you can never start too early.
For your practice in winter, you should have had 3 components:
2. Rhythm, motion and feel
3. Playing/Competition simulation.
This applies to all aspects of your game, but here is an example of a putting practice session of 60 minutes:
- 20 minutes: Mechanics-Keep your lower body from moving and keep the putter face square between the feet, doing pre-determined drills and using your alignment rod and putting mirror as aids. We use Blast Motion at Golf and Performance to calibrate tempo and face rotation.
- 20 minutes: No technique. Using target drills, work on feeling the putts and establishing your consistent rhythm; 2 : 1 for example.
- 20 minutes: Complete drills (ex; the clockwork drill) to simulate the pressure of playing.
Most recreational players spend a lot of practice time in summer on the range, trying to 'figure things out'. But after they have done the figuring, it never seems to translate to playing. Thus the age old question addressed in an earlier blog, 'how do I get my range practice to benefit me on the actual golf course?'
Simple answer- randomization. Block practice is for winter. Too many players 'rake and hit'. Firstly, you cannot do that on a golf course, you go to the ball, aim reset your feet etc. I understand space restrictions on the range, but you can usually space out at least 3 balls and step to each one. Secondly, when do you hit 50 balls in a straight line with the same club on a golf course? You don't. After warm up, hit alternate clubs, let's say in one session you use odd numbers 2 clubs apart (5, 7, 9 etc). Since there are nine ball flights, why not pick targets on the range and at least play 3 alternating ball flights?
In the chipping area my students know I cringe when I see the person with a bucket of 100 range balls chipping to the same spot on the green. Your brain is learning nothing, zero neural pathway stimulation and activation. Its also bad etiquette! Why not chip ONE ball, and then make the putt. Getting up and down is a skill and when you practice it, guess what, you are likely improving your score.
The goal each season is to improve a little bit or a lot with a structured practice and playing program. At Golf and Performance we do utilize a specific blueprint, tailored to each student to help get them ready for their competitions or if they just wanted to drop their score significantly from one season to the next. There is a definite difference between simply working on your swing in winter and taking it to the next level of shot making, and score lowering, which MUST ultimately take place on the golf course with an instructor.
Golf is a lot of fun, and when we are improving steadily it seems to be even more fun! The old adage is ' if you fail to plan, you plan to fail'. So on a snow day like today, take the time to reflect, perhaps even write some goals down. But remember, a goal without the commensurate action is just the equivalent of a wish. All journeys begin with a single step. Ensure you take the right one this season.
If you see me on the course, say hi, unless I am sinking a 40 footer for an eagle, then sssshh.
Wishing you the best in Golf and Life this 2020 season- Coach Franz