Winter for many of us, is a time to put away the clubs and golf shoes and replace it with a hockey stick and skates – especially here in Canada. The truth is, the winter is a great time to work on your swing in ways you wouldn’t normally consider during the summer.
The winter is a great time to…
Work On Your Weaknesses
Do you often come over the top? Is your grip too strong? Do you collapse your right elbow at the top of your swing? Working on your swing path, fundamentals and grip is a great way to improve your game – the issue with working on these faults during the golf season is that it takes a long time to adjust to the new “feel” of the swing/position. Below you’ll find three quick drills you can perform at home to fix the problems described above.
Coming over the top? Try the Yoga Golf Swing Drill – setup with a short iron in your living room. Complete a swing at half speed, then quarter speed, and slow progressively further until it literally takes you a minute to complete the full swing motion. Really focus on your transition – to ensure your club stays on path at the top. This drill will help build strength throughout your swing (after a couple slow-mo swings, you’ll see why), and help reinforce the path of the club, and movements of the body.
Is your grip too strong or weak? When you’re watching hockey, football or tv, grab a club and have a seat on your couch. Grip the club in a more neutral position – re-grip the club continuously. Do this consistently for awhile, and the “this feels wrong” feeling of the new grip will go away. Keep a close eye on your grip when the season starts up again.
Do you collapse the right arm at the top? Try the Split Grip Drill. By splitting your grip, you force yourself to create width – effectively ensuring the club stays far from your body – this move helps store and create power. We’ve posted this drill before, you can view it here – Split Grip Golf Drill
Short Game and Feel Leave you Quickly
In the down-season, the first thing to leave your game, is your feel around the greens. When it comes to your short game and putting, you often have to regain your feel before you can start scoring around the greens again. There are some fun (but dangerous) drills you can play indoors – lets start with chipping. You may want to consider buying some whiffle balls for this one.
In your living room or a wide hallway, setup some laundry baskets at different lengths. Find an old piece of carpet (or chip off your current carpet – just don’t chunk it) to the baskets, focus on landing the ball in the buckets. I prefer to use different size baskets and give them each a different point value based on difficulty. I then play against myself with a pre-determined amount of balls. If you’re feeling brave, use real golf balls – just be aware, a golf ball can easily crack a TV screen (no questions please).
I’d also recommend putting on your carpet, it helps you to retain your feel on the greens. Have a little fun with this and setup a mini golf course – this can be a great time for you and your golfing buddies with a couple of drinks. Give it a try!
Use a Mirror – Check your Positions
Your bedroom mirror is your friend in the off-season. There are so many positions and things you can check – this is the time to ensure your fundamentals are bang on. At address you can double check your posture, your grip, your “triangle”, your spine angle and more. When you start your backswing, you can check your club position, your path, the rotation of your wrists and your extension. At the top, you can check if you’re laid off, ensure your weight has fully transferred to your right side, your coil, and width at the top. On the downswing, you can take a closer look at your transition, your lag, wrist cock, weight shift and your clubs path into the ball. On the follow-through you can even check your weight transfer, path and finish position. That’s more than enough for one lesson.
Early next week, we’ll try to get a post up on great golf related exercises to work on at the gym to build your strength and flexibility. Keep an eye out for that one. We’ll talk to you soon!