The offseason can be harder on a recreational golfer than a 230-yard par-3 over water. In many parts of the world, golfers retreat inside during the winter, and they lose feel, flexibility, strength and timing.
SwingFix instructor George Connor, who knows all about cold weather in his home state of Connecticut, offered up some advice on staying sharp during the winter.
'The winter is not the offseason, it’s the preseason,” Connor said. “Winter represents a time to make significant and lasting changes to your golf swing, chipping motion and putting stroke. Once spring hits, golfers want to get out on the course and play, so why not get your work done in the winter?”
Connor also suggested a couple of offseason game-improvement options that people can utilize during the winter months to keep making progress with their games.
• The Line Drill: This can be done with or without hitting golf balls. You will need a line on the carpet that is perpendicular to the target line. Straddle the line as you take your golf stance and start making some short swings. The line on the carpet will be in the middle of your stance. Notice where the club lands on the carpet as it sweeps through. A good ball-striker will always sweep the carpet just on the target side of the line. This is the key to good ball-striking.
• Hit Ping-Pong Balls: Using a wedge and ping-pong balls, you can expand your imagination all winter long. The lighter ball will exaggerate any spin you put on the ball. During halftime of a football or basketball game, hit some little chips around the house and learn how to use the club to hit different shots. This is a great way to pay some attention to your short game even if there is snow on the ground.
Connor also was quick to point out that the winter months are a great time to devote some quality attention to your physical condition.
'In addition to working on your swing and skills, winter is a great time to get into golf shape,” he said. “Get a physical assessment from a golf fitness expert and find out where you need to add some mobility and or stability.
“As you are working out this winter, you will have the added motivation of knowing that you are going to be a better golfer while your golf buddies are getting worse as they sit on the couch!'