The winter season is a great time to work on aspects of the golf game that may get neglected over the summer months. Spending more time indoors and not having access to golf balls can be a signification benefit to all golfers. The cold months allow you to focus on mental strength, physical fitness, and the fundamentals.
The best way to start your forced vacation from golf is to focus on the mental game. Reading books about the psychological aspect of the game helps you take a break from the physical art of golf, and stimulates your mind. My favourite book is written by Dr. Mark Guadagnoli, and it is entitled Practice to Learn. Play to win, and it is available free of charge by visiting www.practicetowin.com
Winter season for golfers also provides a great opportunity for you to improve upon your golf fundamentals: grip, stance and posture. Practising the fundamentals just once week will keep your memory in check, and can help you improve one of the most crucial aspects of your game.
The following is a simple routine that not only works on the fundamentals but will improve your golf fitness as well. This routine can be done as little as once a week or once per day. This routine works for all ages, and fitness levels regardless of skill.
1. Stand sideways to a mirror and take your stance with a golf club. (Check your surroundings). Place the club across your shoulders, hips, knees, and fee, to check their aim down the target line. The line drawn by the club should be square to the line established by your feet. Your spine should be neutral and not "S" shaped, with little to not arch in the low back, and your head up. No tucked in chins! Work on being able to take your stance without looking in the mirror, making all four points square a a habit.
2. Second in our simple routine is the slow swing. If possible use a 7-iron, and start by taking a proper golf stance. Try to stay in this position for 15 seconds without fidgeting, and concentrating on the exact spot the golf ball would be. Then take a full back swing and a full follow through at 10% of full speed. Remember to hold your follow through for a count to ten. Repeat 10 times, or until it gets difficult. This drill forces your muscles to work in harmony, and strengthens your proprioceptive senses. To make this drill more difficult, try ten slow swings standing on one leg. Do ten on one,and ten on the other. If you feel really adventurous try it with your eyes closed. Remember to go as slow as you can and enjoy the challenge.
Stay tuned for more golf tips from AJ Nolin, PGA of Canada Assistant Professional.