If you’re a snowbound Northerner, the best way to get in shape for golf in the spring is to stay in shape for golf all winter long.
The problem with most amateur golfers is that they put their bodies in the closet along with their clubs and forget about both for three or four months. They pay for it with a relearning process every year when they return to golf in the spring.
There are many things you can do indoors over the winter to keep your golf muscles in shape and to maintain your touch and feel for the game so you don’t have to start all over when warm weather arrives. I see two major areas of neglect among my students: One is flexibility work and the other is the short game. You can always make both better over the winter, and I’ll show you how in the following posts.
Winter can and should be a time to check your fundamentals – your grip, posture and ball position – and check your equipment, which is something few amateurs do even during the season.
If you can, try to get away for a few days in early spring to a warmer climate. Hit some balls and play a couple of rounds before your course opens up north. If you can’t do that – or even if you can – seek out an indoor or heated driving range and use it once or twice a week.
The important thing is to have a game plan. Put your priorities in the proper order, develop a regimen and stick to it. When the snow melts, you’ll be glad you did.
One of the best ways to prevent muscle atrophy over the winter is to swing a Weighted Club and a Swing Fan at least three times a week on alternate days. The two exercises complement each other. The weighted club builds strength and increases range of motion. The fan is more of a speed tool that creates more lag in the downswing and strengthens the forearms.
If you decide to take this approach, start easily with 25 repetitions each, gradually building up to as many as you can handle. If you can build up to 100 or more a day, so much the better.
I’ve never had any student, female players especially, who didn’t benefit if they used them. They pick up more swing speed and more yardage, up to a couple of clubs with the iron game.
Or you can make your own weighted club simply by applying lead tape to an old club or slipping on a weighted “donut” available in most golf shops.
Don’t buy either if you’re not going to use them. They don’t do any good sitting in the closet.