Here are my top three things to do this winter to make you a better golfer when the sun shines again.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of things you can do over the winter to keep improving your game ready for when the better weather reappears.
And none of them involves standing on a dreary driving range or frosty green.
Focus on your fitness
Improving your fitness even just a little bit over the winter will have a big impact on your game in the summer.
Whether you focus on cardio, strength or flexibility, you’ll notice a difference on the golf course. You’ll be able to maintain your energy levels for longer, reduce your risk on injury and hit the ball further.
I’m not talking about spending hours in the gym; finding a routine that works for you and fits around your schedule is key.
If you find it hard to stay motivated or carve out the time, here’s some advice:
- Find something you like then it won’t feel like a chore.
- Aim for something that incorporates strength and flexibility, like Pilates. And if you’re a member of Women & Golf, you can join our weekly Pilates classes with Linda Segerstam.
- Track your progress. Whether you want to get stronger, lose weight or improve your mental health, you’ll feel more motivated to keep going when you write down even the smallest wins.
- Be kind to yourself. Skipped a session? Don’t stress. Get yourself back into it next week.
- Not sure where to start? Then this article from golf fitness coach Jamie Greaves may be of help.
I’m a big fan of indoor drills. Think putting on the carpet and swinging in your sitting room.
And as a visual learner, being able to watch my swing or putting stroke in a mirror is a big advantage for me. And something I feel a bit silly doing on a driving range.
My favourite putting drill is super simple:
- Lay down two alignment sticks and set yourself a target.
- Making sure your putter stays within the channel you’ve created with the alignment sticks, putt your first ball to the target.
- Do the same thing again with your second ball, trying to stop that one a few inches short of the first.
- Repeat, stopping each ball just short of the one before it.
It’s a great drill to work on your stroke and distance control.
You’ll find hundreds of drills and videos online. Here’s a good one to watch:
The space between your ears
Your mental game is just as important as the physical one when it comes to getting that little white ball around the golf course.
It might even be more important.
I know I won’t be the first person to tell you that, but it really is true.
Use the winter to really work on improving your mindset; being positive and calm.
I’ve read a lot (and I mean, a lot) of books about psychology. Some resonate, some don’t. Some I find easy to implement, some I don’t understand at all.
But I’m a firm believer that the brain is a sponge. It’s always absorbing new information and we can use that to become better at whatever it is we want to get better at.
Here’s what I’ve been reading lately that could improve your mindset:
- The Chimp Paradox by Prof Steve Peters
- Zero Negativity by Ant Middleton
- Not a Life Coach by James Smith (warning: there are a lot of swear words in this!)
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