By: Todd Keirstead
It is April and the Masters has just finished with Adam Scott as the 2013 Champion. With Masters weekend and all its beauty also means that it’s the start of the golf season for anyone who has been in hibernation all winter long.
The question that I am often asked by people who don’t play or practice during the winter months is what do they need to do to get ready for the upcoming season?
First of all is your equipment. You need to exhume your golf clubs from the pile in the corner of the closet or garage. After you make a count to see if they’re all there, it’s time to get them nice and shiny as they probably have enough dust on them to kill an asthmatic. You scrub and try your damnedest to get the earth out of the grooves but even sand blaster would have a difficult time at this.
Three hours later, you unbox the brand new balls you just bought because the only balls you have left in your bag are the ones you swiped from the driving range and the Flying Lady you “found” on the course.
Hopefully with all the excitement leading up to this big day there has been some movement in your body to get it prepared. This is usually something called “air golf”. This is the practicing of the swing without a club in hand and yes we have all done it. This activity can assist in getting the swing motion familiar but can cause slight embarrassment if done at work when a co-worker catches you. This embarrassment is usually followed by pretending you were scratching your back but in all honesty you are only fooling yourself as they know exactly what you are up to. The only thing that can actually intensify this moment of unease is if you were making the “whoosh” sound while you were swinging.
Get to the range to make sure you have provided yourself ample opportunity to get your body ready for golf. The golf swing requires a great deal of flexibility and proper body position. Getting your timing and rhythm back is imperative to making great swings.
Stretching is very beneficial after a long layoff. Before you start to hit balls, do a few stretching exercises, especially focusing on your lower back, hips and shoulders. Start with a short iron and make less than full length swings, gradually building up to a full length and full speed swing. Swinging with a weighted club can also be helpful, but again, start by making slow swings before increasing the speed.
As well there needs to be a realistic game thought process. To come out playing at the same level you ended playing the previous golf season is not going to be there. Spend the majority of your early season practice time on your short game. After a long layoff, the touch shots, the ones requiring less than a full swing are typically the shots that take the most time to regain control of.
Plan for the Year
What are your goals for the year? If you’re content with showing up to the course and hacking around with your buddies here and there, then it’s OK to not have any stated goals. But if you’re trying to take your game to a new level, then it’s going to take some thought and a lot of work.
Define Your Goals
It’s not enough just to say you want to “play better” this year. Of course you do. We all do. But that’s not an actionable goal. You need to be more specific. What do you want to improve? Putting? Finesse wedges? Driving? Hitting more fairways and greens? Playing better from the sand? Decide which parts of your game need improvement and then you can devise a plan of attack.Put it All Together
These are the big things that you may need to do to get ready to have your best golf season ever and the bottom line is, the best path to success is by utilizing a plan and a checklist is the easiest way to capture that. Tailor your checklist to the things you need or want to accomplish this year and you’ll be ready to hit the ground running now that spring is here and you’ll be embarking on your best season ever.
Golf Entertainer/Motivational Speaker
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