A note from Josh: For this post I’m handing off the writing to my Assistant Dennis Rysz. Dennis is a big part of my team at Westchester and a up and coming professional who is full of some great knowledge to help you PLAY BETTER GOLF! Also, Dennis has put together a special offer for readers of my blog. Click here and subscribe to receive 10% off any future instruction packages with Dennis.
March is here and with it the 2015 golf season is not far behind. If there is one takeaway from another long and miserable winter it should be the realization of how short the playable golf season in this area is.
Believe it or not The Masters is only 31 days away and hopefully the start of our personal seasons here in central Ohio is far less than that. We all undoubtedly know of the winter rust that develops on our games year after year, winter after winter. With most of us putting the sticks into hibernation sometime in the middle of October and not unearthing our friends again until spring is well upon us it is certainly expected that we will lose some portion of whatever golfing progress we had achieved the previous season. Practice and repetition is the only path towards success in golf and the long Ohio winters make these 2 elements vastly more essential.
A new year brings with it endless new possibilities especially when it comes to our golf games. Will this be the year I shoot my personal best score? Will this be the year I finally take the lessons I know that I need to improve my game? Will this be the year I join a golf league and commit myself to playing week in and week out, meeting other golfers and pushing myself to improve? Will this be the year I finally stay true to my, once again New Year’s Resolution and actually PLAY MORE GOLF?
The biggest hindrance to these goals is the aforementioned winter rust we all experience from our lack of golfing for nearly half of the year. It takes time, practice and patience in order to get back into the rhythm of your golf game and let’s face it, being a prisoner of the indoors for the better part of 5 months can take its toll on your mind and body.
Here are a few tips that will not only help you get into midseason form quickly for 2015 but also prolong your playing time, get the most out of your practice time and, most importantly, get you excited to play!
1. Take an early spring golf trip
If you have never taken an early spring golf trip you are truly doing you a disservice. Late March and early April fall into the shoulder season for a large part of the Southeast and therefore translate into affordable rates. We are not just talking about Florida and the Myrtle Beach area; The Western North Carolina region also offers some unbelievable courses, rates, average temperatures in the lower to middle 60s and best of all it is less than a 7 hour drive from downtown Columbus. Most resort style courses offer fantastic stay and play packages for varying amounts of players.
Some of my favorite golfing memories come from spring golf trips. Sprits are high, expectations are low, and the overall intent is to have a fun time with your buddies. What more is this game about? Personally on some spring trips to the western North Carolina area there were several days we were able to get in 54 holes of golf. You are and should not be limited to playing individual score. Use other formats such as scrambles, 2 man best ball, alternate shot and c others to keep the golf interesting the betting fierce and more importantly the fun up. A spring golf trip at the very least will get the golf blood flowing and have you itching to get out again upon your return home.
2. Freshen up your equipment
Chances are sometime late last fall after your final round of the year you threw your clubs into the recesses of your basement like a shovel full of snow from the driveway this winter. Finally these hunks of steel have applicable value again! Now is the time to inspect, clean and, if needed, repair or replace your sticks. Giving your clubs a good thorough cleaning will have them primed and ready for that inaugural round and also help to get you in the golfing spirit.
Now is also the perfect time to re-grip your clubs if needed. If you notice a lack of tackiness, wear marks or just don’t like the current look or feel of them hit up your local course, they will be more than happy to take on the job for you and can usually have your clubs ready to go in only a few days and at a fair cost.
Finally be sure to check your clubs for any bends or nicks. Who knows what abuse your bag has gone through from being moved around over the past 5 months or even before that on the golf course. Nothing will be more frustrating than to finally step up to the much anticipated first tee of the year and realize your driver has been bent at the hosel. Remember, these are your tools for success, treat them as such. Now is also a good time to replace any equipment if needed. Most courses and suppliers can get you fantastic deals on the previous year’s models and purchasing now before the season is in full swing allows you to get used to the new sticks in time for the season.
3. Get your body in golf shape
Getting yourself into shape can help your golf game tremendously as well as your overall physical and mental health. The most important muscle group for the golf swing is the core but any and all exercises will benefit your game. There are endless resources to learn golf specific exercises for your core and every other muscle but simply checking out the latest golf digest fitness article should give you more than enough different exercises to keep you busy from month to month before and during the season. Along with core based exercises cardio based activities such as jobbing are also extremely beneficial. Even riding in a cart for 18 holes can burn in excess of 1100 calories while you can use over 1500 walking. This is a tremendous amount of energy being used and being and staying physically active will give you an advantage both physically and mentally late in your rounds when many golfers start to lose their edge due to physical and mental fatigue.
4. Get out and play in less than ideal conditions
What do you say to yourself when you see a group of golfers out on the course on a blustery 40 degree day in mid January? Probably something along the lines of they are crazy or they must be insane. Perhaps not, these die hard golfers are getting the most of what the unfortunate area we reside in has to offer. Playing in these difficult conditions will really make you appreciate that 85 degree June day upcoming. Furthermore you will be forced to learn and play different types of shots and most importantly get off of the couch and into the outdoors if only for a few hours. Getting in a round or 2 or even making an occasional trip to an indoor golf facility can have a tremendous positive aspect on your game come springtime. Prolong the season.
We look forward to seeing you on the first tee soon.
About the Guest Author
Dennis Rysz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dennis is entering his 4th season as an Assistant Golf Professional at Westchester. Click here to take a look at other post written by Dennis.