The snow is still piled up on the edge of the driveway outside your front window, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start preparing for the coming golf season. Work for the spring golf season in Minnesota starts right now, and we aren’t talking about shoveling snow. For many of us, that preparation is a combination of some stretches and exercises that help us awaken our dormant golf muscles from their long, winter hibernation. The sooner you get started, the better prepared you’ll be to hit the links in the spring.
Basic Prep Exercises
Golfweek.com suggests some basic off-season exercises for your upper body (chest-strengthening exercises), core strength (stomach crunches, leg lifts, and isometric exercises), lower body (quad strengthening) and flexibility exercises for all parts of your body. The idea of is to strengthen the whole body so that no one part of it dominates your swing.
“Weakness or lack of flexibility in one part of the body affects the golf swing, as stronger muscles try to compensate,” according to Brian Hill of Golfweek.
Favorite Exercises from Our Pros
Once you’re ready to pick up a club, here are some specific exercises and drills from our EMGA pros that remind your muscles it’s time to play golf. Each pro offers something a little different, so try what works best for you.
Work with Weighted Clubs
“I prefer swinging a weighted club, both left-handed and right-handed, throughout the winter to stay somewhat golf strong. By doing this I feel like I am closer to full speed and have a better range of motion in my swing once the snow melts.”
— John Kendall, PGA Professional and Director of Golf at Giants Ridge Golf & Ski Resort in Biwabik
Practice Makes Perfect
“My favorite offseason drill is one that I have borrowed from Hank Haney. It would be to make 100 practice swings a day. What I suggest is to 25 in slow motion, making an effort to be very precise and ‘the perfect swing.’ Fifty at regular speed and the last 25 swinging as fast as they can.”
— Christopher Foley, PGA Master Professional and Director of Instruction at Cragun’s Legacy Courses in Brainerd
Start with the Short Irons
“After a long break from golf, I like to start out with a lot of short irons — and hitting them no more than 75 percent. I really focus on hitting them solid and working on my rhythm and timing, so I feel that those are good before I try to hit longer clubs and start swinging harder. Take it easy the first 30-40 balls, the long ball will come with solid impact.”
— Don Berry, PGA Professional at Edinburgh USA Golf Club in Brooklyn Park
The season will be upon us before we know it, so there is no time like the present to start prepping for it. Try some (or all) of these exercises each day, and you will body will gradually get back into golf shape, and that first tee ball outside this spring might surprise you — by going where and as far as you intended it to.