Stay in Golf Shape This Winter
Wintry winds are howling and the golf season may be over in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean the clubs should be put into dry dock. Clean them off, examine them for needed repairs (nicks, worn grips, etc.) and then store them nearby so that you can put in some offseason work with them. You need to start the next season running (or walking, as the case may be) and the best way to do that is to try these tips for staying in golf shape during the offseason.
If you limped across the season’s finish line with a sore back, aching knees or some other nagging injury that you ignored (because you don’t want to finish playing until the season is over here), give your body a little time to rest and heal. But once you start feeling better, it’s time to get to work. And the first order of business is to get your most important golf tool in shape: your body.
Join a fitness program to work on balance, endurance, flexibility, power and strength. There are plenty of exercises for strengthening your core muscles, which will protect from injury and can increase flexibility. Flexibility is a major key in any golf swing.
Use a weighted club or swing trainer to train muscle memory. A little work with one every day can help groove a decent swing that can be repeatable—especially after a long winter. There are plenty on the market from Momentus to an Orange Whip, and they can even help build muscles used in the golf swing. Perfect for the offseason.
Now it’s time for your clubs. Start swinging in front of a golf simulator. Many courses have them or you can find places dedicated to golf simulators. Work with a pro to fine-tune aspects of your swing. When you are ready, you can take that swing into some competitive play by joining a simulator league. The league play will help you keep your competitive edge and break up the monotony of swing practice.
Spend some time on your short game at a golf dome. We all know that we lose more shots to par with an iron or wedge in our hand, so why not take some time during the offseason to actually improve it so we are ready to lower our scores next season.
Don’t forget the putter. Find some place to work on your putting stroke, whether it be at a golf dome or with a golf putting track that can be used at work or on your living room floor. Putting practice is the easiest and most accessible offseason workout for your game—and if done well, it will reap the most benefits when you get back on the course.
Finally, about mid-winter (late December or after the holidays) when you have spent enough time practicing, take your game on the road—book a trip south. It will be a great opportunity to see what improvements your work has provided and a good way to recall what green grass looks like.
Explore Minnesota Golf Alliance is a non-profit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of Minnesota golf courses and resorts as international travel destinations. Our member facilities feature award-winning, championship golf courses and are geographically disbursed across the great state of Minnesota. The combination of exceptional quality and outstanding value make Minnesota one of the best golf destinations in the United States.