Winter Is The Best Time To Improve Your Golf Game

By:Bob Forman

As the colder weather settles in, golfers are cutting back or hanging up the clubs for the season, regulating themselves to sitting in front of the tube watching football and the Yule log. Just because your home course may be covered in white, it’s no excuse not to take the time to improve your game.

As the shorter, colder days don’t allow for much golf, they do provide ample time to work on and fine tune the physical spoke of the player improvement wheel. That’s you. Don’t just sit around hibernating for the winter, as this inactivity won’t bode well for your body, your health or your game come springtime. Instead, take advantage of the time off the course by knocking out those musculoskeletal deficiencies tight and/or weak muscles) that are negatively impacting your swing and your game, and are often times the triggers for those nagging aches and pains you suffer from.

The tendency for many is to slow down and bulk up during the winter months as lower temps and less daylight don’t really motivate folks to get out and do much. Oh sure, the frenzy of the holidays may have you racing through the shopping malls and tiring you out at the end of the day, giving you the impression that you are indeed quite active. But the reality is that this type of activity doesn’t really cut it when you’re looking for additional yards off the tee, more satisfaction out of your game and less discomfort the day after.

Let’s not forget, also, the 5 to 7 pounds average weight gain that typically occurs during this time of year. That extra weight you’ll be touting around definitely won’t help you much on the back nine come next season.

Less movement equates to a decrease in flexibility and range of motion, too, which is an essential requirement for good golf. This tightening of the muscles seems to occur more rapidly as we get older. It’s all a recipe for frustration, anguish and injury come spring. The last thing the golf industry needs is for you to play less golf or not at all!

Adding to this are the musculoskeletal imbalances that may have developed from playing this repetitive, one-sided sport over the past year, as chances are most golfers slack off their fitness routine or don’t do anything during the season. The more you play, the greater the likelihood of this occurring. Spending time in the off-season on correcting those imbalances and restoring balance back into the musculoskeletal system is a very prudent and productive use of your time. An idea, actually, that should be practiced all year long.

First and foremost, you need to identify which of those musculoskeletal deficiencies you have acquired. A physical re-assessment with a certified golf fitness instructor is your best ticket. With this valuable information in hand, a customized, time-efficient exercise program can be designed to target your specific problem areas and maximize your outcomes. Any golf fitness program that does not offer a physical screen should send up a red flag and be avoided.

The off-season also affords plenty of time to progress the base exercise workout to one that will enhance golf-specific strength, balance, power and speed. Modifying the routine with new and different functional exercises will keep the workout fresh, revitalizing the desire to exercise. It will also advance the specific muscle systems required for better golf, thereby, helping you achieve those game-enhancing goals.

Varying the exercise routine will also produce greater benefits as a muscle, like you, gets bored doing the same thing over and over again. As a matter of fact, studies are beginning to show that doing the same exercise with the same weight over a period of time can cause a detraining effect. A change to the routine adding more weight, doing a different exercise, using a different lifting technique, etc.) will challenge the muscle and solicit positive gains.

Working with an experienced golf fitness instructor will ensure proper exercise program design, technique, and progression, essential for safe, optimal results. If already exercising on your own, the instructor can critique your current program and make recommendations as to what to keep and what to modify, if necessary, based on your physical findings.

You need to walk before you run, however, and staying consistent with your exercise program will lay the foundation for progression. Again, your certified golf fitness instructor will have the expertise as to how much and how often. Winter’s shorter, colder days will provide the time.

A word of advice: As you partake and progress in your exercise program, make sure you swing a golf club every now and then this winter. Otherwise you might be encounter some timing issues with your swing come springtime with your new found flexibility and strength.

One consequence of cutting back or stopping an exercise program for any length of time is not getting back into it. . . at all. Remember, a body in motion likes to stay in motion while a body at rest likes to stay at rest. Remain a body in motion and the depressing winter months won’t take their toll both mentally and physically. Your health and your golf game come springtime will benefit as well. 

For more information about Bob Forman go to http://www.golfitcarolina.com.