With the golf offseason approaching, I wanted to give you some ideas on what you can do to make your time productive, and make positive changes to your game.
1) Look Back, and Look Ahead
If you are serious about improving as a golfer you need to make an honest evaluation of your game, and then set measurable (and realistic) goals. One of the best times to do this is at the end of your golfing season.
Think back to your year and think about what was holding your game back. Was it three putting? Errant tee shots? Poor wedge play?
Or it could be mental mistakes, or perhaps even losing your temper too much on the course (we’ve all been there before).
Using stats is a great way to make this evaluation as well. Once you’ve picked a few things that you absolutely need to work on, make your short list and set measurable goals for the next year.
Keep that list handy, and focus on it exclusively so you know what you should be practicing, or changing in your game.
2) Prevent Your Swing from Hibernating
For those of us who live in cold weather climates, our golf season doesn’t get started until March/April and then it can end as early as November. That leaves about 7-8 months of playing time.
If you’re not doing anything to work on your swing during the winter than you might end up spending the first 2-3 months of the golf season just trying to get back into the swing of things (sorry, had to make that pun).
So what can you do to prevent your swing from going dormant over the winter? For many golfers who have access to a heated driving range it would make sense to go there.
If you have room in your house to set up a driving net, you can certainly hit balls all winter. However, for some players that might not be reasonable.
My recommendation is to use a training aid like the Orange Whip. I’ve written about it before in several articles, but I can’t think of a better product that any golfer can use in the comfort of their own home to continually groove their swing. Swinging the Whip for as little as 5-10 minutes a day will not only keep your golfing muscles fresh, but it will also help you find a smooth, rhythmic swing that eludes many players.
I can tell you from personal experience, this is one way to make sure your swing is ready for the Spring.
3) Evaluate Your Equipment
Golfers tend to just buy new clubs for the sake of buying new clubs. This is a mistake for a number of reasons.
If you are thinking about getting a new set of irons, driver, or wedges the best thing to do is to see a knowledgeable club fitter who can evaluate your current equipment. They can accurately test if any of the newer clubs on the market can provide you with a performance upgrade.
You may find out that your current set of irons is performing just fine, but you might need to adjust your lie angle. The offseason is a great time to do this because you’ll have a few months to hit your clubs on the range and get used to them before the season starts up again.
Be sure to get a real benchmark test with a professional using a launch monitor like Foresight, Flightscope, or Trackman before you make any changes. Many times your current equipment might be fine, and you can save yourself some money.
The off-season is a great time to brush up on your golfing knowledge. Books are one of my favorite tools to learn because they can help change your perspective as a golfer.
Check out our list of 10 recommended books for all golfers. These will keep you busy for most of the winter.
Additionally, we have created a great library of drills, practice games, eBooks, and interviews for our Insider members.
5) Get Away
Terrible winters can make obsessive golfers feel a bit fidgety.
Why not plan a trip for the absolute dead of winter to give you something to look forward to? There are plenty of destinations to choose from. Check out this article for some ideas of where to go.
The point is, you have to do SOMETHING. If you put the clubs away for 4 months, and don’t think about golf then you should not expect to come firing out of the gates when the grass starts turning green.
You can get a lot accomplished in the late fall and winter for your golf game if you set a few goals for yourself.