For us on the Southern coast of BC winter usually means foggy mornings, grey rainy days, and a few centimetres of snow that immediately turns to brown slush on the sides of the road. This year has been a totally new experience for us in the PNW; snow-filled days and nights, below-freezing temperatures nearly every day, and over a month with that white stuff covering our backyards and more importantly, our golf courses. Most years we can expect to golf most of the way through December and January, unlike our fellow golfers on the East Coast (I guess we had some winter karma coming our way!).
Considering this year's unusual winter weather our Redwoods Head Golf Professional Jordan Fletcher, PGA of BC Top 100 & Teacher of the Year-Lower Mainland, put together five ideas for our golfers to do to outlast this winter! Enjoy & we hope to see you soon!
1. Putt, anywhere!
A synthetic mat with an actual hole is your best bet for trying to recreate the pace and feel of a real putting green. Short of that, a coffee mug on your living room carpet will also do the trick. Keep your putting stroke sharp so that when the snow melts you can get back to the full swing.
Most experts will tell you that building your core strength will serve you in multiple aspect of your life, not just golf--but it sure does help there too! For the purposes of making it through a cold winter, your workout routine should be inspired by images of you pumping a drive over a forced carry, or advancing the ball out of heavy rough. You can also motivate your winter work outs by the thought of not being sore after your first round of the year!
3. 100 Swings a day
The notable golf instructor Hank Haney says that the best way to groove a swing is to repeat it without worrying about where the ball is headed. You can do this in your backyard, or if you are blessed with high ceilings and an understanding spouse, you might not even have to leave the house to complete your hundred swings.
4. Virtual golf
Pounding a ball into an over-sized screen is not quite the same as feeling a breeze in your face and the grass under your feet but it sure is better than no golf at all! The competitive exercise of trying to grind out a score is still rewarding, and you can transport yourself--even if it is just temporarily--to some of the game's most desirable locations in the process.
5. Read a golf book
For all of the warm weather golfers out there, spending some time in the winter month's improving your mental game with a book is time well spent. Here is a list of recommended books: Zen Golf: Mastering the Mental Game by Joseph Parent, Unconscious Putting by Dave Stockton, Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr. Bob Rotella, The Short Game Bible by Dave Pelz, The Big Miss: My Years Coaching Tiger Woods by Hank Haney.
Article by the Redwoods Golf Course Head Teaching Professional Jordan Fletcher, PGA of BC Top 100 and Teacher of the Year-Lower Mainland