If and when the weather cooperates (which may be never, but still) it’ll be time to hit the links once again. And when you do, these tips will help ensure that your early-season golf be enjoyable, productive, and pain-free.
Ease Into Things
We know how it is: Once that snow melts and the fairways dry, we get the itch to jump right back in where we left off in the fall. And the fall was great; all the work we put into our swing over the summer was finally paying off.
However, what often happens when you try to replicate your fall success in the spring? Overuse injuries like tendonitis, shoulder pain, and back pain.
The fact is, we all need to build up swing endurance in the spring. What’s swing endurance? Basically, we need to work on increasing the number of swings over a series of days and weeks.
Increasing the number of swings sounds simple, but it actually has two components: intensity and quantity. Basically, we need to work into swinging harder and swinging more.
We can’t just start playing 36 holes a day and not expect to have some issues. So we need a plan to gradually get to where we want to be.
Set a Plan of Practice and Playing
It’s hard when the weather fluctuates from the mid-80s to the 30s with a half-foot of snow, but try to get to the course when you can to hit putts, chip shots, wedges, irons and woods.
As for actually playing rounds, start by playing nine or 18 holes and then have an active rest day on the range for an hour.
When you’re at the range, take an intentional approach to hitting range balls. Mix up your shots; don’t just rifle them off back-to-back. Focus on skills and try to be consistent with what you’re doing and how you’re swinging rather than the results you’re getting.
Overswinging to try to get your drive distance back is only going to lead to problems. It’s better to focus on smoothing out your swing, and then optimizing that swing for distance.
Increase Your Overall Activity Level
There’s more to golf than swinging a club. It’s a whole-body exercise – so to optimize your performance, optimize your whole-body fitness.
Get out walking, get into the gym, and do some rotational and diagonal movements to help with full-body flexibility. Even if stretching isn’t your thing, add a stretching or warm-up routine before playing. The pros do it, and you should too.
Don’t Be Afraid To Take a Lesson or Find a Personal Trainer
Golf professionals are great at what they do, and they can help you. Whether you want to hit the ball longer or improve your short game, golf professionals are an invaluable resource.
For instance, the Titlelist Performance Institute-certified golf specialist at the Wisconsin Performance Institute can perform a swing analysis, look at how your major body parts are firing in sequence, isolate problems and give you exercises to improve weak areas and align your swing sequence.
Other golf pros can give you individualized drills to improve areas of weakness.
The services of a golf professional aren’t free, but if you really love golf, it’s a worthwhile investment in improving your game.
Schedule a Club Fitting
Off the-shelf clubs don’t fit everybody, and there’s a huge benefit to getting the right clubs for you.
Custom clubs will be fit to your height and weight, with the appropriate shaft stiffness and lie that will make ball striking better.
Again, custom clubs can cost more, but isn’t your game worth it?
If you’re looking for additional ways to improve your golf game, contact Ryan Klapper at the Wisconsin Performance Institute. He’ll get you swinging into summer better than ever.