The best way to ensure that your game improves this season is to properly prepare for it. April has been a cold and snowy month, which means that most courses will not open until at least May.
The first thing that you should be doing is to look at your health and fitness level. If you have any physical issues that will affect your golf swing, I would suggest that you visit your physician for treatment. This proactive approach will ensure that your body is ready to play golf and help prevent nagging injuries that may sideline you from the game this season.
The next thing that you need to do is get in shape to swing a golf club. There is a definite correlation between performance in golf and your fitness level. There are three areas that I suggest you work on to prepare your swing for the upcoming season. Flexibility training, aerobic training, and general strength training are all important components of a good golf swing.
First, work on stretching your golf muscles and improving your flexibility. As our bodies age, we usually lose our flexibility and range of motion. Combine this factor with a six month layoff from the game and the result is usually a shortened and less powerful swing.
The key muscles to work on include your core (abdominal) muscles, shoulders, back, and hips. Full rotation in a golf swing usually translates to increased power and club head speed in your golf swing. It is important to maintain your flexibility throughout the entire golf season. This means that you constantly need to properly stretch and warm up before you play or practise.
Playing a round of golf requires a lot of walking. This means that you also need to start with some aerobic training. You can start by getting outdoors if the weather is dry and simply start walking. Gradually increase the lengths of your walks until you feel like a nine hole round will be 'a walk in the park'. Playing nine holes is about the equivalent to walking two miles.
You can also improve your aerobic fitness level by riding your bike. If the weather is cold and wet, then ride a stationary bike or treadmill. Again gradually increase the lengths of your workouts over the month to improve your cardiovascular performance.
Strength training involves working on your golf-specific muscles that are needed to develop a powerful and consistent swing. The key muscles that you should focus on are your abdominal muscles, back, shoulders, and wrists. Full hip rotation is critical to a good golf swing. By strengthening the muscles in your lower body this will help to build a good solid foundation for your golf swing this season.
Be ready before you hit that first ball or play your first round of the season. Remember to stretch before you practise or play a round of golf.
If you would like to learn some of my favourite exercises that will help you improve your fitness and golf performance, simply contact me and I will email them out to you.
Let’s hope this snow is over by the weekend, so that we can all get outside and get ready for golf!
Next Week: Spring Training for Golf