This spring prepare for the golf season gradually. Start by assessing your physical health to make sure that your body is ready to play. Next, work on your flexibility to ensure that you have your full range of motion when you swing a club. Remember it is important to stretch both before you practise as well as before you play every round.
Practise drills are a great way to build a good golf swing. Most drills should be done without a golf ball to develop proper body movements and muscle memory.
The first drill you should do is the towel drill. It will help you to keep your arms connected to your body when you swing. Start by wrapping a towel around your ribs, so that it covers your stomach. The towel will then be secured by both of your elbows that should press up against your ribs. When you swing your golf club back and forth, the towel should not fall on the ground if you keep both your arms against your ribs when you swing. When doing the towel drill you should only be making about a half swing back and forwards. Gradually lengthen your swing and work on keeping the towel secured to your body. Eventually the towel will fall to the ground when you make a complete swing.
Next work on your lower body and your weight transfer. In your backyard set up with an iron and start in your address position with your feet about shoulder width apart. Place a tee about two ball widths in front of each of your feet. This drill will help you with your pivot, your turn and your weight transfer. As you start your back-swing step back with your forward foot so that it touches your back foot. Feel the weight shift as you swing the club back and turn your hips and shoulders. At this position you should be about three quarters into your back-swing. Step forward so that your left foot is again lined up with the tee on the ground when you started your swing. Turn your hips and shoulders to complete your downswing through impact. Your right foot should now step forward to touch your left foot and your right foot should finish up on its toe.
Finally, do the 'clapping drill'. Start off in your address position without a golf club. This drill will also help you to swing your arms in unison with your body. At address both of your arms should point towards the ball and your palms should be facing each other. As you make your back-swing, keep your left hand pointing at the ball as your right arm swings back and up to the top of your back-swing. Now start your downswing by turning your hips and shoulders to the left and into the impact position. Your right palm should clap against your left palm as both your arms swing forward into your finishing position.
These basic swing drills will help you to prepare your swing for the next stage, the driving range.
Next Week: Perfecting your Pitch Shots