***My first guest post comes to you from Matt at TruGolf.com and it tackles the challenge of keeping your game sharp during the winter. I hope you enjoy it.***
Being from Utah, I’m no stranger to adapting during winter weather conditions. Winters can be brutal in the Salt Lake Valley and we face extreme inversion on top of it. Warm air rises and cold air sinks, basically creating a lid over the valley causing pollutants to be trapped near the valley floor. It makes spending time outside difficult and hazardous to our health. Still, I’ve never let this stop me from practicing during the offseason. Here are a few drills that have helped improve my game the most.
RIGHT ANGLE DRILL
The first drill will focus on putting contact. Find a right angle corner in anywhere around the house. Focus on your posture while you’re getting set up. Avoid any rounding in your back by keeping your back straight by only leaning forward at the hips.
Next, lean your head against the wall and place your eyes on the ball. Placing your head against the wall will assist in keeping your head steady without motion during impact. It may take a few rounds of this drill to feel comfortable with the new placement of your head, but it will definitely pay off once you’re back on the golf course.
Make sure that your eyes are directly above the ball. Standing away from the ball creates a difficult environment for a straight putt. Chances are that you will send the ball inside outside of the desired direction.
Get comfortable and focused without becoming too stiff. One challenge many golfers face is developing too stiff of a stance ultimately leading to your shoulders locking up. This will typically lead to your head backing away and causing you to swing up on the ball.
Once you’re feeling comfortable with your stance and view of the ball, hone in the putter connection with the wall. The goal is to hear only one click as the putter connects with the wall. If you’re hearing two clicks, then you’re not squaring the putter and your swing will sway inside or outside of your designated direction.
PUTTING IN LIVING ROOM
If you have golf on your mind while you’re at home, take a few minutes to turn that into practice. I don’t have enough room in my house to set up a putting green, so I use what I have on hand. Right now, I have a living room full of furniture.
I usually use the leg of a chair to double as a hole. I drop the ball on the carpet of my living room and practicing putting from wherever it lands. This is where you can see the progress you’re making with the right angle practice drill. Pay close attention to your head – are you able to keep your head steady and eyes above the ball without the help of a wall to lean on? If the ball sways inside or outside of the chair leg, then there’s still work to do in your setup and execution.
Pick up your putter and hit the ball around any time golf comes to mind. Too much of your game relies on solid putting and it’s the easiest to practice. Putt repetition will not only keep you in the groove during the off season, it will improve your game immensely.
PRACTICE WITH ANALYTICS
Full swing practice in the house can be challenging if you lack the room. Many golf clubs offer an indoor driving range and golf simulators for continued driving practice and both provide great advantages.
Practicing on a golf simulator is realistic and offers real time analytics of your drive. Find out the distance of your hit, launch direction, and the trends within your swing. You will be able to pinpoint what areas need improvement once you know what’s happening throughout your swing. Take this new information about your swing and apply it to the actual driving range. I recommend creating a routine based around the newest aspects of your swing and practice it each visit until you are fully comfortable with your changed habits.
Matt is an avid golf enthusiast and part of the TruGolf.com team. When he’s not working on his fairway shot, you will find Matt writing about his passion for the process of the game.