Some of us are fortunate enough to live where we can golf year-round, well even the UK could up until this year have almost met that criteria, but the endless rain put an end to any hope of winter golf, so now is the time to Spring Clean Your Golf Equipment before Hitting the Course.

So this year even in the UK we have had to await the coming of spring and our next round of golf.  Whether we’re just learning the game or are avid players, just before the golfing season kicks off in earnest is the perfect time of year to haul out your equipment and make sure that you are prepared for the coming season.

Here are some things to consider when getting ready for the new season:

Golf Clubs: Look at your golf clubs and think about your game. Do your clubs show your ability to its best advantage. If you’re ready for a new set (or even a new driver or putter), you can’t go wrong with any of the premium brands, but do you need new clubs or just a new set of golf club grips, have a good hard look and see if your grips are worn and shiny, it can be surprising how much difference getting new grips can make to the feel of the club. See the Everything-Golf offer on grips here.

Golf Shoes: You can’t develop a great swing unless you have good golf shoes that give you the kind of grip you need on sloped fairways or in the wet rough.

Plus, you need a well-fitting pair of shoes that will ensure your comfort as you walk the course.   The winter layoff may have resulted in shoed drying out, but more importantly are your golf shoe spikes fresh and ready to grip on the course.  See the Everything-Golf offer on golf shoes and spikes here.

Golf Gloves: As you’re looking over your equipment, don’t forget to check on your golf glove. You want to ensure that you have a great grip, so be sure to find one that has a great fit and that feels great.  See the Everything-Golf offer on gloves here.

Golf Balls: Every golfer has his or her favourite golf balls, but if you haven’t tried out some of the new offerings, it’s always worth a try to find a ball that you really like, and with a range on offer there are options for all players of all abilities.  See the Everything-Golf offer on golf balls here.

Spring Clean Your Golf Equipment before Hitting the Course and once you have your equipment in order, all that’s left is to patiently wait for the weather to warm up and then hit the golf course

Golf workouts for winter is a great approach to taking advantage of the time you now have available to improve your golf since you’re not playing as much, if not at all.

It’s a way to stay connected to your golf game when you’re not able to play due to the conditions (snow, temperatures, ice, etc.).

Have you gone into depression mode when winter hits and you can’t play golf anymore?  I know this happens to me, the transition from playing golf regularly to not at all can be depressing.

What do you do with all the time you now have since you’re not playing?

The answer?  Golf workouts for the winter!

This is your “off-season” and like most athletes they work on their bodies to take their game to the next level.  This is a time where you evaluate your game and work on your weaknesses.

A common denominator for most golfers, especially senior golfers is “physical capabilities”.  This is your current level of golf-specific strength and flexibility; it is highly unlikely you have no physical limitations in your golf swing.  80% or more of amateur golfers play with an injury at some point during the summer season.  This basic statistic tells me there is a physical issue, so what better time than winter to do golf workouts to greatly improve this situation.

You’ve got the time and hopefully you’ve got the motivation to improve your game the only thing that is missing is a game plan in regards to your golf workouts for winter.

The first step is to get a physical evaluation done to diagnose your current level of fitness specific to golf, this is important for any form of exercise and will ensure that you do not go mad on day one and end up with any long term injuries, this is especially important if you do not exercise on a regular basis, so a trip to the doctor may also be advisable for a check OK to get cracking.  You can hire a local golf fitness trainer or look on the web for a way to do an evaluation, as well as a golf fitness trainer a sports osteopath can also give you a good assessment and suggest appropriate exercises to improve your physical condition.

Golf workouts are becoming so popular you can’t miss finding out information about them.

Once you’ve gotten your golf fitness evaluation, assess the areas that need the most work and spend the majority of your time on those areas.  Most likely this would be flexibility and core strength; these are two very common areas that are lacking and can make the most impact on your golf game.

You may well be quite surprised at how working on these areas will bring positive benefits to your golf game if you stick with it through the winter.

As time goes by and you work on these areas and combined with a good solid winter practice regime on the driving range (more to follow) the first time you step on the course you’ll feel like a different golfer.  Not that it will be like an “out-of-body” experience but you’ll soon realize this is what you’ve been missing all along, that is why the professionals spend time keeping fit and flexible.

There is no need to lock the clubs away for the winter golfing season, put together an exercise and practice plan and when the weather improves be ready to impress.

The game of golf is truly an individual sport, but there are some basic steps to improve your golf swing.

The basics are the same for everyone; however, due to the differences in people’s body types no two people will ever have the same golf swing. Each person will have to adapt their bodies to perform a proper golf swing in their own way. Taking the time to develop your own method of playing golf will greatly improve your enjoyment and success at the game.

Practicing the basic fundamentals of the game until they are ingrained in your muscles will lead to confidence on the course, and that confidence will lead to success and enjoyment of the game.

One of the most basic steps to improve your golf swing that you can put into action and see an immediate change in the outcome of your golf shot is to keep your head still and look straight at the ball whilst making the backswing and striking the ball, after that your head will want to natrrually follow the body into your finsh position.

The position of your head should be straight in line with your spine, and your nose should be raised up a bit so that when you start to swing, your left shoulder fits under your chin. Many players tuck their heads into their chests to try and keep their heads still and look straight down at the golf ball. Unfortunately, they cannot perform a proper golf swing while in this position.

If you are one of the many that are having difficulty keeping your head straight and an eye on the ball try the following.

The next time you approach the ball, assume the correct stance with your feet and knees in position but keep your head and back straight, bend forward lightly at the waist and look straight at the ball. If you try and take a swing in this position, your left shoulder will most likely hit your chin. While keeping your eyes on the ball, raise your head slowly until your left shoulder does not hit your chin. Make sure that your head does not move from side to side by keeping your eyes fixed on the ball. Slowly go through the backswing and downswing portions of your golf swing. Do not hit the ball and do the follow through. Practice this portion of your golf swing focusing on keeping your head straight and eyes on the ball.

Practice this exercise in your backyard for about 25 times in a row and then take a break and relax a bit, then start again. Make minor corrections to your head and body position as needed to keep your eyes straight on the ball and your left shoulder from hitting your chin. This exercise will “train” your body, and your muscles will “remember” the correct position you need to be in to perform the movement correctly.

Think about any sports athlete, they train and train to place their bodies in the correct stance and position to properly execute the movements necessary to be successful in their particular sport. You are doing the same thing by “training” your body to keep your head straight and position itself so that you can successfully execute a proper golf swing.

Another basic step that can work greatly towards improving your golf swing is to relax. I know it is easier said then done, especially when you are getting ready to put all your power into drive with an audience of either your co-workers, or better still your friends who will not let you forget it if you mess up. However, relaxing your muscles will help you to maintain the proper balance that is important to a great golf swing. Regardless of the golf clubs you use, your balance is the primary foundation of your golf swing, and the way to achieve good balance is to practice. A good way to practice improving your balance is to assume the address position with your club, relax your body and try holding it there for about 30 seconds.

Does it feel like you have more weight on one foot or the other? Is one part of your body more tense then another?  Make adjustment only small basic steps to improving your golf swing.

Keeping your head straight and maintaining good balance are just two basic parts of a great golf swing. The exercises given above are just some ways that you can start training now with some basic steps to improve your golf swing. You can work on either one separately, or combine them together into one exercise.

Improving your golf swing begins and ends with you. Training the muscles of your body to properly perform specific movements takes time and practice. The effort spent.

Perfecting Your Performance On The Golf Course.

The hazards we face on the golf course range from bunkers, water, trees and then lets not forget that divot that never got repaired and of course all of the animal scrapes (but we will discuss those and how to deal with them another time). Even though you hope that you will not usually encounter more than one hazard during a round (but how many times does it seem that you arrive in a greenside bunker on every hole, I know that I have those sorts of days) the game, having to move your golf ball from behind a tree or trying to get it out of a sand trap could end up costing you a higher score. Golf balls that are lost in the water cannot be retrieved, so you will have to place a new golf ball near the water and sacrifice a shot in order to get back on track. Because of these obstacles, your game may never be as good as another golfer, but it is these situations that make the game much more interesting.

If you dread these hazards on the golf course, you are not alone. They can be a real pain to get around and could cost you valuable strokes. In order to avoid these situations the best way is to perfect your swing so that you can purposely avoid these hazards.  If you see a few sand traps, or trees up ahead, plan your next shot to take these out of play.  This could be anything from playing over the trees, playing around the sand trap, or either laying up or playing long to avoid the water to get to the green.

When practicing either on the course or on the driving range think about playing a particular shot even if the hazard is not there play over it, round it or layup so that when the hazard is actually there you will ready to deal with it without a moments hesitation.  On the driving range, play to the 150 market with a high shot and a low punch shot.  Rather than just hitting balls down the range pick a flag to the left or right and use them as targets to lay up to or to fly past just as if you were on the course.

I seem to recall that Gary Player once made a quote something like “The more I practice the luckier I get” well lets all go grab a bit of luck.

Playing your Game the Punch Shot

Playing your Game the Punch Shot has always impressed me out on the golf course when it has been executed properly. It has been one of the most interesting golf shots that I learned to play and have watched others perform. It requires the art of timing and touch to master the art of a soft landing punch shot or a bump and run.

This type of shot saves golfers a number of strokes from time to time, and is quite effective in a tough situation.

The punch shot is pretty much the only golf shot that you must quit on the follow through. Feeling the club head is very important in executing a good punch shot. The golf shot is lead by the left forearm (right-handed golfers) and requires little arm movement and more wrist action. To visualize this shot, imagine throwing your forearm wrist and club head at the ball and quitting the follow through at impact.

Depending on the distance of the shot needed determines the golf club selection and how far to take the club back, mainly with the wrists. Both wrists and forearm control the distance of the club going back and through as the club picks up speed coming down towards the ball with your knees and hip starting the down swing, and only to quit the golf swing punch shot after impact.

I have seen players perform and play this shot using a driver right through to a pitching wedge. The loftier clubs are needed to get the ball up quickly. The club selection is very important on accuracy on how far and how high the ball will come off of the clubface.

There are a number of reasons to quit on the follow through on this type of golf shot.

One situation would be a restricted golf swing because of a tree stump ahead of your swing path or a branch where the golfer has to keep it low for a certain distance. Another reason would be to simply control the distance of a particular golf shot. One may want to use a 3 iron for a more restricted golf swing and keeping the golf ball closer to the ground to clear the branches before it starts to rise. The 7 iron would help pick the ball up right away to go over a tree stump or clear a branch, but one would have to use the power of the forearm and wrist for distance when using loftier clubs.

Another golf swing punch shot to practice would be an uphill mound facing you with a green sloping away from you and the pin tucked closely to the front with no green to work with. Take out a 7 iron and close the clubface a little and punch the golf ball off of and against the slope face of the mound to make it fly straight up and land softly onto the green. The mound in front of you must have a considerable amount of slope for this golf shot to work, but it is a very impressing punch shot to perform.

Practicing and mastering this golf swing punch shot will save you strokes and help lower you handicap.

Happy golfing from everything-golf.org

Playing Your Course, fly it or run it to the green.

The recent downpours, may temporarily allow us to fly the ball to the green, but as the ground and the green dry out perhaps a running shot to the green will be a better choice.

Take note of the approach to a green it is usually quite flat and an easy run into the green that will not really deviate from the line once the ball is on its way.

Hitting a high shot onto the front of the green when the ground is hard will result in a bounce and the ball possibly disappearing through the green, even if you can hit a high shot onto the putting surface there is always the question will it hold, how many times have you landed the ball high next to the flagstick only to find it a good two putt away from the hole.

Whilst the ground is firmer perhaps a softer lower shot will let you run the ball up to the green and then close to hole.

Sounds great but with practice it can be done, using a nice controlled shot using a flatter faced club that will pop the ball on a lower trajectory and allow it to run up to the green, so remember to swing easy and let the club do all of the hard work and you may well be surprised as to how this all works out and leads to lower scores.

Remember as with anything new practice makes perfect.

Happy golfing from everything-golf.org