Golf Tip On Off Season Practice
Indoor golf practice facilities have become popular around the country and are gearing up for the winter practice season
This does not include outdoor driving ranges retrofitted with gas heaters for winter practice and those facilities that offer what I call 'gaming' situations, or Golf Simulators.
Winter practice will lead to a better golf game and a better golf game leads to more enjoyment on the golf course.
It is important to understand that habits, good and bad, are part of your perception when it comes to swinging the golf club, much like the fear of hitting over water or a sand trap. That said, when you put your clubs away for the season, know that any and all bad habits are put away as well, and will remain waiting until the next time you play golf even if it is several months before you play.
Below are a few simple suggestions golfers might consider if they want to improve their golf swing and hence have more fun playing golf.
First, go ahead and take time from your golf swing/game. Enjoy the fall, the holidays and all that brings.
While watching football, take a pad and jot down those things you know about your swing that need to be addressed. Doing this will help you isolate and focus on swing problems once you start your winter practice.
Take a little time when you are out running errands and find an indoor practice facility near your office or home and pay them a visit. It's not a bad idea to add a range gift certificate to your Christmas 'wish' list. Note: you may not like the facility that is closest to you, so check around to be sure you get the best fit for you and your golf swing needs. It is important you are comfortable with the environment.
See what they have to offer in the way of range ball membership programs.
Most facilities deeply discount the price of range balls when you sign up for a range membership program.
Check out the teaching staff. Find out their rates for private lessons, their teaching philosophies and the like.
Ask questions: I offer this for your consideration. You need a sense of what the teaching pro espouses, their communication skills and whether or not YOU feel they can help you. Note: It is not necessary to take lessons at the same place where you practice, so don't fall into that trap While it may be convenient, it may actually be self defeating.
Avoid signing up for any 'winter instruction program' until you are sure the person you are signing up with is a good fit for what you are looking for.
Make a date to start working at the facility you chose after the holiday season is over. Sometime in mid January would be perfect.
Schedule going to the range twice a week. This would include any trip you might make to take a lesson. Your personal hitting sessions should take no more than 45 minutes or involve more than say a medium or large basket of balls.
Should you sign up for and start taking lessons, space them out to give you time to practice between sessions. I would suggest a lesson every two weeks. This gives you plenty of time to work on those swing issues you and the professional have discussed.
Finally, check in with your teaching pro to let him know how you are doing and if you are having any difficulty with what you are working on. They might say something, in passing, that causes it all to make sense to you.
You may not realize it, but having a teaching pro help you monitor your progress is a valuable tool to improving your golf swing.
Do your research, make a plan and stick to it. In the spring, when you hit the links, your efforts will be rewarded.
Have a great winter practice season!
About the Author
Steve Riggs is a retired golf teaching professional of over 30 years working with countless clients in the U.S. and the Caribbean. Now retired, Steve is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and regular contriubtor to Par Excellence Magazine, New England Golf Monthly magazine and mynegm.com. Steve is the host/producer of a weekly Radio/Internet golf program, THE myNEGM LESSON TEE which airs Wednesdays 10:05-11am ET. Listen live at WNRI 1380 AM radio or online at: mynegm.com and www.wnri.com . The show is followed around the country and Canada in it's second year on air.