Winter Drills To Cut Your Golf Handicap

May 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Pro Golf Instructions

Golfers living in warmer climates are lucky. They can play golf all year round. That keeps their skills sharp, their swings intact, and their desire to play satisfied. They don't have to deal with the bitter cold or snow-covered courses like some golfers. In the battle to slash strokes from one's golf handicap, it's good to live in warmer climates with plenty of courses open for play all year.

Golfers living in colder climates aren't so lucky. Obviously, they can't play year round. Eventually—usually as late as possible—they have to put their clubs away and hunker down for the winter. But that doesn't mean they don't want to play. Nor does it mean they can't improve their games. Golfers can still do things in the off-season that will help them cut strokes from their golf handicaps next season.

Work On Your Weaknesses

Actually, the winter is a great time to work on your weaknesses. If you're really serious about lowering your scores—and you have the time—you can do any number of things to improve your weaknesses and lower your scores—take golf lessons, read golf tips, or join a gym or health club. Getting in shape helps every phase of your game.

In addition, you can work on key drills at home or in the office. These drills can help chop strokes off your scores, if you master them. Do short game drills. They're easy to do. They don't require a full swing. And once mastered, they can dramatically cut strokes from your golf handicap. Try the following three drills for improving your short game:

Putting On The Carpet
A tried-and-true drill, this exercise generates results. Just make sure that the carpet is short and speedy. Shag carpet is too thick and long, and linoleum is too fast. A good industrial-grade carpet is ideal. Combine this with an electronic putting cup, which you can get at almost any sporting goods store, and you have a nice set up. You can also use a drinking glass as your target. Just make sure you don't put your target up against a wall. You want to see how far past the "hole" you go.

Develop A Feel For Your Wedge
Developing a feel for your wedge is a good way to improve your short game. You don't have to swing the club. You just want to feel its weight. You can hold it while talking on the phone, walking around the house, or watching television. Keep the club in your non-dominant hand as much as possible. That hand is the lead hand. You want it to always be the leader. Holding the club develops a good sense of feel in that hand. Feel the grip and how it lays in your hand. Feel the club swing through your fingers. Sense the clubhead's weight. In other words, get to know your club.

Visualize Good Shots
Psychologists say your subconscious can't distinguish between the actual and the imagined. Why not work on your short game while sitting in a plane waiting to take off, waiting in line at the bank, or standing in the checkout line at the grocery store? It's easy. Just imagine yourself at your favorite course facing a short pitch or chip shot. See yourself going through your pre-shot routine and hitting the perfect shot. (You should also do this on the course just before striking the ball.)

In addition to practicing these drills, watch golf on television. Many cable stations now offer The Golf Channel as an option. Watch the pros closely. Examine their pre-shot routines. Look at their grips and stances. Check out their swings, especially their tempos. Don't be afraid to imitate them. Imitation is a good way to learn.

The cold puts a damper on golf for some players. But if you're serious about lowering your golf handicap, you can still do things that will help you improve. Attend golf instruction sessions. Study golf tips. Workout regularly. Practice the short game drills described above. Just because its cold, it doesn't mean you can't perfect your game.

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!