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Have a Winter Training Plan…There is No Off-Season!

I have always said that there is no "off-season" for golfers. What I am referring to is that the cold weather months are the absolute best time to work on your game, take lessons, upgrade equipment, get stronger and more flexible, and generally just improve overall. First of all, with the colder weather and less tournament play, you should have plenty of time for practice. If you normally play twice a week, you should now have 8-10 hours freed up to hit balls, have golf specific workouts, and practice the lesson from the previous week. I see much faster results in students over the winter compared to summer because of this break in play and competition. Another reason winter is better for lessons is ball flight. When I teach outdoors, students are generally focused on the end result (ball flight), so their focus is divided between making a swing change and making solid contact. Add to this - conditions of wet turf, strong winds, shadows, uneven lies, and you can see how it is easy to be distracted from making changes. Teaching outdoors in season can actually slow down the process of making the changes necessary to improve, which is why I like to make swing changes over the winter months in a controlled environment like a simulator bay.

 "Hitting into a simulator screen or a net is a great way to focus 100% on golf swing changes without worrying about the end result."

I have an ideal year-round training schedule that I try to follow. Of course this sort of schedule does not always occur, it depends on the student, their goals, when they start with lessons, etc. Here is my idea of the perfect training schedule for golfers:

WINTER is for video and major swing changes along with learning more about your golf swing. It is also the best time to workout - getting stronger and more flexible without worrying about being sore before a tournament. It also gives you time to take your new found strength and range of motion to the course when the weather permits.

SPRING is for getting comfortable outdoors on the real turf again with the changes you made. Working on short game and putting is a must and getting your touch back and improving your form are the goals. It is silly to hit too many balls when it is still cold, damp, and windy!

SUMMER is for keeping your swing in check and working hard on your short game. We will also be competing in the occasional club event, so nothing too new or major as far as swing changes go. A lot of golf course management and transfer training (taking your range game to the course) goes on during the summer as well.

FALL is when we are still in maintenance mode with the swing, making subtle changes if needed and reviewing stats to be used for winter training. Setting goals for the following season will also serve as motivation to work hard over the winter months.

I have had great feedback and results from on-course assessment sessions this past season. The process begins with the student playing a few holes from tee to green in order for the coach to get a feel for your entire game from tee to green. After a few holes, we will sit down to discuss a game plan for your improvement based on your goals for the upcoming season. I highly recommend scheduling an assessment and going through this process if you have not done so already.

Now that there is a break in tournament play and the pressure of performance is not looming, it is a great time to work on your game. Maybe a swing change, working on some short game shots, or a reliable pre-shot routine. Take the time to reflect on this past season. If improved, what are the one or two areas of your game that could make a huge difference in your game in 2019? Maybe it is time to work on that...

I have once again partnered with Play-a-Round Golf?s two great Main Line locations in Malvern and Ardmore. The simulators are the same used on the Golf Channel and provide some of the most accurate real-time feedback available on the market today.

Please visit playaroundgolf.net for more information and directions.

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