As the spring nears, the time to hit the links is fast approaching; and after a long winter, there may be some holes in your game.
Here are five simple steps to make a smooth transition from being cooped up indoors to sweet swinging from tee to green:
Check your equipment
It stands to reason that your clubs may have been stored for a few months, so when the time comes to dust them off, you may find worn grips and dirty grooves. When you start the golf season, check every piece of equipment, beginning with the grips. They more than likely need to be replaced, and doing so will make a big difference in your ability to control the golf club. Clean the grooves of your clubs thoroughly as they will directly affect playability and performance. Checking lie angles on your irons isn’t a bad idea either.
Get professional instruction
Once the rust on the clubs has been polished, it will be time to address the rust on what really matters – your game. With that said, too many players rush out to the course and tee it up without rehearsing the fundamentals. Whether it’s from a PGA professional or your favorite instruction book, make sure to get back to basics when it comes to returning from the winter months. The best players in the world take lessons, and so should you.
One of the most common mistakes players make when returning from a break over the winter is rushing to the practice tee, driver in hand, and making full swings. While this may be fun for some, it is far from productive. What’s the best method for building success in the spring? Work your way from the green back to the tee – and place a special emphasis on the short game (100 yards and in). You’ll find that it will be a big help to recapture feel and will invariably translate to other aspects of your game.
Stay fueled for golf
The need for a proper on-course diet is often ignored, but should be emphasized as an important aspect of a solid all-around game. Good nutrition coupled with adequate hydration is critical over the course of a four-hour (or longer) round. Avoid fatty foods and go with snacks such as carrots, nuts, apple slices, or blueberries to maintain energy on the course. A fruit smoothie or turkey sandwich on wheat bread at the turn is a great option, and beats a soda and hot dog with fries any day of the week. Avoid alcohol as it will only augment dehydration symptoms, including fatigue and thirst.
Get in the right frame of mind
It sounds simple, but taking the right mental approach to golf will go a long way toward enhancing your enjoyment of the game. What are the best techniques and methods for doing so? One exercise that I thoroughly enjoy is this: When you go to bed at night, picture yourself on the 1st tee at your home course. Go through the round in intimate detail in your mind, imagining yourself hitting great golf shots in every aspect of the game. I’ve never personally completed a round because I’ve fallen asleep each time, but it goes a long way toward imprinting positive mental images deep into your subconscious mind. Itâ¬”s also a good way to cure insomnia â¬ a welcome by-product.
Michael C. Jones is a Yahoo! Featured Contributor in Sports and PGA professional.
Follow Michael on Twitter: @MikeJonesTweets