Published on March 15th, 2013 | by Tim Good0
Getting Back Into Golf Shape
As the season prepares to turn and the days start to get longer, if you’re anywhere other than California, Arizona or Florida you probably haven’t been playing as much golf as you would like. Your game is probably a bit rusty, your touch a bit off. Some of you might not even know where your clubs are buried in the garage.
Most people jump right back out once the weather warms with a large bucket of balls, and that’s how injuries happen. Pulled muscles and a tweaked back are some of the most common injuries, and ones that can really put a cramp in your spring golf.
Fortunately, things are going to start warming up and thawing out, and that means the spring golf season is just around the corner. With that in mind here are some tips and suggestions to help prepare you physically and mentally for getting back “in the swing.”
If you haven’t played much this winter, or if you’re one of those unlucky ones who hasn’t played since late last summer, then the last thing you want to do once the weather warms up is head right out to the range and pound a large bucket of balls. As much as you might be itching to get back into the mix, PGA Professional Tom Good in San Jose, Calif., suggests that you ease your way back into things. On your first session back at the range after any extended period of time spend double the amount of time that you think you should stretching and loosening up your body. In particular focus on your core muscles, your legs, arms and shoulders. Once you’re loosened up, keep the practice session focused on your short game. Spend the bulk of your time chipping and putting, because the touch and feel around the green is the first thing that leaves you after an extended break.
Even before hitting the range for the first time there are several things that should be considered, especially if it’s still snowing where you live. Are you a member of a gym? Do you have a basement or a room in your house where you can exercise and stretch regularly? It’s important to prepare your body before jumping back onto the range. If you have the space, start with some full swings to loosen up your body. If you can’t make a full swing with a club, cross your arms across your chest and practice making a swinging motion to get that feeling back. In a gym, cable machines, Swiss balls and resistance bands can be very beneficial in preparing your body for golf.
Once your body is sufficiently prepared to start hitting balls, another key to consider is taking a lesson from your local PGA professional. Finding a trusted PGA professional that you can work with is extremely valuable to your game. They can make adjustments and suggestions to get your swing in order. In addition they can pick up things in your golf game that you simply cannot. By having that unbiased eye and third person perspective, they can really add large amounts of insight to your golf game to get you ready.
One last thing to consider is the state of your game mentally. What are your expectations of your game? Chances are you should lower them, because if you haven’t been playing as often as you would during the spring and summer, then you’re going to be rusty and off. Your best bet is to realize that you’re not going to be in the same place and to expect it. When you lower your expectations, you take the pressure off of yourself to perform, freeing you up to just play golf and have more fun. After all, that’s what golf is, right?