Spring begins March 20, 2023

I envy those golfers who can play year-round. For most of those in the US and Canada, there is the dreaded off-season. Despite what the calendar says, the months of November through the first half of March are considered winter in my neck of the woods. Courses are officially closed and getting to the driving range is rare and dictated by how badly you want to endure the cold and the wind.

This past week, we had a day where the temperatures rose 25 degrees above normal and yes, I was getting the golf bug. My local course emailed saying they would be open for that day and the driving range was near capacity with golfers beating optic yellow golf balls with their rusty swings. It was like watching giddy 5-year-olds getting ready to open presents on Christmas morning.

Increase Your Flexibility

Before rushing out the course or range, I hope that all of you do two things.  First is stretching. Likely you haven’t used some muscles and joints in months. If you try to swing like you were in mid-season form without stretching, there is a good chance you will be calling the chiropractor the next morning. In the off season it is best to develop a regular stretching routine. Work your back, shoulders, and even legs.  It doesn’t have to be a long session either, just 5 to 10 minutes a day to maintain your flexibility. The second is drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.

Stay Loose in the Off Season

If you can’t get to the range regularly or have access to an indoor golf simulator, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice your swing outside. Layer up and take a mid-iron or wedge and take some practice swings without hitting a ball.  Swing at 50% of your normal swing to loosen those muscles and develop a rhythm. For some, a weighted training aid or even one of those weighted donuts or warm up weights you slide onto your club can help to further stretch the muscles and perhaps help develop more swing speed.

Invest in an indoor putting mat. OK, I know it can be boring and not as good as the real thing. But turn the golf tournament on the TV and plop your mat in front to get you into the right metal state.

Evaluate Your Current Golf Clubs

One of the best times to look at new golf equipment is at the beginning of the year. If you keep stats, look at where you are weak and focus on new golf equipment that can remedy your most frequent errors. Consider getting a custom club fitting and find out if the newest offerings can improve your game. Lastly, check your golf grips to see and feel if they are worn so you can replace them so they are ready when the golf season starts.

Golf is one of those things you don't need to be good at but can still be fun. Any golf you can play before the season begins is bonus golf.  Relax, lower your expectations, and just have fun.  You have all summer to be serious again.