Odds are you're not a professional golfer. If you were, you'd have the luxury of playing year-round in some of the nicest climates in the world. You'd start off in early January playing for a few weeks in Hawaii and then you'd head off to southern California for a few more weeks. Tournaments in Florida and Texas would keep you busy until the weather got nicer in the central and northern parts of the country. If you wanted to, you could play right through November on some of the most beautiful courses in the world, while enjoying some of the nicest weather in the world.
Too bad you're not a professional golfer.
You don't have the luxury of being able to plan your life around the PGA Tour schedule. You have to work and you have to deal with whatever headaches Mother Nature tosses at you and your neighborhood. Sure, in an ideal world, you'd get 100 rounds of golf in every year, but the reality is that you probably have a small window of time to get your golf in. Depending on where you live, your entire "golf season" may be as short as six or seven months long.
So, how do you make sure that you're getting the most out of your golf game?
Easy. You have to make sure that your body is allowing you to do everything you need to do when you get out on the course. To do that you need to understand that your body needs to be doing different things at different times of the year in order to stay sharp. You may only be able to play six or seven months out of the year, but you can be doing things to improve your game twelve months out of the year. The Bible says "To everything, there is a season." It talks about a time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together. Heck, other than the casting away stones part, The Bible may have been the first book ever written about golf fitness and conditioning.
Many of you reading this are looking out your window and seeing leafless trees and gray skies. And that's the good news! Pretty soon, the ground will be covered in snow and the only fairways and greens you'll be able to see are on the Golf Channel and in your PS3 or Xbox version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2014.
But if you were about to shelve your game until spring, think again.
The off-season is the best time to work on your golf game.
In fact, in some ways, those living in the colder areas are actually at an advantage. They can spend a solid block of time working on their Golf Body without having to deal with distractions like, well, golf.
It's all well and good to spend hours on the range working on your driving, chipping, and putting. But if your body -- the thing that's actually doing the driving, chipping, and putting -- isn't capable of doing these things optimally, you're not really going to improve much. By assessing and addressing the individual issues that are preventing your own Golf Body from playing the game at your highest possible level, you'll be able to make huge gains in power, accuracy, and consistency -- all without ever having to step onto a course. And that's a good thing if all your local courses are closed for the winter.
In a way, it's very liberating to be able to improve your game despite what's going on outside. Even if the Weather Channel is predicting snowfalls that have to be measured in feet, you can still be working on strengthening and stabilizing your hips, which will lead to greater consistency and accuracy. While your neighbor tries to chip through the ice block that's imprisoned his car, you can be working on improving spinal rotation, which will increase the depth of your backswing and follow-through and lead to greater power. And while your dog reconsiders whether it's even worth it to venture outside to relieve himself, you can be strengthening the muscles in your lower-, middle-, and upper-back so that you'll be able to hold your golf posture more comfortably and be able to play more evenly and consistently over 18 holes.
Sure, what you have traditionally called your "golf season" may be winding down, there's no reason to shelve your game until spring. Using the same kinds of assessments and exercises that I use with some of the top golfers in the world, you can strengthen your game no matter how cold, dark, and snowy this winter gets.
It's almost enough to make me want to move back to New Jersey. Almost.
© 2013 joeydgolf.com