Just because I live in Jupiter, Florida, where we experience perfect weather all year long, it doesn't mean that I don't know what's happening in other places around the country. I have the Weather Channel. I have an iPhone. I can see when and where it starts getting cold and snowy up north. Sure, I may smile -- or even laugh -- when I see that it's going to be 12 degrees somewhere while it's 80 and sunny in my backyard, but as someone who deals with avid and rabid golfers on a daily basis, I know that to a lot of you, the onset of winter signals the end of the golf season.
The great news is that I -- maybe more than anyone -- know that it doesn't have to be that way.
You may not be able to get out on the course in January, but that doesn't mean that you can't be working to improve your golf game. In fact, the off-season is actually THE BEST time to improve your golf.
I know that if your window for playing is only six, seven, or eight months of the year, you want to be out there getting in as many rounds as possible. Given the choice between playing 18 holes on a beautiful summer day…or assessing and treating limited shoulder rotation, it doesn't take a genius to know what you're going to pick. Many golfers, though, find that their game breaks down as they play later into the season. While they might be hitting a groove with their timing and technique, the weaknesses and imbalances in their body become larger and more glaring as the season wears on and -- ultimately -- their games suffers. If that sounds familiar, then the first blizzard of the year may just end up being the best thing to happen to your golf game in a long time.
I've made a career out of helping players improve their game…and most of the time, the work we do occurs nowhere near the golf course. When the weather gets too nasty to play outside, it gives you the opportunity to work on the most important piece of equipment that you have -- your own body. Having the time to be able to take an honest look at your body and -- more specifically -- where it may be negatively impacting the way you play gives you a sort of bizarre advantage over players from warmer climates. You're able to drastically improve your golf game because you're not dealing with the distraction of, well, actually playing golf.
Think about it this way: the best players on the planet spend their off-seasons working on their bodies. They may be living right down here in southern Florida -- which many of them do -- but they still understand the need to get away from the game at a highly competitive level and focus their attention on what their body can and cannot do when it comes to the golf swing.
This is when you can determine whether your hips are too tight or not powerful enough for you to swing optimally. It's when you can assess your posture and decide if you need to be doing more strength and range-of-motion work to allow you to maintain perfect spine angle throughout your swing and throughout 18 holes.
If Mother Nature is doing her best these days to keep you off the course, don't worry. The next few months can be what makes or breaks your game for next year. You can either spend it sitting on the couch watching the Golf Channel or you can be assessing and optimizing your body for the spring. It's your choice.
Optimize -- don't winterize -- your game!
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