We've reached early February, which means that if you made any New Year's resolutions a few weeks ago, there's a good chance that you've already broken them. Don't worry! Most folks have trouble sticking to their resolutions. If one of your resolutions was to become a better golfer, though, you're in luck. It might not have been as easy as you thought to go cold turkey on those lottery scratch tickets, but adding a few yards to your tee shot or increasing your accuracy or consistency with your irons is still very much in the cards for 2021.
In a lot of the country, we're deep into the golf off-season right now. And conveniently, the off-season is actually the best time to improve your game. Without the temptation to go out and play a round or hit the driving range, you're free to make the small changes to your body that will result in big changes when you tee it off in the spring. So, reprioritize your resolutions and make this the year you shoot lower scores and play the best golf of your life. (Because -- be honest -- you weren't really that serious about wanting to learn French, were you?)
Strengthen Your Legs and Hips
1. Alternating Weighted Lunges
If your goal for 2021 is to hit the ball with more power, use these golf improvement tips to start strengthening the muscles in your legs and hips. These are the prime movers for generating power in the golf swing. These lunges are a great way to build strength and power in your quads on the front of your thighs and in your glutes. On the course, this added lower-body strength means added distance every time you hit the golf ball.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart holding a 10- or 12-pound dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height right below your chin. This is the starting position.
Take a deep step forward with your right leg into a lunge position. Ideally, your right knee should be at a 90-degree angle with your knee aligned directly over your right heel. Find your balance in this position, which can be tricky because of your forward momentum and the added weight you're carrying. Once you've nailed the balance, push off your right foot to return back to the starting position. Now, step out deeply into a left-leg-forward lunge position. Do two sets of 20 alternating lunges.
2. One-Legged Superman
If improving your accuracy is your resolution for 2021, it's time to start working on your balance. Balance is one of those intangibles that a lot of people overlook and tend to neglect when it comes to their training, but improving your balance and overall body awareness is a must for improving your accuracy. You'll not only be a lot more on-target from the tee or the fairway, but you'll be amazed how grounded and stable you'll start to feel when dealing with an uphill or downhill lie or a tricky bunker shot.
Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Slowly raise your right knee in front of you until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. When you've found the balance in this position, carefully extend your right leg in back of you while you lean forward and reach straight ahead with both arms. Go slowly until your upper body, arms, and left leg are horizontal and parallel to the floor. Hold this position for a moment and then slowly reverse the movement by coming back to a one-legged standing position with your right knee lifted in front of you. Put your right foot back on the floor to complete the rep.
Try for 5 Supermans on each leg. This is a tough one, so do the best you can. It might take some time and practice until you feel very solid and stable throughout the entire movement. When you do, though, it will be proof of how much your balance has improved!
3. Reverse Fly with Bands
If this is the year that you wanted to become a more consistent ball striker, then you should really be focusing on the postural muscles in your back. The key to playing consistently is being able to maintain proper spine angle every time you hit the ball -- regardless of what club you're using. Strengthening the muscles of the back and in the back of the shoulders will let you stay in golf posture more naturally, maintain your swing plane a lot easier, and play golf a lot more comfortably. As an added bonus, not only will both your long game and short game improve, but by working on your posture, you'll look and feel a whole lot better even when you're not out on the course.
Attach the end of a light V-shaped resistance band to a shoulder-high anchor point. (You can also use two regular resistance bands.) Stand facing the anchor point with a handle in each hand with palms facing each other. Step away from the anchor point until your arms are extended directly towards the anchor at shoulder-height and there's a little bit of tension in the bands. There should be a small amount of bend in each elbow and you should have one foot slightly in front of the other to help your stability and balance. This is the starting point.
Keeping the rest of your body very quiet and without leaning back, pull your arms out to the side while keeping them straight and at shoulder level. (Again, there should be a slight bend at the elbow. This will keep your elbow happy.) Imagine your arms are doors and you're just opening them up. When your arms are directly out to the side, hold this position for a two-count and slowly reverse the move until you're back to the starting position to complete the rep.
Try to do three sets of 10-12 reps.
So stop beating yourself up about breaking your New Year's resolutions and make 2021 the year that you make bad shots and flimsy drives a thing of the past. Just add these golf improvement tips to your workout a couple of times each week and get ready to play better golf. By the time the season is in full swing, you may not be on pace to lose the four pants or dress sizes you had planned, but you will be striping it down the fairway with power, accuracy, and consistency. And, in the grand scheme of things, isn't that what's really important?
© Updated 2021 joeydgolf.com