Prepare Your Golf Game – and Yourself! – for the 2018 Golf Season
It’s that time of year! Time to drag the clubs out of storage and hit the links. Maybe you already have played a few rounds this year. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who can play pretty much all year ‘round. Whether you’ve already shaken the dust off your clubs or already have mud on your favorite golf shoes, we have some suggestions to get your golf season off to a good start.
Golf may seem like a fairly easy-going sport with no real need to spend hours in the gym in preparation. Nevertheless, injury remains a possibility and you wouldn’t want a pulled muscle to keep you away from the course when it could be prevented. Golf Week suggests exercises that you can do at home to reduce the risk of injury and keep you in the game. Before you scoff at the idea of exercising for golf, consider these facts: (1) Tightness in your shoulders, back, hips and legs can restrict the extension of the club as you swing. (2) You might think all you need do is focus on your arms and shoulders or even your upper back. Not so! The lower body is important too after all, it is the legs and hips that are important in controlling the direction of the ball and leg strength adds power to your swing. (3) Strengthening your core isn’t just something for yoga class. Core strength generate more power from the coiling action in your backswing so you should work to increase muscle tone in the abdomen and back. (4) Don’t neglect strengthening your arms and chest. Remember, it is the big muscles of the upper body that are key in generating clubhead speed more so than the muscles in your forearms.
Once you have yourself in shape, how do you get your game ready for the new season? The PGA offers some tips on their website. First, start with putting. Practice, practice, practice! Set up an area in your home, and ask your local golf pro if he has any putting aids or suggestions. Work on your short game. Is there an indoor facility in your area? Most have targets set up so you can practice different types of shots. What is the condition of the grips on your clubs? Spring is a great time to replace them and make sure that you have the right size grip on your clubs. It’s also a great time to work with your pro to make sure you are properly fit for your clubs. Those new clubs may be tempting but if they don’t fit you properly they aren’t going to help improve your game.
Golf Digest offers fourteen great suggestions for getting your game in shape. From shipping and pitching to focusing on the fundamentals and embracing the sand to finding the right shoes (or at least changing the cleats) you’ll find what you need to be ready for the new season on their website.
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