Shake Your Winter Rust Off With These Tips
When it comes to golf in Northeast Ohio, there’s at least one thing that each and everyone us has to deal with on a yearly basis: shaking of our winter rust.
We all have our expectations for the upcoming season and when the weather (finally) gets better, it’s time to match our game with our expectations. Of course, it’s not always easy and can even be somewhat scary when we first dust off the clubs and start swinging again.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you shake your winter rust off in the best and most efficient way.
It Starts With A Plan
Unlike many other sports and activities, success in golf is relative to the golfer. For some, a good day on the course is simply not losing any golf balls. For others, it may be a round with no 3 putts. Some people are sticklers for the rules, some haven’t cared about rules for decades. You get where we’re going with this…
Your golf game is all about you. That means that how you enjoy it depends on the following:
– What parts of golf you enjoy most
– The goals you set for yourself
– How well you enable yourself to enjoy it the best you can
So, before heading out to the course for the first few times this year, be sure to do some thinking about the upcoming season. Ask yourself how last year’s season went (did you play enough, when did you enjoy playing most, what shots worked best/worst, who do you like playing with, etc.) and make an honest assessment of your golf game.
From there, consider some goals for this season. These can range from increasing your practice time to adding in a weekly 9-holes with a good friend, being less concerned with score to improving your short game skills and so on. How you choose to enjoy golfing, and there’s no wrong way to do so, will shape your goals. Consider writing these down and putting them in your golf bag.
Create a plan of action for these goals before the season starts. That way, you will have the tools you need to do what you would like in 2017 and won’t ever feel late to the party. For some, that may mean becoming a member of a course or group of courses or purchasing an Unlimited Range Pass. For others, it can simply mean contacting a few friends and planning some rounds of golf well in advance.
A simple assessment and some action will place you ahead of the curve in shaking your winter rust off.
Start Slow – Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day
When shaking off your winter rust and hoping to get your game headed in the right direction, practicing and playing are the best you can do. Even better, you can now practice an unlimited amount all season with Mallard Creek’s Unlimited Range Pass.
That being said, it’s important to start slow when getting back into the swing of things. Hitting hundreds of range balls in one practice session may sound like a great idea, but if it’s the first time your swinging all year, you could find yourself sore and your game worse off. Hitting a bucket or two a few nights a week, however, is a great way to get your swing back smoothly without overdoing it.
Also, taking your time and making a conscious effort with each practice and on-course shot will help a great deal. You will likely find that the more effort and thought that you put in, the better the results. Crazy, right?
Your Mid-Season Form Is Not Your Spring Form
Golf is a mental game. That can be good or bad news, depending on your temperament.
When we get back out there for those first rounds of the season, it’s important to remind ourselves that we won’t be hitting it like we were during our best rounds from the previous years. While it is easy to get down on ourselves for mishits and bad shots, staying even keel goes a long way. Try focusing on the positives, such as: there is no snow on the ground, you’re finally back on a golf course, you’ve had worse moments on the course, etc.
“The whole secret to mastering the game of golf – and this applies to the beginner as well as the pro – is to cultivate a mental approach to the game that will enable you to shrug off the bad days, keep patient and know in your heart that sooner or later you will be back on top.” – Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer may have been onto something…
Practice = A Healthier Swing
When done correctly, practice can help you develop a better and healthier swing. But when and how should you be practicing?
Before you head out on the course, consider hitting some range balls if you have time. A few quick stretches and 10-20 swings on the range will help get you loose and warmed up before you get out there. This lessens your chance of straining muscles or experiencing soreness. Also, it’s never a bad idea to roll a few putts and hit some chip shots to get those parts of your game ready for your round.
Had a few problematic swings on the course or still have some energy to keep swinging? This is a great time to head to the range and fix those bad swings. Also, it’s a great opportunity to get some additional work in on shots you hit well and want to cement your muscle memory for. Whether it’s just a few balls or a full basket, the post-round driving range session is a great way to quickly improve. You’re already at the course, why not?
Get A Head Start
Just because there are still a few weeks before the season starts doesn’t mean you can’t get your game going. At Mallard Creek, we have a state of the art indoor golf simulator that you can rent out by the hour. Or, you can even get lessons from any of our teaching professionals both indoors and outdoors.
Shaking off your winter rust may not be the most fun thing, but with these tips you can get a head start and get your form back quicker than ever before.
We’re ready for the 2017 season and hope you are too!
Hit ’em straight!