Are you beginning to think about golf again as you watch those washboard waistlines with their rhythmically perfect swings strut their stuff at exotic locations like Hawaii, Arizona and Pebble Beach?
Yes, the pros are back, The Masters is beckoning and spring will be here before you know it. Perhaps you have some goals for the 2021 golf season, like shedding a face mask (we all hope) and breaking 100, 90 or even 80 for the first time. If so, the time to begin preparing is now. Not even the pros can show up on the first tee and play well after a winter of inactivity.
It all begins with a fitness routine. Here are some easy at-home exercises that to get in shape for the upcoming season.
Seated Rotations: After a long winter, this will retrain your muscles and improve your rotational mobility, which is such a critical component in the golf swing. Squeeze a towel between your knees and hold a golf club behind your back and in the crook of your elbows. Then put your palms flat on your stomach. Once you are in this position, begin rotating your torso to the right without moving your hips, and hold for a few seconds. Return to your starting position and continue to the left, alternating sides.
Glute Bridge: This will also activate those dormant muscles. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent 90 degrees and feet flat on the ground, and squeeze a rolled-up towel between your knees. Fire your glutes and bridge your hips toward the ceiling, leaving only your heels and shoulders on the ground.
Medicine Ball lift: Balance, core strength and coordination all lead to great scores. Start by kneeling on one leg with the foot of your other leg directly in line with it. Hold a medicine ball next to the hip of the kneeling leg and bring the ball to your chest and lift it across your body above the opposite shoulder.
Handwalks: This will help prevent elbow and shoulder injuries. Set your hands on the ground so you are on all fours, and then slowly walk your hands out into a pushup position. Once in this position, walk your toes to your hands, while keeping your knees straight.
Upper Body Exercises: Upper body strength is vital to generating clubhead speed. Pushups, bicep curls and triceps extensions will all provide added power. One good chest-strengthening exercise begins by lying flat on your back, with your arms extended away from your body. Hold a weight in each hand. Lift your arms off the ground without bending your elbows and point them toward the ceiling until they are perpendicular to your body. Use your own body weight to strengthen your arms.
Build Core Strength: Stomach crunches and leg lifts are classic exercises to build core strength. For stomach crunches, simply tighten your stomach muscles for 60 seconds. Another good core exercise starts by lying flat on your back, arms out to the side. Bring your knees to your chest, and gently roll your knees to one side and then the other without lifting your shoulders off the floor.
Winter is also a great time to work on those six inches between your ears, which all great golfers will tell you is as important as a sweet swing and a chiseled body. You don’t need warm weather to work on the mental game; just find a good instructional book, blog or video.
And don’t forget to give your short game a little attention. This is something else you can easily do indoors by setting up a makeshift putting green. There are numerous putting aids you can use that will make a big difference once you’re back on the course.
Finally, check out a nearby indoor golf simulator, where you can shake the rust off the full swing while playing virtual golf on the world’s greatest courses. As the weather warms, consider a “spring tune up” with one of our golf pros, a great way to up your game even if you’re a seasoned player. Spending time on our range, which will open in late March once the solar canopies are completed, is also a terrific way to loosen up after a winter of hibernation.
Now you’re ready to tee it up for real. When you’re feeling mentally and physically fit, you’ll be amazed at how fluid the golf swing will feel. With proper preparation, you’ll step on the links this spring brimming with confidence, and there is no more sure-fire way to low scores.