Even if the weather is still cold and inclement where you live, spring will be here before you know it, which means it’s time to get ready for another glorious golf season.
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You can take some steps now to help you play better, and enjoy the game more, when the last snow has melted, the birds are singing in the tress and the courses are finally open.
Check Your Equipment
Take out your clubs and look at the grips to see if they are worn and need to be replaced. They probably need to be cleaned with warm sudsy water and then thoroughly rinsed, because sweat and oil from your hands can accumulate on them as you play.
Examine your golf shoes to see if any spikes need to be replaced.
Replace gloves that are worn, cracked or shrunken.
Consider upgrading your clubs if they are a number of years old, particularly 10 years or more. The technology of new clubs can add significant distance to your drives and — with innovations such as hybrid clubs — help you hit the ball straighter as well.
Start to Groove Your Swing
Warm-up your swing muscles.
After a long layoff from golf, the clubs may seem like strange objects when you grip them. On the first mild day, reacquaint yourself with your clubs by going out in the back yard and taking a few swings with each one. Swinging the club will help stretch out the muscles you use for golf. You will find that after just a few of these warm-up sessions, the club will feel good in your hands again. You’ll be able to go out to the course on opening day with greater confidence.
Start, or restart, your exercise program.
Pro golfers spend lots of time on improving their physical fitness. They do yoga-type stretching exercises to help widen their swing arc, which creates more clubhead speed and distance. Try lifting light hand weights to build greater strength in your forearms. Abdominal crunches will help you build core strength that you need to have full rotation on the backswing and downswing.
Plan Where to Play
Choose some new courses to try.
Add variety to your golf season by choosing some new courses to play. The fresh challenge will be exciting and playing more than one course can help you become a better golfer. Internet sites such as golfmax.com have listings of public courses in every state, including links to the courses’ websites and information about green fees.
Consider Joining a Country Club
Research local country clubs.
This idea may not be as farfetched as it sounds. During economic downturns, clubs sometimes lose members and some have even discontinued operations. To cope with a downturn, many private clubs may discount fees for new members. What once was a prohibitively high initiation fee to join a local club may now be well within your financial reach.
Implement a Game Improvement Plan
Before your first tee off time of the new season, get serious about improving your game and lowering your scores.
Watch golf instruction videos — you can even check them out for free at your local public library or watch them on YouTube.
Find a golf instructor in your area and when the weather turns warm enough, take a series of lessons.
If you have specific swing problems you need a quick fix for, such as a chronic slice, you can find concise, helpful tips at web sites such as golf.com and golfdigest.com.
Don’t wait until mid-season when you are frustrated with your game to begin addressing swing flaws. Get the golf season off to a good start by building a more consistent, reliable swing now.