Adjust Your Expectations
If you are fortunate enough to live in a climate where the golf season really never ends, then count yourself among the lucky ones. Living in South Texas my whole life, it is easy to forget that many of our customers at SCOR Golf and many of my readers here at WedgeGuy are about to put away the sticks for the next few months and just tough it out. For you guys and ladies, I’ll write regularly over the next few months about drills you can do during the off season to give your golf game a head start when the snow melts and the sun comes out again.

But today, I’m addressing something that all of the rest of us need to keep in mind as we begin to play golf in cooler temperatures, winds that blow from the opposite direction and on courses that either have grass that goes dormant or are over-seeded with winter rye or bent mix.

The game is going to be harder until Spring, so adjust your expectations when you go out. You’ll probably be playing a little less often and the shorter days are going to cut into your afternoon practice sessions (if you do those!) You’ll have more clothes on which restricts your swing, and the courses are simply playing harder than they did in the summer, most of the time anyway.

So, here are a few keys to playing in the off season, but the most important one is to relax your expectations of yourself and your golf game. So what if your scores are a little higher over the next few months? At least you’re out there playing, while our friends in the north are cooped up inside.
  1. The ball doesn’t go as far in winter. The cooler air and the usually softer ground will limit how far you will hit shots with all your clubs. That’s also a function of the extra clothes you have to wear which restricts your swing. And you’re probably not playing as much which affects your golf muscles. Don’t fight it, just adjust your thinking and shot planning about a half club backward and go play.

  2. “Par” changes daily. If you are teeing it up in 40+ degree temperatures, and have a chilly north wind blowing, shooting your usual score just isn’t very likely to happen. That long par 4 that plays downwind in the summer with a 5-iron approach is probably unreachable now, so just accept that it’s more like a short par 5 today and play it that way. All that matters is the score in relation to your buddies, right?

  3. Your feel is not as good. The colder air affects your nerve endings when your hands are a little cold. So your touch with your short shots and putts will not be as good as usual. Go with it. And if you play on greens that are not over-seeded, as we play at our club, the greens are going to be even faster and trickier. Once again, the course is playing harder while you’re skills are diluted a bit. Just accept it.
So, have fun this winter and get in all the golf you can, but realize that your scores are going to climb for the next few months, most likely. But at least you’re playing!! Think about our online golf buddies in Minnesota and other “hinterlands” who won’t give you an ounce of sympathy when you whine about the conditions.
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.

[ comments ]
scottishguyiniowa says:
Here in Iowa every day we get to golf now is a blessing. Greenkeeping staff has stopped maintaining the course but we still enjoy getting outas in a month's time we'll be snowbound most likely.
penright says:
Happy golfing, like life, is all about managing expectations. Great article!
[ post comment ]
Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

Click here to learn more about Terry.
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