Develop A Winter Plan
We've had the mildest fall in a long time, with more days over 80 degrees than under 70 it seems. But this morning I awoke to a cold (for us) north wind that reminded me that it is, indeed, the beginning of the "off season". I know many of you have already faced that reality and the cold, snow and nasty weather has relegated the golf clubs to the closet or garage for the next few months.

The good thing is that the winter months can be a great time for doing some real maintenance and tuning up of your golf game, so that when spring arrives you have some new fundamentals very ingrained and ready to take to the course. I've long believed that the actual hitting of golf balls really isn't the best way to build swing improvements, as you get trapped between focusing on what you are trying to learn, and actually hitting a good golf shot.

No, to me, the best way to learn anything new about the golf swing is to get as far from the driving range as you can. If it's work on your grip, you can do that in your easy chair, office chair or laid out on your sofa. Your stance and posture can be totally restructured in front of any full-length mirror. You can develop new moves and positions throughout the golf swing in front of that same mirror, practicing them in slow motion over-and-over-and-over-and-over ... until they feel like you've been doing them forever.

Heck, you can also use the winter months to work on your flexibility and strengthening your golf muscles so that you'll be stronger and longer when the snow melts and the grass begins greening up in the spring.

Here are several things you can spend time on this winter to give your golf game an immediate boost when you hit the course again next spring:
  1. Improve your grip. This is your only connection with the club and maybe the most crucial fundamental to hitting quality golf shots. Good golfers with dysfunctional grips are very, very rare. And high handicappers with really good grips just about the same. When you see a golfer who's hands fold onto the club like they've been there forever, you generally know what's in store. And rarely will you be surprised by good shotmaking from a guy that holds it like a ham sandwich.

  2. Improve your posture. Too many golfers just are not in an athletic position before they ever move the club back. Like the grip, a good posture and set-up can be learned by anyone, regardless of your physical stature and limitations. Hold the club right, and get started in the correct position and the golf swing gets a whole lot easier.

  3. Work on your putting. Get a piece of commercial carpet about 8' long and find a place along some wall to put it. Paint a hole on it about 3" in diameter and practice "making" short putts all winter. When you get back on the course this winter, you'll have a short-range putting stroke that you have total confidence in, and the full size hole will look like a washtub.
So, there you have the first three fundamentals for the winter. You guys chime in with more, OK?
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.

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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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