How to Get The Most From Your Golf This Winter
Look, we realise that playing golf through the winter isn’t for everybody. It can be cold, muddy, and wet. However, there’s loads of reasons to keep your slot in the weekly fourball throughout the colder months. Not least the chance to catch up with your mates once a week! However, many of us would also like to use some of this time for improvement … and for you, we’ve drawn up our list of ways to make the most of your golf this winter!
Far be it from us to advocate for reckless spending during a cost of living crisis, but one of the best incentives for getting out on the course during the winter is to try out some new bats. Plus, it’ll help you justify your 12-month membership … so if anything, it’s financial responsibility! [editors’ note: it definitely isn’t]. Winter can be a great time to treat yourself to some new sticks, allowing you to get familiar with them before the season starts. Even if you just head up to the range, or for 9-holes, how great would it be to know that you’ve got your new driver dialled in properly for the start of next season …
And speaking of new things. Maybe this is the winter that you finally give a new method of swinging the club a go. Whether it’s the ‘stack and tilt’ method, Leadbetter’s ‘A Swing’, or Matt Fitzpatrick’s cack-handed chipping technique. There’s nothing to lose by having a play with things like this through the winter, just as long as you know what you’re doing by the time the new season begins. Word of warning though, if you are going to experiment with something radically different, you should at some point at least check in with a qualified instructor to check you’re not totally wrecking your swing!
A Course of Lessons
Speaking of which … why not just go the whole hog and book in some lessons for the winter? There’s quite literally no downside to doing this. You probably should do this. Do. This.
We all say it, “I’m going to hit the range once a week this winter”. Well, why not actually do it! There’s loads of great ways to keep yourself entertained at the driving range, and best of all, it’ll actually help you lower your scores! Try and put at least a little structure into your practice; whether it’s by going through your full pre-shot routine before each shot, or by playing to real-world scenarios that you might face out on course. At the very least, heading to the range once a week will give you something to look forward to once the evenings have drawn in.
Invest in Good Waterproofs (and rain gloves!)
But, if you are keen to still head out to the course, then make sure you’re properly equipped. As the old adage goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Modern waterproofs with innovative fabrics allow for a full range of movement, and will keep you dry, no matter the conditions. With the winters becoming increasingly mild, it’s can often be a relatively enjoyable temperature these months, so if you can keep things dry, there’s no reason not to enjoy your time on course. Also, buy rain gloves. The things are magic … how can something get more grippy the wetter they get?! Invest in a pair now, and they’ll keep you playing for winters to come - and might also help you out in an unexpected shower during the main season!
Another great option for those keen to still get the on-course experience is to play a reduced number of holes. Those fortunate enough to have a club that loops back at 9-holes may already be doing this with regularity, but for others, perhaps get inventive with the routing to see if there’s a way of just heading out for an hour or two … if the club allows. Tee-sheets can often be less full during the winter, and with the light closing in early, you’ll find plenty of chance to nip out in the early afternoon for a few holes - as those keen on playing all 18 will need to be out before midday!
Bring The Outside Indoors
One benefit of modern technology within the sport is the increased availability of indoor simulators. These are great for honing your game, using their data to check your yardages, and analysing your own shot-shaping patterns. However, for most of us, their biggest benefit is the ability to just play a virtual round of golf. Pick from an array of courses from across the planet and swing away from the warmth of the indoors. When else are you going to get the chance to play The Old Course or Pebble Beach in jeans and a t-shirt, for about £25?!
Go on a Golf Break
And if all else fails, why not just get away! Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to fly too far to find some warmth during the winter months, with the south of Portugal and Spain both experiencing temperatures in the high-teens between November-February. The Canary Islands and Turkey are also superb destinations for golf throughout the year, with flights significantly cheaper outside of the summer months. For guaranteed sunshine, you may also want to head to the UAE, The Caribbean, or Florida - although these can be slightly more pricey options. Wherever you’re thinking of going, our friends at Golfbreaks will be able to help you to secure the best possible deal!
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