Some golfers prefer to take winter off golf entirely, while others like to use it for honing skills and practicing. If you are one of the latter, check out our list of tips and tricks to keep your game in top shape during the off-season.

Winter golf just isn’t the same as summer golf. Temperatures drop and the ball doesn’t roll as far. Many golfers are relieved to put the clubs away and take a break. For those of us who are addicted to golf, it can be hard to let go of wanting to improve our game continually. If this sounds like you, here are some creative ways to keep your game sharp over the winter...

1. Practice Your Swing Everyday... Without a Club

Swinging without hitting a ball or holding a club allows you to focus on your technique without getting distracted by results.

You can do this with your clubs or with a swing training aid. 

Practice in slow motion to build muscle memory. Use a mirror to monitor your positioning and form.

2. Buy a Putting Mat and Find a Place to Chip into a Bucket

If you tally how many strokes you make in a game, you will quickly realize a great short game drops your score. Yet many players spend hours on the range. The short game falls by the wayside. 

Develop and refine a pre-shot routine for your short game. Preparing to hit the ball consistently will decrease your jitters and add consistency to your performance.

Set up the putting mat close to your TV or wherever it is handy to practice for a few minutes every day.

Check out some of our favourite putting drills to get you started.

Set up the chipping buckets in your rec room, garage, yard, or patio.

This practice will help you around the green and improve your scores.

3. Try Yoga

Believe it or not, yoga will benefit your golf game. It helps both your physical and mental game. 

Physically, yoga improves mobility, flexibility, and core stability.

Mentally, yoga helps to improve balance, breathing, and focus.

Try a local studio or check out some online videos (search “yoga for golf”). Come summer, you will be glad you did. Namaste.

4. Cross-Training

Cross-training classes or video workouts will improve both your strength and mobility. You can even perform many helpful cross-training workouts at the gym or at home. 

Modern cross-training methods use many muscle groups together. Look for workouts that emphasize foundational movements.

Try squats, upper body push, upper body pull, core, and hip hinge for starters. These functional movements will aid in developing mobility, stability, strength, and balance used in the golf swing.

5. Test Out New Golf Equipment

Winter is a great time to test new equipment using data from simulators. 

Experienced club fitters will be able to see if your golf balls are flying further or higher with new equipment. You should bring your current set with you to compare club performance.

If you have trouble hitting your long irons, test out hybrids or more lofted fairway woods to see if your performance is better.

Having the right clubs in your bag for your game will improve your scores in the spring.

Get your new clubs now and practice with them regularly at the range or with a simulator before the golf season starts.

6. Hire a Sport Psychologist or Take a “Mindfulness for Peak Performance” Class.

Developing a strong mental game is a big part of the challenge of golf.

Increase your self-awareness and learn to use your mind more effectively. Learn new perspectives, behaviors, and actions that will help develop focus and positivity.

It may not sound like “your type of thing” at first, but all the best players are doing it.

For more tips and tricks for keeping your game in shape during the off-season, check out feature writer Laurie Dickson’s tips here.