Golf Tips from the pros

Getting Ready For a New Season

Kim J. Brown, PGA Master Professional,
Keeton Park Golf Course,
Dallas,Texas, USA

If you are like me, it has probably been quite a while since you have been able to play golf on any consistent basis over the past few months. With the onset of winter comes a decreasing availability of weather and time to play it seems. The purpose of this "tip" is to offer some advice how to get a head start on getting your game back together and starting off on the right foot!

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• On days when you don't have time to practice or play or if the weather is too prohibitive you should:

    1. Get as much physical exercise as possible....stretching, toning, cardiovascular, etc.
    2. Maintain some "feel" for the club by picking it up, stretch, take practice swings.
    3. Visualize hitting shots including having a picture in your mind of the "hole" that you are playing. Mentally "play a hole". Swing the driver, then the approach shot, if that particular practice swing did not feel right, practice the "chip" or "pitch" that you need to recover after missing the green. Then actually "putt" in the same manner(although putting to a cup on the rug will accomplish the same thing).
    4. Practice your "setup and alignment". Look in a mirror- is your posture good, your grip appropriate, are your feet, hips, and shoulders aligned properly?

• When you can get to the course or practice range:

    1. Don't "overtrain". Remember, you are better off hitting 40-50 practice shots when you are FOCUSED than just banging 150 balls without a purpose.
    2. Concentrate on your setup and alignment fundamentals, not on swing "thoughts".
    3. In regard to your swing, focus on swinging to a well balanced finish.

Notice how when you first hit balls after a layoff that very often you will swing smoother and your mind will not be "cluttered" with a lot of mechanical thinking? Carry that approach with you to the regular golf season and do your "mechanics" at the driving range!

Good luck and I hope this tip prepares you for your best season ever!

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