Like a New Year’s Resolution, I’m sure most of us have made a conscious effort to get in better “golf shape” during the off-season.
Whether that means hitting the weight room, torturing yourself on a treadmill, sneaking in some stretching/yoga/mobility work, or just practicing your chipping and putting on the living room carpet, it’s important that you remain committed to whatever process will help achieve your off-season goals.
But now that the Super Bowl is over, most of us (particularly in the North East) are counting down the days until mid-40 degree weather becomes the norm and early spring golf can begin. As a result, it’s very important that you try to maximize the limited amount of time that’s left to work on improving your golf game before it’s too late.
So here are a simple few things that don’t require a gym and will help you stay fresh and, if you’re lucky, make some progress.
Walk & Stretch
The unfortunate truth is most of us spend our work days in a chair at a desk in front of a computer screen. While we’re all too aware that hunching over that keyboard is awful for your back and shoulders, you’re also not doing your hip flexors or golf game any favor either.
Now, I would highly stress that you try to work in stretching as often as possible at night when you’re relaxing in front of the TV. A few things like 90/90 hip stretches and thoracic stretches (cat cow pose and knelling with spinal rotation) can go a long way. In fact, this is the exact reason why I try to use Crossover Symmetry every night; just to keep everything moving.
But that’s not necessarily realistic. So while you’re at work every day, I would try to do 2 things:
- Get up and walk around for a few minutes at least once every two hours. This will help a lot with your hip flexors and, surprisingly, lower back.
- Stretch. While I don’t recommend doing 90/90 hip stretches in the middle of the coffee room, there are a few more subtle movements that can help a lot.
No. I am not suggesting that you bring a few balls and a wedge or putter to work. But there are two more subtle things you can do.
First, 99% of us have a backup charger at our desk. Hold the end of the charger you plug into the phone, let the heavy, wall-socket end hang free, and swing.
Think of this like an office friendly Orange Whip because you’ll quickly develop a calm tempo and smooth rhythm to make sure the charger doesn’t look like it’s getting blown around in a hurricane. The great thing about this is that it’ll help help improve your putting and chipping.
Second, maybe while you’re doing some rotational office stretches, try standing only on your lead foot and working on making a complete backswing and follow through shoulder turn.
There’s a couple reasons why I suggest standing only on your lead foot. A majority of golfer sway too much during the swing, which can kill your contact consistency and power. Obviously, if you’re standing on one foot and try to sway, you’ll fall over. In addition, a lot of golfers also aren’t putting enough pressure on their lead foot when they’ve got a wedge in their hands.
By working on your upper body rotation while standing on your lead foot, you’ll get more comfortable with leaving weight on that front foot while making a proper turn.
Now this third one might require that you have an office or somewhere people won’t see you unless you want to be Instagram famous. Take your golf stance with your ass against the wall and just go through your swing. The goal here is that your ass and hips remain in contact with the wall during your entire swing.
Just like swaying too much during your swing, early extension (thrusting your hips towards the ball during the downswing) kills strike consistency and power. Go slow and just focus on getting your comfortable with rotating in that manner. An additional perk of going slow is that it’ll allow you to also focus on the best source of power in the golf swing: disassociation between your upper and lower body during the downswing transition. A lot of us swing with way too much upper body (a common slicer fault), so training that proper swing sequence can help with a common miss that we all struggle with.
Cover Image via Instagram