First of all, Happy Easter to you all! I hope you and all of your families are well!
I can imagine that there are a lot of golfers out there feeling very hard done to right now, just as the awful weather of winter has passed and the sun has come out with it's hat on, we have been driven away from the golf course and shackled up at home, (for good reason of course). But there are still ways you can improve your golf game from home and here are my ideas.
Now as I have started on my journey to DIY greatness at home I have been indulging in podcasts left, right and centre to get me through the sanding, varnishing and gardening. Here are a couple of golfing favourites which have made it to the heavy heights on the blog!
First of all for you technique junkies/golf nerds out there (like me) give The Golf Science Lab, a listen, it includes insights from PGA tour pro‘s, tour coaches, stat fanatics and many more. Once you get past the adverts it is fantastic listening and may open yours eyes to different areas of your game.
My second recommendation is a lot lighter listening, less intense but still very insightful. The Pepper Pod is a duo of European tour golfer Eddie Pepperell and BBC sports commentator, now turned dog commentator, Andrew Cotter. They usually meander through the tour schedule, tell anecdotes about life on tour and speak to other professional golfers, all while keeping things very humorous and just about on topic, sometimes.
Now I haven’t always been a big reader but when it comes down to sport and golf especially I can fly through them.
Now for the vast majority of club golfers the best area to read in order to improve their game is within golf psychology/mental strategy (in my opinion). For those who are new to this area I would always recommend Dr Bob Rotella, his anecdotal story telling of different golfers has worked with is an awesome way to set yourself off (that was how I got into it). A personal favourite is Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect, give it a go!
In the same ball park but travelling in a slightly different direction is The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters. A psychiatrist by profession he has worked with sports people all around the world and in many different sports including, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Sir Chris Hoy and the Liverpool Fc team (don‘t hold that against him). This book will not only help with your golf game but life in general and will help you to understand yourself and others more (if that’s what you want?).
Improving your fitness
In my coaching sessions if not daily, then definitely on a weekly basis I have people who are struggling to improve their golf from a lack of fitness, where this is often is a lack of endurance or flexibility.
Endurance is sometimes a tough area to track and everyone has their own limitations with this but everyone can improve it. For some people this may be a walk without stopping, a jog or for others is could be running a marathon. But whatever it is for you, if you can improve your endurance then this can help to control your technique and emotions in check when you are coming down the stretch.
Flexibility; this inhibits so many people, (including myself) within their golf swing. It stops people from hitting that position they have always struggled with, gaining speed in the right areas of the swings and improving their strike pattern. A lot of the time this is to do with stiff backs, tight hamstrings and hips. Work on improving the flexibility in these areas and that dreaded slice you’ve been struggling with could be a thing of the past. (Also great for stopping any pesky injuries). Personally I have tried to do this by starting to try yoga, most mornings I will start my day by doing a short session in the morning which will set me up for the a day of DIY and procrastination! Give Yoga With Adrienne a try on YouTube.
Now this may seem a little obvious but that short game could be a fine tuned machine by the end of this. Now here are a key few tips to get the best from your practice, separate technique and target, if you want to work on your chipping action for example that's great but don’t neglect your instincts. Make sure you do a drill at the end of your sessions which is to a target with no thought on technique at all, try to make this competitive and measurable. For example, how many balls can you chip into a bucket from 10 yards out of 10 balls.
Try and have drills that have pressure on them, for example, don't move until you have chipped 20 balls into your target, no matter how long this takes you. Another example it to, try and chip over the greenhouse, then once that gets easy get closer etc, I have even seen people do this over their cars (don't invoice me for the damages though).
Last but not least, have some fun with it and keep it interesting, change your games, hit some flop shops, use good lies and bad lies, play out of the flower bed, it is the best way to keep yourself motivated.
Speak to your PGA Pro
Again through thiss weird time I am always open for a chat with anyone about their game or indeed anything at all. If you want to get in touch my email is firstname.lastname@example.org and my mobile is 07807901155.
I hope you are all doing well and this helps you just a little bit during this tough time for everyone.
Tom Pipes PGA Professional