The start of December heralds the beginning of winter for many golfers. While non-golfers might see something charming in the picture postcard landscape left by a snowy blizzard, what it means for the rest of us is minimal golfing opportunities on the golf courses we know and love.
Fear not!! Here at Hole19 HQ, we've been gathering a list of top winter golfing tips to help you make the most of your game before the new season comes knocking in March/April.
Let's see what we've come up with.
It's impossible to underestimate the importance of momentum in golf so, to be playing your best at the start of next season, you'll need to keep swinging over winter. This allows you to keep working on refining your golf swing, while also testing your ability to score well in the trying conditions Mother Nature can throw our way at this time of year.
Wear Plenty Of Layers
When you do manage a round, it's important to 'layer-up' if you're going to give yourself a chance of shooting a good score.
Of course, you won't want so many layers that your swing feels restricted, but an extra thermal top and a waterproof jacket would be a good start. Maybe a snood? Perhaps even 2020's most talked about apparel choice - the humble golf hoodie?...
Have Realistic Expectations
When the conditions are far from ideal, we should expect that our performance - and therefore our score - might be a little worse than we would otherwise have hoped.
Try to factor in the weather and course conditions when setting your expectations for the day. If you accept that bad shots will come your way and that you're unlikely to be setting personal records, you'll have a much more enjoyable time.
Practice Your Swing Movements Indoors
Never underestimate the benefit of indoor practice - you'll be surprised how much you can work on in the comfort of your own home. With that said, unless you're lucky enough to have a particularly spacious room with a super high ceiling, you might want to leave your big dog in the bag.
Here the MeAndMyGolf boys Andy Proudman and Piers Ward discuss how to work on particular swing thoughts at home...
Walk With Your Bag
Though we appreciate it's not for everyone, another way to keep the blood pumping and the body temperature up is to leave your golf trolley at home and carry your golf bag during your round. You'll swing more freely and potentially save the course from further damage at the same time.
Avoid Outdoor Short Game Practice In Bad Weather
It's generally accepted that winter is the best time to get our golf game in good shape for the commencement of the new season ahead. While we all have grand designs at this time of the year on getting the short-game on point for 2019, Dan Whittaker believes that you should limit your own outdoor practice in poor conditions to avoid demoralising and confusing feedback.
Check out his video below...
BUT, Don't Neglect Your Short Game Altogether
While there's truth in the golf tip above, you'll still need to find some time to work on wedge play, chipping and putting at intervals over the winter months.
If you're determined to take that next step in your golfing progression, you'll be heavily reliant on a sharp short game. To start the next golfing season strong you'll need to get practice in whenever the conditions allow for it.
2011 Open Champion Darren Clarke reinforces that idea below...
Keep Your Hands Warm
When your hands are freezing it's almost impossible to hit solid shots. Feel is one of the most essential facets of a golfer's game so when your fingers are purple and verging on completely numb, you certainly won't be playing your best.
You could invest in a good pair of winter mitts and hand warmers to provide a cosy haven between shots. We highlighted a few of our favourites earlier this week on our Insta page.
Know Your Yardages (And Take An Extra Club)
As already alluded to above, poor golf course conditions mean that your short game is going to be placed under real pressure in winter months. Knowing how far you hit each club is imperative to finding as many greens in regulation as possible - and remember to take an extra club (or two) in particularly cold temperatures as the ball won't travel as far.
That's where we come in. The Hole19 golf app will provide you with accurate GPS yardages to the hole while our Premium plan will give you a greater understanding of your club-by-club distances.
Hit Your Local Golf Simulator
If you're unlucky enough to live in a part of the world where there is little let up in the poor weather (and if Covid restrictions allow) get yourself down to a local golf simulator to work on any new ideas you're trying to implement, as well as your distances through the bag.
Simulators these days can provide important data on trajectory, club speed, spin axis, launch conditions, carry distance, total distance, as well as many other bits of information which will help you gain a better understanding of your game while the weather is rather frightful outside.
Mark Crossfield and Coach Lockey answer a question on that very subject below...