Are you ready for winter? Hmmm, we can already hear the groans of despair!!
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 very limited 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...
Wear Plenty Of Layers
Let's start with the obvious: when you do manage a round, to swing your best it's important to 'layer-up' when you're golfing in bad weather.
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 even a snood??...
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 high ceiling, you might want to leave your driver 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 you're hands get very cold it's almost impossible to hit solid shots. Feel is one of the most important facets of a golfer's game so when you're 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.
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, get yourself down to a local golf simulator to work on any new ideas you're trying to implement in the off-season, 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...
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 may 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.
Escape To The Sun
One pretty genius way to handle the sometimes brutal winter is to arrange a golfing holiday to sunnier climbs.
If you're considering swapping a woolly hat for sunscreen over the coming months, you'll likely have Portugal on your list of possible golf breaks. Viewed by many as the premier golfing destination in Europe, Portugal is home to many top-class golf courses which each have their own charm.
Two particular jewels in the crown of Portgual's golfing scene...
Set in the heart of Vilamoura in the Algarve region, Dom Pedro has a portfolio of five separate stunning golf courses.
Oitavos Dunes, located in Lisbon, is another great option for winter golf in Portugal. It's a beautiful course with the Sintra Mountains and spectacular Cascais Bay coastline as its backdrop.
If you're looking to level-up your golf game this winter, join Hole19 FREE today by clicking your iOS or Android button below. You can also learn more about the game-enhancing benefits of Hole19 Premium.