Firstly, we’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy new year
With the heavy rain of late showing no sign of disappearing anytime soon and shorter days of winter, you’re probably thinking about how you can maintain (or even improve) your game over the next few months, so that you are ready to make 2020 your best year yet. To make this happen, here are 5 to make this off season as productive as possible.
1. Evaluate and Reflect on 2019
The end of the year is a good time to reflect and evaluate the golf season. What did you learn about the effectiveness of your practice and play? What went well? Let’s celebrate your most successful rounds and moments and figure out what you need to work on to make 2020 even better. What were your strengths and weaknesses over the season? To get the clearest, most honest look at the state of your game, you have to look at your stats. Did you keep stats in 2019? The numbers don’t lie and require you to be vulnerable about your weaknesses. Once you have these numbers you’ll know what your priorities should be during your winter training and for 2020, and you’ll be able to measure your progress. If you don’t already keep stats then consider it as a priority for this year by utilising one of the many apps available or even just a good old fashioned pen and paper
2. Set Goals for 2020
What do you want to achieve next year and how are you going to achieve it? What is your purpose for achieving those goals? Instead of setting non quantifiable goals like “Winning the captains prize” or ”having a top 10 in a specific tournament” consider the 3 main types of goals –
Outcome goals – Season long, by November 2020
Performance goals – Mid term,stats for specific areas of the game you need to improve to get you to your outcome goal.
Process goals – what specifically you are going to do to achieve your performance goals. This way, your goals are more within your control and don’t require you to judge your game relative to others. Think about the person and player you would like to become next year and the mental characteristics you would like to develop more of. Break it down into weekly and even daily tasks.
3. Start a Golf specific fitness regime
Getting in the gym will help your golf game in a number of ways: First, golf is a game that is quickly becoming about power and distance, so if you don’t currently have a golf specific fitness regime, you’re losing out on increased distance and the longevity of being able to play the game at a high level for longer (especially if you’re over 40). Second, better overall fitness will lower your resting heart rate and improve your ability to play well under pressure. Your winter training for golf should include 2+ gym sessions per week including a combination of cardio and strength and conditioning. I recently signed up for a course of exercises with TPI golf fitness coach Francis Courtney and am feeling the benefits already. Francis can be contacted on 087 650 0029.
4. Practice more effectively
Most golfers go to the driving range and spend the whole session tinkering with their swing, which doesn’t help them improve in the long-term. Start 2020 with a better approach to practice and game improvement. Just because you might not be able to get to the course during the winter months, doesn’t mean that you can’t practice playing golf ! Use your time at the driving range more efficiently by structuring your time into these key 4 areas –
Warm up – Stretching followed by chipping and pitching
Technical focus – Pick one specific area of your technique
Random practice – Hit shots to various targets and alternate the club after each shot
Performance practice – Compete against yourself or a partner and record the results
5. Start a performance journal
Most of the students I work with make regular entries in their “performance journal”.. Keeping a performance journal is proven to be very powerful. Writing is a great way to reflect on your performance and practice, and stay committed to your goals. Write your daily goals in your performance journal and hold yourself accountable to getting them done. Even better, share them with your coach to further increase your accountability. After each practice session, write down how you spent your time, what goal you were working towards and what exercises you were doing.
If you’d like to make 2020 your best golfing year yet the contact our PGA Professionals and get started today.
Head Professional Mark Heinemann 087 2209663
Teaching Professional Ciaran McKenna 085 151 6204