Make sure to read the whole post. Inclement Weather and Practice is below after the schedule.
Well it’s that time of year.
Here it is January again and the West Coast Swing for the PGA tour is starting up. The current schedule for the tour is.
Jan. 19 – 23 Bob Hope Classic
PGA West (Palmer Course), La Quinta, California
PGA West (Nicklaus Course), La Quinta, California
La Quinta CC, La Quinta, California
Silver Rock, La Quinta, California
Purse: $5,000,000 Bill Haas (D) $900,000
Jan. 27 – 30 Farmers Insurance Open
Torrey Pines (South Course), San Diego, California
Torrey Pines (North Course), San Diego, California
Purse: $5,800,000 Ben Crane (D) $954,000
Feb. 03 – 06 Waste Management Phoenix Open
TPC Scottsdale, Scottsdale, Arizona
Purse: $6,100,000 Hunter Mahan (D) $1,080,000
Feb. 10 – 13 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Pebble Beach Golf Links, Pebble Beach, California
Monterey Peninsula CC, Pebble Beach, California
Spyglass Hill GC, Pebble Beach, California
Purse: $6,300,000 Dustin Johnson (D) $1,116,000
Feb. 17 – 20 Northern Trust Open
Riviera CC, Pacific Palisades, California
Purse: $6,500,000 Steve Stricker (D) $1,152,000
I am always amazed at this time of year in watching what happens on the range. Here it is 50 degrees outside (I know for your Northerners that’s like summer, but here in southern California that’s cold. And that brings me to what I see on the range and lesson tee.
Here I am bundled up to no end, wearing layered clothing so thick you could mistake me for the Michelin Man, others are outside wearing t-shirts and shorts, amazing, and they wonder why they catch pneumonia.
Seriously, I love golf as much as the next person and definitely more than others, but t-shirts and shorts??? As I said it was 50 degrees outside and that is without a breeze that takes it into the low 40’s. BRRRRR, is all I can say.
I know, you might be thinking I must not have ever experienced real cold. Well not true, I spent my youth and teenage years in Northwest Indiana, and if you think the winds coming off Lake Michigan in the winter aren’t cold, guess again. I remember the days of -20 below wind chill. So, yes 50 degrees is a heat wave compared to a Chicago land winter.
But the upside is that people are out and hitting balls, practicing and playing golf and to me that is a hard core golfer. Bravo and kudos to those that are least wanting to get better. This brings me to the next part of this post.
Winter is actually the best time to get lessons, this is when you work your kinks out for next season. Even more so, during the winter, our worst swing will show up and that really helps both you and your PGA or LPGA Professional find out the real problems (if any) that you need to work on.
When you are practicing in colder weather, make sure that you are at least staying aware of doing these three things. Staying warm, Dry, and Swinging Easy. I have seen many a golf career shortened due to wanting to swing harder, especially in the winter months. I am talking from both a amateur and professional perspective. I am also speaking from personal experience.
In the winter we already know that the golf ball does not compress as easily, this in turn results in both a lower ball flight but also less distance. It is very easy to disregard and forget that the ball does not fly as far in the cold weather winter months. And in wanting to get the most distance we swing harder and this is where problems begin. Thankfully we only have to live with it for a few months out of the year.
Be careful. you want to make sure you avoid pulling muscles or worse tearing them. Always make sure you are layered well in your clothing. And certainly take your time when practicing. We may be short on daylight, but that’s not enough reason to get careless as that will hurt your game.
I might personally only take to hitting 100 or 200 balls at maximum over a whole days time during the winter, where as during the spring, summer, and fall seasons I will hit 400-500 balls.
Take longer to warm up before hitting full shots and even then limit you full swing practice to 1/4 to 1/3 of your entire bucket at most.
Don’t get me wrong here, practicing in winter or inclement weather is great, just be smart about it and use this time of year to really work hard on your short game and approach shots from 130 yards and in. Practice doing things like taking 3/4 shots with your 9 Iron versus trying to force full shots with your wedge. In short, club up and swing easier.
By doing this, you will be adding a new shot to your arsenal and building your confidence at using that extra club in your bag. You never know when you will need it come time to play. A third thing that happens here is, you really do increase your creativity, that in itself is huge in terms of playing smart, and then you really are using that 15th club in the bag we all need. That 15th club is the one we all carry, it’s the one on our shoulders.
In my next post I will be talking about how to change your golf arsenal around and maximize for your benefit. I will leave you with this question…How is it possible to legally have 85 clubs in your bag every time you play and yes I am including golf tournaments.
Until next time, hit em long, straight and as few times as possible, Happy Golfing and have a great day.
For more lessons on finding your own Golf Equation, go to http://robbnunn.com and get signed up, it’s free.