A daily golf swing routine when bad weather hits

Glen Lea Golf Course
Glen Lea Golf Course/Twitter
This April photo from Glen Lea Golf Course in Brandon, Manitoba, shows the weather isn't always cooperative.
By Mark Aumann

Problem Area: Fundamentals
Series: Lesson Learned

Published: Monday, December 01, 2014 | 1:33 p.m.

Looking for a good drill to retain that muscle memory when the weather turns bad? Follow the lead of baseball players in the on-deck circle.

That's the advice of PGA head golf professional Kevin Piecuch of the Country Club of Greenfield, Mass. Baseball players will sometimes add a heavy weight to their bats and take a few regular cuts before they step up to the plate. It loosens up the shoulders, torso and arms, and prepares their muscles for the task of hitting a baseball.

PROPER PREPARATION: Tips for playing in cold weather

You can do the same thing at home by consistently swinging your heaviest club -- or by adding some weight to it -- if you can't get to the practice range or course on a regular basis because of weather.

In this case, Piecuch said, you're looking to keep the muscles that control your golf swing strong and flexible, and retain positive muscle memory. That will eliminate or reduce the amount of "rustiness" when Mother Nature allows you back outside to play.

"The idea is to use any club where you can feel the weight on it," Piecuch said. "You can tie a towel to the end of it. It doesn't matter the length of the club.

"It's all about getting swings with a purpose. Don't just swing the club back and forth fast, but stop and make a full swing every time. I find that makes a really big difference."

If you can do this drill every day, Piecuch said, you may be surprised when better weather returns.

GETTING LOOSE: Five tips for warming up on cold days

"If you can do 25 to 50 swings a day with a heavy club, I find it makes a big difference come spring," Piecuch said. "My students who have done that have increased clubspeed by two or three miles per hour over a three-month period, which is equivalent to 15 to 20 yards off the tee."

Piecuch suggests finding a good spot around the house where you can make a full swing without worrying about hitting the ceiling -- whether that's the garage, the basement or a spare room. Even in Massachusetts, there's usually decent enough weather to do the swing drill outside of the house before the cold drives you back inside. 

"You can even do it outdoors," Piecuch said. "We're not Antartica here all the time. In the wintertime, when it's 25 to 30 degrees out there and the wind's not blowing, you can step outside on your driveway and get in 15, 20 swings. If you can do it every day, it's good."




Try this ...