How to Play Better Golf in the Fall: Cement that Summer Swing
By Keith Stewart, PGA
Eli R. tees it up at the Wasatch Mountain Course.
You just left work. You have just enough time to stop off at the course and play a quick nine on before you head home. It’s a wonderful ritual. The course serves as a decompression chamber from the events of your day. No range session, just get me out there to enjoy life’s greatest pleasure. Within moments after arrival, the peg is in the ground and the ball is launched into the air.
Reality check, it is not August anymore; it’s November. Whether you are up north or down south the sunlight is quickly evaporating with each waking day. Most of us cannot leave the office early, and now with the change of clocks just around the corner we face the cold harsh reality of after work golf going away.
“If I can’t sneak in a couple holes on a weeknight, how will I keep my game going between weekends, or into the offseason?”
Fear not. As the fall takes hold of our lives, and the sun stops shining a light on our weekday fun, there is a way to make the most of your “golf time.”
We’re talkin’ about Practice!
The best place to start is by using the practice tee more than the first tee. As the season is ending or your playing time wanes, get more reps in a shorter amount of time by hitting the range. Here’s a quick drill you can do with every club (but the putter) to cement that mid-season form.
- Take three balls and lay them on the ground.
- Hit the first one with a half swing.
- Hit the second ball with a ¾ swing.
- Hit the third ball with a full swing.
Use the swing thought/key you worked on all season for all three swings. Make sure each shot is successful. If you hit an unsuccessful shot, start back at the half swing. Always try to hit the three specific shots in a row.
At some point, offseason or in-season weather or sunlight keeps us from the course. Create an indoor golf studio at home. Buy a couple of putting aids or a little chipping net. Grab a vertical mirror you can swing in front of. If you don’t have tall ceilings, buy a wooden dowel the width of a shaft, cut it down and place a grip on it. The most important aspect of training is to keep doing it.
Start a search
PGA Coaches are everywhere. Start with PGA.com and search for a PGA Pro near you. Maybe they have an indoor facility? There also are PGA Coaches on YouTube who create free videos for training and practice during the offseason. By the way, offseason stands for “I cannot do it during the day.” It doesn’t just mean “because it is too cold.” PGA Members are an endless resource.
Golf is a lifestyle sport. Keep that “golf time” on your schedule all year long. By staying in the swing of things you’ll be able to carry over that recent success during any lapse in play. In 2022, there’s a thousand ways to stay connected to the game. Take the kids to TopGolf, practice in the garage, join a gym or just get together with your playing partners and practice at a lighted/heated range.
The most important lesson today is to keep going. A golf journey can go on as long as you want… just don’t stop!