The cold weather makes it tough on your golf game. Practicing golf in the winter comes with its challenges, but it is possible.
When I was younger, I had about 1 inch of clearance in my garage, but I made it work to be able to swing. I set up a mat, worked on hitting balls into a net (simulators didn’t even exist) and set goals to be ready for the spring.
I’ll show you some of the best ways to practice golf in winter, even if you don’t have a home simulator or practice facility you can use. You may be surprised how much technology has changed and how it can help you with your winter practice.
Practice Golf in Winter – Key Takeaways
- Although hitting golf balls is important, you can practice golf without ever striking a ball.
- To get better at golf during the winter months, it helps to invest in technology to make sure the technology can record data that you can analyze and use to lower your scores.
- Working on your physical fitness and overall mobility is one of the best things to do throughout the winter.
- Keep a club around you at all times; consistency in the grip can fade rather quickly when you are out of practice; even just gripping a club a few times throughout the day will help.
- Watch golf as much as you can; learning course management and swing technique from the professionals will change your game.
- If you are lucky enough to have access to a simulator, take full advantage of it and work on preparing for the season.
- The 11 Ways to Practice Golf in Winter
- 1. Set Up a Stretching Routine
- 2. Grip Practice and Consistency
- 3. Work on Wrist Angles and Squaring the Clubface
- 4. Watch Golf to Improve Strategy
- 5. Short Game Drills and Practice
- 6. Putting Competitions – What to Focus On
- 7. Compare Analytics from Previous Seasons
- 8. Online Golf Webinars
- 9. Record Your Swing
- 10. Practice Mindfulness
- 11. Golf Simulator Rounds
- Final Thoughts
Learn wrist mechanics for FREE and optimize your winter practice.
The 11 Ways to Practice Golf in Winter
1. Set Up a Stretching Routine
Stretching is a very important skill to add to your golf practice routine. When you stretch, you are able to increase your mobility and make it easy to maximize power and consistency in your swing.
I found that my mobility in my upper body was more limited than I thought. By starting a stretching regime, I was able to increase my range of motion and add a little bit of speed to my swing.
Interestingly, when you watch golfers who struggle to get the power they want, they start making unnecessary movements in their swing. Stretching and increasing your range of motion can make your movements more natural and keep your club on the proper plane.
2. Grip Practice and Consistency
One of the areas of the game that starts to fall apart over the winter months is the grip.
Let’s face it: the golf grip is a bit odd, and it doesn’t always feel natural. If you take a few months off and never grip the club, you may struggle with the consistency in your grip position by the time the spring comes around.
Instead, spend some time this winter working on your grip consistency.
You can use the HackMotion swing analyzer to get a baseline for a good grip by recording your wrist position at setup. Based on your hand size, natural wrist-to-hand connection, and overall golf style, there is no perfect grip position when it comes to the wrists.
However, you can analyze if the wrist has too much extension or flexion to start (strength and weakness of the grip), as well as the consistency in your grip from one swing to the next.
If your numbers vary by one or two degrees, you are doing great; if they are off by 10-30 degrees, there may be some issues in consistency.
Develop this consistent grip through the winter months so you are off and running in the spring.
3. Work on Wrist Angles and Squaring the Clubface
Your wrists square your clubface in the golf swing. If wrist action is incorrect, your clubface could be open or closed by the time you get to the impact position.
Luckily, this can be fixed in the wintertime as you are working on your golf game. All you need is an area large enough to swing the golf club and the HackMotion device.
HackMotion will not only tell you what your angles are throughout your swing but also provide you with some models of better wrist patterns so you can shoot lower scores.
After analyzing more than 1,000,000 golf swings, HackMotion has proven that having very little extension and, instead, a bit of flexion in the lead wrist at impact gives you the best chance of a great golf shot.
In addition, you can work on squaring the clubface from the top more quickly. If your position at the top is open, work on squaring it as your first move down so you don’t lose power and accuracy.
4. Watch Golf to Improve Strategy
Watching golf on television can teach you a lot. Watching golf makes it easier to see what you need to do in your golf game and what the professionals are doing differently.
Pay very close attention to the following things:
- Clubs that players are using around the green.
- The way they are controlling the golf ball (fade, draw, etc.).
- How do they handle getting in trouble.
- What clubs are being played off the tee box.
- The pre-shot routines on the course and on the putting greens.
5. Short Game Drills and Practice
With the short game being “short,” you can practice it inside your home. I recommend getting some foam golf balls and using those to try and hit different shots around the house.
My favorite thing to practice is distance control.
Let’s face it: a foam ball and a real golf ball don’t feel the same, even when some practice gear companies try to make them sound like they do.
Instead, focus less on how far the ball is going and more on how you can learn to control your distances. Pick three targets: a shot in the middle and a long, and hit one to the short, then the middle, then the long. Now work backward from long to middle to short. This type of distance control is incredibly helpful.
6. Putting Competitions – What to Focus On
Putting indoors can be a bit boring and make you feel as though you really aren’t getting anywhere. When putting indoors, I like to focus more on repeating a stroke and becoming a good green reader.
If you have ever tried putting it in your home, you may be surprised that the floor is not necessarily flat.
You will have to learn the break and eventually master it to make putts. I’ll even hit putts on different surfaces to make myself adjust and learn the touch and feel necessary to execute these shots.
The bottom line is to get creative; it won’t hurt your game.
Pro Tip: Wear your HackMotion while practicing putting indoors and see if your putting stroke remains consistent from one putt to the next.
7. Compare Analytics from Previous Seasons
Another great way to practice golf in the winter is to take some time to look at your stats and data from the previous season. You can look at the areas of your game that were the weakest and then use this information to help give you guidance in your practice.
I like to put together some goals for myself and then spend some time in the winter learning and preparing for the rest of the season.
8. Online Golf Webinars
An online golf webinar is a great way to learn more about the areas of your game that need help and to practice in the winter. Online golf webinars are often free, but there are several learning platforms that you can subscribe to as well.
The HackMotion learning center is a great place to start to educate yourself about the role of the wrist in the golf swing and how professionals are able to improve ball striking with the proper wrist angles.
9. Record Your Swing
As you practice your golf swing throughout the winter, make sure to take some recordings. I like to record the swing in the fall so you have a baseline to work on.
Then, you can compare the videos with other data you have collected about your golf game and use them to work on your swing throughout the winter.
I recommend taking a video recording at least once per month and comparing it to previous months. Since you won’t be able to play quite as much golf, you are going to at least want to be sure your practice is paying off, and you are actually improving your scores.
10. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a very smart thing to work on as part of your winter practice. Mindfulness teaches you how to live in the moment. On the golf course, playing great golf is all about playing one shot at a time.
If you think about the double bogey on the previous hole or the birdie you need to make on the next hole, you lose focus and commitment.
Instead, stay mindful of where you are in your round, stay in the moment, and hit the shot you need to hit.
Practice mindfulness throughout the entire winter and then translate it to your game. You can start every morning by brushing your teeth and only thinking about brushing your teeth.
Don’t let your mind wander; just stay focused on the task at hand.
It’s easier said than done!
11. Golf Simulator Rounds
Finally, if you do have the resources and the financial means, having a golf simulator to practice golf in winter is a great solution. I won’t tell you that all simulators are going to be perfectly accurate; you may find that some are a bit off, but it’s still a great way to keep your game going in the off-season.
When using a golf simulator, make sure you are still collecting data about your golf game and working on the fundamentals that matter.
Just as you would do on the course, make time for practice in addition to just playing rounds of golf. Try to make the simulator round as much like the real golf course as possible. Take a pre-shot routine, focus on tempo, and improve your strategy.
Improve your game in two weeks, even if 'wrist motion' sounds like rocket science
Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions about practicing golf in the winter.
How do you practice golf in the offseason?
Practice golf in the off-season by working on fundamentals indoors, and find a place large enough to at least swing a golf club. In addition, when the weather is warm enough, find a local course that will allow you to get out any chance you get.
How do you hit golf balls in the winter?
A golf simulator or a net in the garage can be a great way to practice golf in the winter. More indoor places for practicing golf are popping up, making it easier to find solutions in the off months.
How can I practice golf indoors?
Practicing golf indoors is not too hard if you have around 9 feet of height in your rooms. The clearance makes it possible to hit shots into a net and, swing a golf club and record your swing.
How many hours a day should you practice golf?
Most golfers find that about 30 to 60 minutes a day is all they need to be great golfers. If you are a professional, you may spend all day practicing. Some higher handicappers may only hit golf balls once a week for a few minutes.
Hopefully, you have some ideas to practice golf in the winter and become a better overall player. Dealing with seasons can be difficult as a golfer, but you don’t have to give up the game completely.
With modern technology and things like the HackMotion, it’s easier than ever to practice golf in winter.
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