Winter Golf Practice – Complete Training Program
You’ve got a problem on your hands don’t you? Golf courses are shutting down left and right for winter, forcing you indoors and leaving you wondering what sort of winter golf training program to follow this golf off-season to save your game from destruction.
I get it. I was in your shoes when I growing up in the Midwest. The golf off season started in November when it would begin snowing and last until late March.
It can be frustrating to make great strides in your golf game during the golf season only to see it come to an end due to weather. You end up sitting inside all winter, letting your swing digress and your body loses its flexibility.
When spring arrives, your golf game is clearly rusty as you’ve reverted back to poor contact on golf shots and three putting occurs on the greens.
You feel like you’ve lost all the progress you made last season and have to waste a few months getting back to where you once were.
How to Practice Golf In the Winter?
To prevent losing progress in your golf game, you need to practice golf in the winter. How much you practice golf in the winter is up to you, but the more the better!
The easiest solution is to follow a winter golf training program that keeps you focused and active each week. It should include drills, stretching, workouts, and mental preparation.
Here’s a simple putting drill you can do in your living room to keep the putter hot all winter.
Following a winter golf program will keep you motivated and on-schedule so you have structure rather than relying on random days of practice here and there.
If you’re dedicated to the game and improving at golf, then you’ll use the off season winter time for building up your body, your mind, and your fundamentals. Ready to see our best tips for winter golf practice? Keep reading below.
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What Should Your Winter Golf Practice Program Include?
- Golf swings indoors
- Golf drills for putting, chipping, short game
- Golf exercises and workouts
- Golf mental game strategies
- Vacation to warm climates & fun golf courses
The first area of focus is starting an off season golf workout program. Adding strength and maintaining flexibility will be key!
You can come out next spring hitting longer drives off the tee, which will result in hitting shorter clubs for your approach shots into the green, giving you better control and accuracy.
Your winter golf practice program will also want to focus on maintaining solid contact in your golf swing! You can achieve great ball striking by swinging indoors, either at home or a local range.
I also recommend that you grab a pack of foam golf balls from Amazon that you can hit inside without breaking anything.
Most importantly, spend the winter months improving your education! Incorporate reading books, website articles, watching video instruction into your winter training routine!
Grow your understanding of the game and why things happen the way they do in golf. Learn new golf drills to implement into your golf practice routine.
There’s lots of things you can do in the golf off-season to stay active and focused on improving your golf game indoors at home.
It comes down to your motivation level and pushing yourself to do these things each week when you have other options calling your focus away from golf.
Let’s get into some specifics now of actions you can take this winter and incorporate into your winter golf training program.
Winter Golf Training Program Must Have #1 – Hit The Gym
One of the most overlooked things in golf training is proper strength training and conditioning. Every swing adds up over the course of an eighteen hole golf game.
The amount of power and precision that goes into every swing takes a toll as the game progresses.
Depending on the course and the elements, fatigue starts setting at some point between the 9th hole to the last hole of your round of golf. Most players start experiencing break down between holes 12 through 15.
Without building your strength, you’ll overexert yourself on each swing trying to get power. It’ll wear down on your energy until your control gets worse and worse as the game progresses.
By developing your strength in the gym, even if only two or three times a week, you’ll add power while improving control and focus on your swing through technique.
The best winter golf exercises for golf strength training workouts
While there are a number of pre-built golf workouts that are available to read online and golf books filled with specific exercise systems, the best approach is usually the simplest.
Spending only a few hours in the week working on golf strength training will keep your schedule open and your time commitment low. A couple of the most successful golf exercises that impact your strength include:
Well used squats can add power to your pivot. Starting off with high rep, medium weight will lead to both strength development and greater muscular endurance over the course of a game.
Finding your medium weight can be as easy as taking your max and cutting it in half, incrementally adding five pounds until the weight is slightly difficult but doable without maximum exertion over the course of at least ten reps per set.
Core strength is important. An easy workout that isn’t too strenuous on the spine or neck are bicycle kicks. These require you to lay flat on your back, and bending slightly at the neck, placing both hands behind your head with your elbows out and legs raised straight out.
As you bring one leg up to your chest, bringing the opposite elbow down to meet it, holding for one to three seconds then alternating. Doing three to five sets of twenty whilst never letting your feet or head touch the floor will build up abdominal strength and core muscles.
Must Read: 4 Golf Exercises to Build Core Muscles
For greater arm strength and dexterity, kettle bell swings are simple exercise that add greater control and strength due to the dynamic fluidity required by this exercise.
Starting off with a kettlebell in your hands rested on the floor with your knees slightly bent, raise up the kettlebell and swing it from one side of your body to the other.
Start off with 10 swings at around 20 pounds, and incorporate three to five sets per session. This will lead to more power on the strike.
Winter Golf Training Tip #2 – Improve Your Cardio & Endurance
We talked earlier about how the average golfer experiences fatigue later on in their golf round due to the toll each swing takes on your game over 2-4 hours of play.
Building up your cardio with improve your durability and help you maintain control over your golf swing and mental focus late into your golf round.
Work Up Your Distance/Length You Can Run without Stopping
Whether you’re running indoors on a treadmill or outdoors around you neighborhood, start off with a low training volume and increase your distance as you go.
For example, try running a half mile the first week. Then increase this to 1 mile in week 2 and 2 miles by week 4. Small increments will move you closer to a long distance over time and not overwhelm you initially trying to run 5 miles in week
Will & Focus
A side benefit is the mental resilience developed from running/jogging. Runners develop amazing mental strength by pushing themselves beyond what they think they’re capable of.
It takes a lot of mental toughness to keep running some days and to achieve certain running milestones or goals set. There is no better feeling than accomplishing your goals.
An alternative to running is swimming. It may be easier on your body and joints than running while still giving you cardio and endurance benefits. Either way, incorporate cardio into your golf fitness training program.
Give these winter golf exercises a try and see a more complete swing come together next season with a combination of flexibility, stability, and power.
Winter Golf Training Tip #3 – Visit Indoor Driving Ranges
Most cities have an indoor golf range or a heated golf driving range that allows players to remain active during the off season winter months. Try Google searching “Indoor golf driving ranges near me” and see what comes up in the search results.
If your city doesn’t have an indoor golf driving range, it’s too expensive, or too far away, then an alternative is working on your golf swing at home.
Find a room with ample space and high enough ceiling to do some practice swings. This may mean heading out to your garage.
You can also work on half swings, slow motion swings, etc. to master each phase of the golf swing. Ideally, find a mirror you can get in front of to work on technique or video tape yourself and play it back later for review.
The most important part is just staying active to keep your muscle memory of how to swing a golf club. From there you can maintain your contact skill (ball striking) by hitting at an indoor driving range or hitting foam balls indoors.
Practice Indoor Golf Drills Each Week
Indoor Golf Chipping Practice Drills
It’s difficult to practice the golf swing indoors if you have limited space. Luckily, the chipping stroke requires less space and is a much smaller stroke compared to the full swing.
Since chipping is easy to do indoors, you should be able to maintain solid contact on your chip shots all winter.
I recommend folding a towel and placing it different distances away from you to act as the target you are chipping to.
The goal is to land your chips on the towel and not worry about the roll after words. Alternatively, you could set up a bucket to chip into as long as it’s not too high off the ground.
As far as the surface you chip off of is concerned, carpet is ideal but you can go a step further and purchase a chipping turf mat from Amazon to prevent wear and tear on your carpet.
Indoor Golf Putting Practice Drills
When it comes to putting, you want to work on fundamentals during the off-season. Improving your golf putting stroke will be key to your success when golf resumes in the spring.
If you’re putting stroke path needs alignment work, grab a few books and set them on the ground forming a tunnel/path for your putter.
Try to make straight strokes without bumping into these books that are acting as guides for your putting stroke path.
Choppy strokes can result in an open or closed putter face at impact, pushing or pulling the putt offline. Work on making impact with the golf ball with a square putter face to start the ball on line.
You can test if your ball starts on line by drawing a line on the ground or putting to a small coin a few feet in front of you.
Grab my golf skills assessment challenge and see how good your golf skills are in different areas of the game: Driving, Iron Play, Chipping, Putting, etc.
Stretch Daily to Stay Flexible & Prevent Injury
Golf Stretching Exercises
Flexibility is often overlooked as one of the more important centerpieces to a well rounded golf game. Stretching is one way to preserve flexibility as well as increase it.
Flexibility is important because it contributes to a fluid golf swing, allowing the body to turn as needed during a swing. It can even add distance to your golf clubs when improved as well as maintain distance as you age.
Focus on hip-flexer stretches as well as hamstring stretches.
You can also work on your shoulder turn by sitting in a chair and twisting your body as far as possible without risking injury. Use the chair as leverage by grabbing it to hold your turn for a few seconds, stretching your back and core muscles.
Take a Golf Vacation
If you have the time and money, taking a midwinter siesta or a few trips to warmer climates where you can play golf can be beneficial.
In addition to giving extra practice, the opportunity to play golf will allow you to test how your skills have progressed during winter training.
You’ll have good measurement of how your winter golf training program has been progressing and what still needs to be worked on in the remaining weeks of the off-season.
Best Places to Travel for a Golf Vacation:
- Florida, USA
- Caribbean Islands
- Southern California
Overall, your winter golf training program should include the following checklist:
- Golf strength training workouts
- Golf specific stretching & flexibility exercises
- Cardio & endurance workouts
- Golf swing drills for ball striking/contact improvement
- Chipping drills for controlling distance with your wedges
- Chipping drills for contact and ball striking consistency
- Putting drills to practice fundamentals (stroke & alignment)
Start out mapping out your golf off-season timeline. Determine how many months you’ll be forced to practice golf indoors at home and create a practice schedule template to go off of.
Decide which days of the week you’ll hit the gym to perform golf specific workouts and cardio. Decide which days of the week you’ll perform short game practice drills and make golf swings at home.
Also don’t forget to schedule time to have some fun with the family by going to an indoor putt putt golf center or an indoor golf driving range.
Lastly, check out the Golf Training System we created for anyone looking for structure so that you don’t have to worry about trying to create your own practice plan.