How to Practice Golf in the Winter

Thanksgiving is over and it is now December. Winter has set in and the weather outside isn’t exactly conducive for golf, especially if you are located in an area that experiences cold weather.

Winter can last a few months but you need to be on top of your golf game when spring arrives. The only way to keep your game sharp is to practice.

However, one cannot practice putting, chipping, and driving in the snow. It can be very easy to simply put away your golf clubs for a few months and not work on your game.

There are plenty of winter golf practice drills and activities that you can do to sharpen your game even when temperatures outside are sub-zero. All you need is the will to practice golf during winter and some out-of-the-box thinking.

Resource: Check out our practice plans that show you what drills to practice step by step

Golf Fitness to Work on During Winter

Before you think about golf swings and shots, consider working on your fitness. It is common knowledge that professional golfers like Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy work on their physical condition during the off-season.

There are plenty of exercises that you can do indoors or at the gym. Putting on the right amount of muscle and managing your weight during the festive season is an important part of any winter golf practice plan.

You can create a schedule for aerobic exercise about four days a week and weight lifting for three days a week. The exact number of days may vary depending on your physical condition but creating a plan and sticking to it is important during the winter months.

Losing weight and strengthening the muscles can help you in preventing injuries when you go come back to the golf course in spring. Without the right kind of conditioning, your body is at risk of getting injured.

You can also consider doing yoga every day to improve your flexibility. Playing golf involves stretching certain muscles and ligaments. It takes only a second to snap a ligament or get a muscle injury if you are not flexible enough. If you need to, consult a trainer or yoga instructor to help you with some flexibility exercises.

Lastly, let’s talk about mental health. Conditioning is not just a physical thing. You need to be mentally strong as well to be successful on the golf course.

If you can combine yoga with meditation, then that can do wonders. Try to find things in your game that gives you confidence. You want your mind to be in a positive environment. That can come through certain drills, by reading certain kinds of books, or by listening to podcasts. Whatever works for you, dedicate some time towards building up your mental health.

We created this golf fitness program for golfers to follow at home year round or during the winter golf off season months.

Analyzing stats and setting goals

Before you begin swinging your club, prepare a plan for your winter golf practice. You need to know the areas of your game that you want to cover during the winter season. How will you address each of those areas, and how will you measure the progress of your practice for each area?

Simply practicing golf randomly is not going to be the best use of your time. It is highly recommended that you start maintaining some stats of your golf game unless you already are.

For example, keep a record of how you perform on fairways, on putting greens, drives, and in sand pits. Knowing your stats will then enable you to prioritize areas of your game that need to most work on.

Once you have this information, you can then prepare your winter practice plan more effectively.

With so much technology available, it is not very difficult to enter some information into a device or even an excel sheet after every round of golf that you play. It will take some time and effort from your side, but the results will be very satisfying when you can go back and review your game.

Imagine knowing that you had way too many shots on the putting green than on the fairway. You then will know that you need to head to an indoor putting range or set up a putting mat in your home during the winter.

Once you have a plan in place, you need to know how to measure the progress. Your stats database will be handy here. If you want to improve your putting, for example, then you know that you have to keep an eye on your average score by putting from different distances.

Resource: Check out our practice plans that show you what drills to practice step by step

How to practice putting in winter

Putting is one of the easiest golf strokes to practice during any season. The reason is that putting does not require a large open space or a full-blown swing of the golf club. Space constraints can be managed when practicing putting.

It is natural for any golfer to wonder how to practice putting in the winter. The answer is finding the right spot to practice.

If you feel that it is convenient for you to drive to a driving/putting range, then that is where you can practice. However, the putting green has to be close enough to your home and it should be open during hours after you come back from work. A night-time putting practice green is great for folks who have to work full-time.

If there are time or travel constraints, then you can try and purchase a golf putting mat online. There are plenty of putting-related products available these days that can be set up in your living room. You can also try and create a “golf room” in your house if there are any unused rooms.

Once you have finalized your location, you can think about different types of drills to practice your putting.

One of the most common drills is to stand a few feet away from the hole and putt. Then, stand away from the hole again but at a different angle. Keep repeating until you go around the hole like a clock. This will help you put at different angles.

Another putting drill is to place a club or stick a few inches behind the hole. Then practice your putt such that you either hit the hole or go slightly past it. You should not allow the ball to touch the club/stick that is placed behind the hole.

You can also place two clubs/sticks on either side of the ball to form a “track”. Then try to focus and hit the ball through this corridor. Once you ace this drill, you can place a couple of tees a few inches down from where you are and try to hit the ball through the corridor formed by the two tees.

If you want to practice the tempo and acceleration of your putting stroke, then place a coin on the back of the putter head. Then, as you swing to take the shot, the coin should drop just after you complete the backswing and move forward in transition.

Well-known golf coach Phil Kenyon suggests that the coin should fall away from the target in the opposite direction. You can find plenty of such winter golf practice tips if you spend some time researching them.

Resource: Check out our practice plans that show you what drills to practice step by step

How to Practice Your Golf Swing in the Winter

Usually, one would imagine a golfer to practice his/her swing outdoors on a golf course. But, you can get creative and practice your swing even when it is freezing cold outside. You can actually practice your swing in the garage, if your garage is large enough or if you can park your car outside for an hour or two.

You can also consider going to a driving range that has heated stalls. That way, you can still get the feel of hitting real golf shots while practicing your swing.

If you really want to practice your driving, then try to find a range with a large dome. However, if you are a working professional, then you will have to find a domed range that is open late in the evening.

If you are serious about finding answers to the question “how to practice your golf swing in the winter”, then you will have to get creative or find places that let you swing a club. Purchasing a hitting net to hit balls into is another way to practice your golf swing in the winter.

If you do plan to practice your golf swing in your garage, then try using a weighted golf club. Such clubs are shorter than regular clubs but they help improve the strength of your wrists and arms.

Besides practicing your golf swing, you can also utilize the winter season to perfect your grip. You can work on your grip in your home. Create a schedule and make sure you practice that grip several days a week.

The idea is to hold the club without too much tension in your hands. Some professionals also wrap paper around the grip and then practice the golf swing such that the paper does not make a lot of crinkling noise.

Some golf courses remain open all year, even during the winter. Try to find such golf courses in your city or town. You can always go there and practice. You can also try to find out if such courses run any golf camps or courses during the winter.

Resource: Check out our practice plans that show you what drills to practice step by step

How to Practice Chipping in the Winter

Chipping is often an overlooked shot in golf practice. Most people spend their time hitting balls at the driving range or working on their putting. However, chipping is an equally important part of any serious golfer’s game.

Amateur golfers and beginners should work even more on their chip shots because they are more likely to miss the greens during a round of golf.

There are a few ways in which one can sharpen a chipping stroke. If you are wondering how to practice chipping in the winter, you should know that winter is one of the best times to work on your chipping.

A chip shot is not a long-range shot. Practicing your short game allows you to work indoors. With freezing weather outside, you would prefer to stay indoors or go to an indoor golf facility.

You can practice chipping by using a chipping mat and a chipping net. The mat is useful because it will prevent your carpet or your home floor from getting damaged. A chipping net is useful as stray golf balls might damage your furniture.

Both of these items are easily available online and in sporting goods stores. You can also opt to use rubber golf balls rather than the regular hard ones. If a chipping mat is not available to you, then substitute it with a cheap rug.

One of the most common chipping drills is to hit 5 chip shots with different clubs. Each club has a certain loft and practicing with different clubs will give you a feel for the speed and control.

If you don’t have a chipping net, then place three towels are varying distances. Then, try to chip such that the ball lands on the towel. Do this for three different distances.

You can make your drills more fun (or competitive) by inviting a friend or two. The one who hits the chipping target the most is the winner.

Resource: Check out our practice plans that show you what drills to practice step by step

Summing it all up

Working on your golf game in the winter is not that difficult. You may or may not be able to do all of the things mentioned here. However, there will at least be a few things that you can do.

The question of how to practice golf in winter is not a difficult one to answer. It just requires some planning, preparation, equipment, and access to an indoor golf facility (if available).

However, as outlined above, you can work on multiple aspects of your game in the comfort of your home.

You can also set yourself a goal of reading a book or two about golf. It could be an autobiography of your favorite golfer, a few golf magazines, or blogs that improve your knowledge of the game.

Also, make sure to work on your mental and psychological aspects of the game as well.

Golf Practice Plans to Follow (Step by Step)