how to practice golf in the winter

How to Practice Golf Indoors This Winter

Ahh, the long sultry days of summer out on the course with a light breeze!  For some golfers, the season ends and they put their clubs away and don’t think about the sport until the next year.

Others, however, want to keep moving forward with the game. Keep practicing and improving to gear up for next season and a chance to hit all time low scores.

While, for most of us, playing golf is not available 12 months of the year, but there are still some great ways to keep your game moving forward from your summer swing sessions through the blustery, cold days of winter.

In order to keep your game improving, you need to create a plan and a schedule of what you want to do as well as a few goals to accomplish in the offseason.

Narrowing your focus in on what is actually possible for you and available will allow you to be in full swing (pun totally intended) when this year’s season kicks off in your area.

We also like to include fitness training during the winter golf months to help work on stability, flexibility, and strength with our bodies to improve our overall golf performance. Check out these golf fitness articles to learn more.

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Golf Tips for Practicing Indoors

In this guide, we’re going to discuss and cover all the steps that you need to incorporate into your indoor practice sessions while winter rages on outside .

That includes:

  • Creating a Schedule – What you should be thinking of and what you ought to include
  • Training Aids – How to tell what will help from what will sit in your garage or basement collecting dust
  • Drills – We didn’t say this way going to be easy! Drills are critical to moving your game to the next level
  • Fitness – Golf’s a sport remember, so being in shape to play your best is important
  • Other Indoor Golf Tips – Whatever isn’t covered above, we’ll let you in on here

Our goal will be to provide you with a comprehensive list of what you need and what you can do this offseason to enhance your game while the weather rages outside.

Indoor Golf Practice Routines and Schedule

Just like most things in life, creating a schedule or a plan for what you want to accomplish this off-season is critical to getting the results that you want prior to the kick off of the new golf season.

Knowing where you stand now as well as where you are trying to go will enable you to create solid, measurable results for your indoor and at home training plan.

The first step in this is to check out indoor golf facilities within your area. Are there any indoor golf driving ranges available to you? Do they or other facilities such as gyms or clubs have an indoor putting green?

Check out a local school, college or university that has a golf team – there might be golf practice facilities for those that attend or are alumni of the school. At Ohio State, we had a sick indoor golf facility and hitting area to practice golf year round.

Next, it’s time to create a plan for the off-season in terms of what you want to accomplish as well as how and when.  This is where writing it down and creating actionable steps will make all the difference.

Winter Golf Practice Action Steps:

#1: Determine how long the off-season timeline will be in your area. Those in Minnesota have a far longer indoor winter time frame to plan for compared to those in San Diego.

#2: Review the past season to see where your game needs improving. Check putts, chips, drives, overall scoring as well as how you did on Par 3’s vs Par 5’s to determine where there’s room for improvement.

#3: Create your plan to practice your golf swing indoors. Set specific goals that you want to accomplish in each area of your game.

#4: Break out the different pieces of your game into areas for indoor golf drills to practice such as:

  • Golf Swings Drills & Practice
  • Golf Putting Drills & Practice
  • Golf Chipping Drills & Practice
  • Short Game Drills & Practice

Make sure that each part of your game has at least one goal to accomplish during this time.

#5: Decide what tools, resources and indoor golf training aids you either have or have access to. That can be anything from clubs to golf putting mat and more.  Incorporate those into your planning.

#6: Decide on practice days and time. Setting aside specific amounts of time and even drilling down to specific days will help you to follow through.  Most of us do better with a set plan.  Creating a time and space to take the action enables you to commit more easily to getting the results that you are looking over the winter months.

Indoor Golf Practice Routines and Schedule

“A goal without a plan is just a wish”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Setting a practice schedule is something that varies depending upon what’s going on in your life.

For some, a shorter time period of practice every day is going to work best. For others, that’s impossible!

Finding time to practice a little longer 2 to 3 days a week is doable and will work best. Whatever schedule you select needs to be something that you can and will (emphasis on will) do.

In your schedule, you want to include all the pieces of your game that will help you get well rounded as well as effective results with your game. This includes focusing on overall fitness and strength training as well.

Here are 6 areas to include in your winter golf practices starting now:

Golf Swing

Generally the one area all golfers practice and train. Here’s where a mirror can come in handy to check the different positions. You can work and watch yourself perform no ball drills and practice swinging with a weighted club.

Read: Our 30+ best golf swing tips for beginners

Strength Training

Do you think golfers like Tiger Woods look like they do without working out? Strength training helps avoid injury, builds muscle, improves stability in your swing, increases distance in your drives and offers you better fitness and endurance on the course.  Need we say more?

Try this Golf Exercise Program for 8 Weeks

Indoor Driving Range

Back to basics here with a focus on your swing mechanics. This is a time to pay attention to your shot’s line rather than how far each of them goes. It also keeps your golfing muscle working and in shape year round.

Read: How to Build Your Own Simulator / Hitting Area at Home

Indoor Putting

Whether you have an indoor putting green or simply use the classic putting on a rug into a cup, the hand movement, focus and line of trajectory can all be improved upon and strengthened in the off-season.

Click to see our favorite Indoor Putting Green

Indoor Golf Net

For at home practices, an indoor golf net can help keep the muscles working as well as allowing you to practice on knowing what’s a solid contact with the ball in various shots. It’s also a great way to practice your chipping game and back swing.

Click to see our favorite Indoor Golf Net

Indoor Golf Simulator

Whether you own or rent a HD golf simulator, using one to check out your swing and progress on a periodic basis can make big difference in your game improvements.

Click here to see our favorite Affordable Golf Simulator

Indoor Golf Training Aids – Options to Consider

Golfers love their gadgets!  And there are several that can really help make an impact in your game, especially during your indoor golf practice season.

Let’s check out some of the best options to get you started in having the right training aids to have in your home now!

Golf  Swing or Chipping Nets and Golf Mats

A chipping mat allows you to practice your swings and striking the ball in way that gives you real time feedback on whether or not you are making solid contact with the ball.  When you combine that with a golf chipping net or a swing net, you have everything you need to practice your game year round.

Click to see the best golf chipping mats

Indoor Putting Greens

Some form of indoor golf putting green is critical to your practice plans!  If budgets are tight then utilize the classic plush rug with a cup to putt into as your putting green.

If you have some money to allocate to this, there are indoor golf putting greens that range from a Odyssey Deluxe Golf Putting Mat for under $60 to custom indoor putting greens that runs into the thousands of dollars.

Indoor Golf Balls

Indoor golf balls are designed in such a way that you can practice your shots without worrying about damaging your home.  Many of the newer models are now foam practice balls. A very affordable option that last awhile!

You can also use them outside as well as inside if you choose to.  A couple of other brands that have taken off recently include the very popular models of the Floppy golf ball and the Birdie Ball.

Click here to see our favorite foam golf balls

Impact Bag

A golf impact bag is designed to help you mimic your actual golf swing.  The weighted bag helps you to create the ideal position that you want to be in as your strike the golf ball.

It allows you to develop the feel of what the right position and impact feels like so you can take that out on the course with you.

Click here to see the golf impact bag we use

Indoor Golf Simulator

For the techie golfers, a simulator with projector and screen is the ideal training aid to consider purchasing or at least testing one out.  Basically, it allows a golfer to play golf in a simulated environment of either a driving range or an actual course.

In addition to allowing you to play golf when the weather conditions outside might not allow it, this computer system using radar and light sensors is able to analyze your swing to help you see where you need to improve this winter.

There are now several models available to fit any wallet, ranging in cost from several hundred dollars up to $50,000 for the top of the line models and they are easy to setup.

We wrote this entire guide on How to Build Your Own Indoor Golf Simulator and included varying budget options.

indoor golf practice drills

Winter Golf Exercise & Fitness Tips to Improve Your Body for Golf Season

Historically, golfers haven’t been known to spend much time in fitness training and working out, preferring to try out the latest golf swing exercises and tips that they’ve heard of. The last decade or so has seen a massive switch in golfer fitness levels.

Some fundamentals to keep in mind and incorporate into your off-season plans ought to include the following:

  • Cardio / Aerobic Fitness
  • Flexibility
  • Core Training
  • Wrist / Hand Exercises

Cardio or aerobic fitness

If weather keeps you inside riding a bike, elliptical training or walking or running on a treadmill will help give you the conditioning to keep your game at peak levels.

When possible, moving your cardio workouts outside increases the health benefits.  Aim for at least 20-30 minutes and have your heart rate up.

Keep your heart rate in a solid target range by aim intensity where you train at about 70 percent of your estimated maximum heart rate.

You can easily calculate this by subtracting your age from 220, and exercising hard enough that your heart rate is about 70 percent of this number.

Flexibility

Having a flexible body is critical to improving your golf swing.  Yoga is one form of exercise that is gaining in popularity for many sports, including golf.

Read: Best Flexibility Exercises to Stretch Your Golf Muscles

Core Training

No longer is the focus of golfing fitness to focus on arms or leg strength. The entire core of the body needs to be as strong and as balanced as possible. This is where incorporating some golf core and leg exercises into your schedule will make a difference.

Read: 4 Best Golf Core Exercises to Do at Home

Include Hands and Wrist Exercises

There are several exercises and well as various grips and balls that you can use to improve the strength and flexibility of these muscles.

In particular, as you age, this becomes an even more important part of having good golf grip strength as well as the best hold on your club at any time.

Final Thoughts on Winter Golf Practice

While the weather outside might be colder and overcast and the ground missing the plush green of summer currently, your golfing progress doesn’t have to stop!

Using these tips on how to practice golf indoors this winter will enable you to get back out on the course in even better shape than when you left it.

Let us know in the comment below what your winter training plans will include this year!

Before you go, make sure to check out these golf practice plans! Each has proven drills to help you improving your scoring and build a strong short game!

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