Posted by: Rolf | February 21, 2008

Leaving winter behind…

Well, for most golfers, this is the time of the year when it is cold and muggy, and we only get to play once in a while. The weather forces us to add extra inches of warm clothing that inevitably restricts our movement. To top it off we also face another obstacle: most, if not all, golf courses are not maintained during the off season. This means that the grass is not mowed and becomes uneven, making an already difficult game even more challenging.

However, let’s face it: this is not competition time! We do play our serious golf during the serious-golf-season from spring to early fall, and during late fall and winter we should relax and play for the fun of it – particularly since we only get to play once every so often. Once the warm days of spring come back we get serious again…

So, relax, soak in the clean, fresh air and enjoy the few nice days that come along during this off season. Don’t get hung up on rules and regulations, and make your game a bit easier and enjoyable.

Now that the rules are gone with the wind (pun intended!) you should always improve your lies rather than struggle to play the ball down. As example, since fairways and rough are not maintained and you can barely move due to the extra clothing you should tee up your ball for every shot. This includes taking level lies even in sand traps. And don’t worry; this practice will not have a negative impact on your game once you play serious golf again in spring when you again have to play your ball down.

Teeing up for all your shots will allow you to also use your longer clubs, and it will help keeping some touch for short shots like pitches and chips. When spring finally comes you will be much less rusty, and you will easily get back into the routine of playing the ball down.

The off-season is also a good time to renew your equipment, in particular your clubs. If you start practicing with your new clubs during winter you have more time to get used to them, rather than having to struggle in spring when the ‘serious’ golf season starts again. Another reason to stock up during winter is that prices are usually at their lowest, with many merchants offering off-season and (post-) holiday specials.

See you at the first tee…

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