Tips for Playing Golf this Fall
Best Tips and Tricks for Improving your Golf Game this Fall
As September wraps up and the weather begins to trend towards a chillier atmosphere in the Northern Hemisphere, many people start to put away their golf clubs and reclude into their homes to get away from the progressively cold weather. The beginning December months, which indicate the conclusion of Fall, are especially frigid and can tempt even the most serious of players to put their clubs in the garage until spring. However, there are numerous drills and techniques that you can utilize to improve your golf swing, even when the weather isn’t optimal. These tips can help you improve your game, get ahead of the competition, and optimize your progress during the fall and winter months.
Analyze your Personal Statistics and evaluate your Goals
First off, it is vitally important to take a step back during these months and evaluate your golf game during the spring and summer. Having some basic statistics on green hit accuracy, fairway hits, ups and downs, and putt precision. Below we’ve attached a chart from a Golf Insider article that provides a very solid template to show you the parts of your game that are best to focus on:
Note: FIR stands for “Fairways hit in regulation,” indicating the percentage of fairways hit with the tee shot. GIR stands for “Greens in regulation,” which indicates the ratio of times the green was hit on a given attempt. For example, did you land on the green in: 1 shot for a Par 3, 2 shorts for a Par 4, 3 shots for a Par 5? I.e., 10 out of 20 greens hit in gameplay would result in a 50% GIR (10/20) * 100). Up & downs include any shots attempted within 30 yards for amateurs, 40 yards for intermediate players, and within 50 yards for professionals.
So how do you read this chart? Well, start by looking at the top left corner at level one. According to the chart, if you are averaging about 36 putts per round, this indicates the biggest deficiency in your golf game and should be focused on. However, if you check all the boxes in level one, move one square to the right and achieve priority 2 in level 1. Do this until you encounter an area that you are deficient at, and simply choose those priorities as your main practice priorities. This said, before we move on to some specific tips, here are some general things that you should make sure to look at:
Be sure to address any target areas that can affect the holistic aspects of your body. Especially as we get older, there are frequently specific areas of our body that may tighten up, including rotational strength and back mobility/strength. Working on these things definitely won’t suddenly strengthen your golf swing, but definitely should provide some significant improvements as well as keep your body better suited to combat injury. Some more obvious areas of weakness in individuals include improving lower body strength and leg mobility, which commonly has a direct correlation with driving range.
Be sure to look at your swing through recordings and honestly evaluate what technical changes that you believe are necessary. Many people are unable to keep their club face square, have some body rotation issues, and often put too much strain on their lower back during their windup and down swing torque motion. During these colder months, I suggest finding a professional who is able to help you with the minute details of your swing and keep it simple.
Do you have a backyard space? Then there’s no reason to not be able to work on your swing. In the early Fall breeze, be sure to get outside and swing your golf club without hitting any balls. This will help you focus on your technique and grip formation as opposed to watching the trajectory of the ball after you hit. Taking even 50 practice swings a day during the colder months will go a significant way in significantly improving your swing.
Don’t be afraid to travel
Many professional and even amateur golfers travel to warmer climates such as Southern California, Florida, and Vegas in order to maintain their level of play and competitiveness. Simply taking the time off work for a few days and swinging the ball in a warmer climate can be integral in sustaining a level of production that you’re happy with.
Work on your grip
As an amateur golfer, even I am acutely aware of the difficulty involved in changing one’s grip. Grip changes are some of the toughest to make in your swing, as they consequently affect many variables in your ball trajectory and result. These colder months are an excellent time to correct and modify your grip and even recruit a professional to advise you in proper grip form. Keep your clubs inside your house during these months and work on your grip consistently while doing the dishes or watching television. PGA certified professional Michael Breed recommends putting a piece of computer or wrapping paper around your club grip, and practicing holding the club so light that the paper doesn’t make a crinkling noise. He advises this method as he believes that a light grip decreases tension in the back and arms.
Packing the Bag
This all said, the main point to remember is simply to pay attention to your clubs during these months. Golfing is not a half-year sport; improvement requires consistent development at all stages, most notably during the off-season months. The best golfers don’t simply put the clubs away and forget about golf during the colder months – they continue to work on their conditioning, athletic development, and most importantly, their swing. Achieving your goals cannot come into fruition without hard work, so be sure to keep grinding and come back strong when next season starts!