By Philip Linares & Kelly Plaisier of the Trent Wearner Golf Academy
Living in the beautiful state of Colorado provides us with the opportunity to play golf 12 months a year.† However, if snow is on the ground, we need to find another way to keep our game in tune.† As a junior golfer aspiring to play at a higher level one day, you must use the winter to not only maintain, but to improve your golf skills.† When the weather is nice enough to be outside, take advantage of it!† Snow melts quickly in Colorado, so if the temperatures are nice enough, get outside despite the winter conditions.†
First, find a golf coach who teaches throughout the winter.† Winter is a great time to work on the parts of your game that need the most attention.† We can help you to understand WHY the ball is doing what itís doing and WHAT & HOW to improve it.† With no pressure to perform in the winter itís a perfect time to dive in.† We would be providing simple drills or activities to work on that can be done indoors if necessary.
Second, locating a facility to practice that fits your budget is essential.† Whether it is an indoor range, your backyard, or a room in your house, taking swings is a must.† It is amazing what 5 minutes swinging in front of the mirror will do!† View our The Informed Consumer page to learn more about what you need to look for when choosing a coach and facility that truly provides a realistic golf-like environment.†
When practicing indoors you can still break away from your mechanics and make it fun by playing games that keep, especially, kids interested and engaged.† Below are a few indoor games that you can add to your practice sessions:
- Putting into a coffee cup:† start close and have a see how far back you can get each time you practice.
- Army Men:† two people compete against each other.† On each end of a room each person will setup the same number of army men and while alternating attempts putt a ball toward the other personís army men with the intent of knocking them over.† Person who gets all his army men knocked over first loses.
- Chipping Wall:† chip it closest to the wall much like the old game of pitching quarters.
Third, age appropriate fitness is necessary during the winter months.† Kids 12 & under should be participating in multiple activities and sports to sharpen their eye-hand coordination.† The sole focus should not just be on golf, rather to become a better athlete and stay in shape.† Kids above the age of 12 can take it a step farther and find a fitness instructor who can help put together an appropriate workout routine to gain strength and flexibility which is more related to golf.
Finally, what better time than the winter months to brush up on your rules of golf.† Be sure to review the USGA Rules of Golf and understand the basic principles that every golfer should know. †Also, take the time to review with your parents, the parental guidelines set by the events and tournaments you will be competing in.†† Make sure you all know the rules for parent behavior, caddying, and on-course coaching.† This will help you avoid and problems as the spring tournament season begins.
Philip Linares and Kelly Plaisier are coaches at the Trent Wearner Golf Academy.† They have developed programs for all ability levels and budgets whether itís Private Coaching or in Groups (of which our junior group programs are in a respected 3:1 student to teacher ratio)!† †www.TrentWearnerGolf.com.† OR †303-645-8000.