The Off-Season is the Most Important Season of the Year

Posted on December 15, 2015 · Posted in Golf Fitness

In a lot of parts of the country, once Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, the golf season is just about over. The clubs may make a cameo appearance over the next few months during a weekend to Hilton Head or Myrtle Beach, but for the most part, once the clock strikes December, your playing days are done.

Just because you can’t get out on the course, though, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be doing things to improve your play. One of the great ironies about the sport of golf is that you can make some of the best improvements to your game by not playing. In fact, the off-season is actually when some of the most significant gains can be made.

Think about the guys on The Tour. While the official off-season for touring PGA players is now down to about 15 minutes, thanks to the autumn start to the next season, most of the top pros make sure to factor in some down time after the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Sure, they’ll still get their rounds in, but most will use this time to reflect on the past season and focus their attention on getting their bodies ready to take on the new season.

You can only play as well as your body will allow you to. You may know exactly what you need to be doing during every nano-second of the golf swing, but if your body is incapable of executing those things, you won’t be playing at your best. By accessing your body and your game, you can begin to transform your body into one that’s been optimized for the sport of golf. If your golf season is only seven or eight months long, you probably don’t want to be sacrificing potential playing time to focus on your bones, muscles, and neurological system, but now that the local courses are closed, this is the perfect time to begin optimizing your body.

I’m very big on assessments. If you’ve read “Fix Your Body, Fix Your Swing,” you’re already familiar with many of the assessments I do with the players I work with. Assessments will let you easily, clearly, and objectively discover where your body is not letting you play your best. Once you discover what’s too tight or not quite strong enough, you can start correcting the issues that have been preventing you from playing at the level you’d like to be playing at.

And a lot of time, once you start objectively looking at your own body, you might be surprised by what you discover. For example, you may think that you have adequate upper body strength because you can bang out impressive sets of push-ups or chest press a good amount of weight. When it comes to golf, though, it’s the muscles in your back that are going to let you maintain proper posture over the course of 18 holes. In fact, doing a lot of chest work may be hindering your game because it can limit the range of motion around the shoulders and decrease your potential for a deeper takeaway and follow-through.

And that’s just one example! How do you stack up when it comes to the strength and stability of your lower body, your ability to powerfully move the hips, and your sense of balance and overall body awareness?

Take a look out your window. If the skies are a depressing gray and there’s an inch — or a few inches — of snow on the ground, consider yourself lucky. For the next few months, you have the luxury of being able to fully dedicate yourself to improving your golf game. And you can do it all without the distraction of — well — playing golf!

Fix your body and fix your swing this off-season.

 

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