In a perfect world, every day is 72 degrees and hitting the course to practice our golf game seems like the easiest decision ever.
For those of us that don’t live in tropical climates during the cold winter months, outdoor practice just really isn’t an option.
That’s why today we’re going to solve all your problems and show you how to practice golf in the winter.
How to practice golf in the winter
Practicing your golf game during the winter is the perfect time to work on fundamentals of your golf swing, chipping and putting. There’s no need to hit golf balls for the 3 areas of focus we will show you today.
If you don’t have a golf simulator💰💰 (or have a really close friend that owns one), then we have to be a bit more creative in how we keep our swings and short games in tact so we don’t completely suck when we head back out to the course when it’s warm again.
Winter golf practice: How to improve your golf game
Golf simulators are more popular than ever. You can play actual PGA Tour courses in your underwear if you wanted.
However, most golf simulators can range in price anywhere from $3,000-$30,000(gulp). You really need to have the perfect combo of space and income to be able to set one of these up in your home.
Ok, so what do we do then?
How to practice golf indoors
Golfers have been working on our games indoors way before golf simulators ever came into the picture.
When it comes to improving our games, there are three areas to focus on…
Indoor golf swing drills
Assuming your ceilings are tall enough, it’s great to be able to practice your golf swing indoors, and even though we’re not hitting balls we can still work on standard setup and swing mechanics like:
Most golfers don’t really think about how we align our feet(and how wide our stance is) when we setup to a golf ball. More often than not, we’re thinking about how we are about to execute the shot, but bad setup increases our chances of hitting bad shots.
Golf is about consistency. The more consistent we are with our setup then the better chance we have at hitting [consistently] good golf shots.
So, practice setting up to the ball with different clubs in hand so it becomes second nature to properly setup to the ball with all the clubs in your bag.
Next, find a big mirror to check your spine angle. I love doing this because I tend to have a taller spine, but in actuality I should be leaning over more.
Don’t put that mirror away just yet, because next thing to check is our takeaway. Setup to the mirror so that when you look directly you can see your big beautiful face.
While staring at yourself, slowly bring the club back so you can see if you’re taking the club back too far upright or too far flat.
You can also see if you are breaking your elbow too much as well. Ideally, we want to keep that lead arm as straight as we can for more consistent swing mechanics.
Lets say you’re not able to take full swings inside your living room. That’s fine because that opens the door for practicing the most important part of golf anyway…SHORT GAME!
How to practice chipping indoors
Chipping is by far the most overlooked aspect when practicing our golf games.
Think about it. Before your tee time, you typically go hit balls and then go to the putting green.
0-5 handicappers hit 52% of greens, so even they are chipping/pitching on 48% of holes played.
Data can be shocking at times, huh?
Let’s work on some chipping fundamentals then.
Two things to focus on when practicing chipping:
- Shaft angle
If you’ve ever had a day of flat out chunking all your chips, it’s most likely because you weren’t striking your chips with a forward-leaning shaft angle.
This means shifting your weight a bit to the front foot, keeping your hands forward and letting your arms and shoulders do the dirty work. You shouldn’t feel your wrists break much at all.
This greatly decreases your chance of letting the club head dig into the ground and hitting it fat.
Next is tempo. Try not to jerk the club back swiftly and rush the club back down to the ball. Instead, try and make it ‘take back’ time match the downswing time so that the motion is more fluid.
And now we move onto the most important part of golf…PUTTING!
How to practice putting indoors
Let’s check some more stats shall we?
Putting seems pretty important so let’s talk about ways to improve your putting indoors.
Here we’re focusing on:
- Stop me if you’ve heard this before…Tempo
- Ball rotation
How we setup to putts needs to be treated the same way we setup to hit shots. If we do it enough it becomes second nature all-the-while bettering our chances of MAKING MORE PUTTS.
Best way to setup to putts
Most putting stances are feet about shoulder width apart with the ball about centered; possibly even slightly more forward towards your front foot. If you’re taller than most you find that widening your stance more is necessary to be able to get your eyes closer to the ball.
Make your eyes are directly over the ball so you can visualize the line better.
Moving on to tempo…
Best way to swing a putter
The best way to imagine good putting tempo is picture a pendulum on a clock and how to sways back-and-forth evenly.
This is how we should be swinging the putter, and by doing so we need to eliminate the wrists from the stroke and focus only on shoulder movement.
The putter is merely an extension of our arms and everything is controlled by the shoulders.
Focus on keeping your elbows in tight and almost touching each sides of your rib cage so you stay more connected throughout the stroke.
Finally, lets get the ball rolling on the correct line.
How to properly strike putts
Now the way we can practice this is to line the ball up perfectly center on the putting mat, and use the lines to see how the ball is reacting off the putter face.
Tip: Another simple way to tell how the ball is rolling off the putter face is to use a tool for drawing an alignment line on the ball.
You will immediately be able to tell if you’re putting side spin on the ball by how the ball looks after you hit it.
So, try and make sure you are striking the putt on the way UP to put topspin on the ball. This is the easiest way to make sure you’re actually hitting the ball on your intended line.
Let’s get to work
Ok, that covers the essentials for now. We’ll update this page as we uncover more ways to improve your golf game during the winter months so you’re ready to attack the course with a fury unknown to mankind once warm weather approaches.
Follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wolfitgolf and let us know how your indoor winter practice sessions are going.