In the nine years I’ve hosted a golf radio show, these 3 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the hardest. I talk with my golf buddies and none seem interested in discussing anything remotely involved with the golf world. So with that in mind, as a public service I will give you 5 topics that will keep you actively involved in the golf scene.
5. Q-School – Ok, I know this is boring, at least for most of you. I actually love seeing hardened golf professionals shaking in their boots. You can take all the majors; the Ryder Cup and every PGA tournament and none match the pressure of a putt at Q-School, a putt to determine if you are going home; playing on the Nationwide Tour or playing in the show. While I don’t think the Golf Channel can deliver the levels of nerves, it will be worth your while to watch.
4. Your golf swing – As honestly as I can say this, “there is no better time to work on your swing.” There is a three step, 30 minute process to making this work:
Buy a Hank Haney Instruction video – Don’t watch it all at once. Take a little piece each night. This will keep you motivated to take baby steps.
Use the mirror - I know how tough it is for most of us to find time to play. Between putting up the lights and carrying the bags for our better half… an hour of practice time, let alone 4 hours can be an issue. Every night, after watching your video, grab your 7-iron and practice your swing in front of a mirror. Ten years ago, after my last back surgery, I did this drill for three months and more than anything, it helped improve my swing.
The in-house putting green – Keeping your practice fun is very important. Make up a putting course in your home. Figure par and see if you can break it. This will improve your putting dramatically.
3. It’s clothing time – I think my favorite thing to do this time of year is decide what I will wear when it gets warm. “Gay or not Gay,” as the boys on The Ticket might ask. Spending time on line at NikeGolf.com, any of the golf retailers or a number of other sites, keeps me excited about Spring Golf. All the Spring lines are out, including most of the larger company shoe lines. Do this on your computer. It will save you lots of money. Once you get a feel for your desired look, head to the stores and straight to the sale racks. I know it sounds weird, but Spring sales are almost over.
2. Review the year – In order to review the year, you must have done a decent job keeping track of the year. If you have, December is the perfect month to understand your year in golf. What were your strengths, your weaknesses; what do you need to improve?
Most likely, we have not done the job of being able to do this review. To be a better golfer- to have more fun playing the game, you need to constantly improve. Improving is easier when you know your past. If I could grant each of you one GOLF holiday gift, it would be a recording book. Want to improve your game by 3 to 5 strokes a round? Take 5 to 7 minutes after each round you play and make notes of your play:
Fairways hit, were your misses left or right off the tee.
Green in regulation, how was your iron play.
Number of putts, how many three putts did you have.
Penalty shots, how many extra strokes
Finally, a couple of notes about the round.
Do this and I guarantee improved scores.
1. Keep it funny – My most favorite thing to do during the “off” season is find great golf jokes and stories. See how many you can come across. Send them to your buddies; it will keep you in the mood. Better yet, send them to me. I am always on the search for the best. How about this: starting this Sunday, we will read two or three of the jokes you send.
Here are a couple for you…
Golf can best be defined as an endless series of tragedies obscured by the occasional miracle, followed by a good bottle of beer.
Golf! You hit down to make the ball go up. You swing left and the ball goes right.
The lowest score wins. And on top of that, the winner buys the drinks
Golf is harder than baseball. In golf, you have to play your foul balls.
Can’t wait for you to send me some. TPC Craig Ranch on Monday…. Don’t miss it.