Here in Calgary, Alberta, our golf season runs from May through September – if all the stars and planets happen to line up. On occasion, golf can be played in the fringe months of April and October, but generally speaking, we can expect about 5 months worth of quality golf time per season. For that reason, lots of Albertan snowbirds migrate south for the winter months – but what about those of us who remain here to endure the depths of winter?
There is hope! In fact, our long winters might just be an advantage when it comes to improving our golf games.
Everyone would agree that “practice makes perfect”. But when you get only 5 months to “play” golf… who wants to spend a lot of that precious time working on their swing? Like Rickie Fowler says: “It’s GO time!” Athletes in other sports “train” during the off-season, so they can play their best in-season. Golfers should consider the same approach. These days, indoor golf practice during the winter months can be even more effective than hitting balls outdoors – and that means you can hit the links running in the spring – with a better swing and without having to shake off that early season rust.
So what’s changed? In a word – technology. In the “old days”, indoor golf training typically meant hitting balls into a net – in a cold, dark warehouse on the wrong side of town. A camcorder was about as “hi-tech” as things got and golfers had to rely on a mysterious and somewhat arbitrary thing known as “feel” to measure their “progress”.
Today’s modern indoor golf facilities are decked out with a range of technologies that leave video and line-drawing programs in the dust. Golf simulators, balance plates, biomechanical motion-mapping vests… these are but a few of the devices that golfers can use to gain meaningful and objective insight into their swings. Radar launch monitors like the TrackMan Golf system are also gaining popularity. Not only is TrackMan a highly effective assessment and training tool, it’s stimulating and fun to use. The avid golfer can tap into the powerful game improvement features and develop comprehensive training programs; while those whose golfing goals are more relaxed can simply have some fun trying something new and different.
The undeniable bottom line is: technology is changing the way golf is played and learned. If you’re committed to long-term improvement, you must incorporate these technologies into your off-season training. Doing so equals a higher return (improvement) on your investment (practice). Come springtime, you’ll be rust-free and ready to bag a few birds… snowbirds, that is!
About the Author
Bill Dreger is a Member of the Professional Golfers Association of Canada and the owner/operator of nonstopGOLF. He is a certified golf geek with more than 15 years experience in coaching, instruction and program development. He helps new golfers and experienced players alike get their games in tune using the TrackMan Golf launch monitor system along with a relaxed, conversational approach that promotes intuitive learning through skill development and guided discovery. TrackMan training sessions are available year-round at Calgary’s Riverside Golf Centre and in-season at the Wintergreen G&CC, located in Bragg Creek.