Planning ahead for golf season
A training program for an upcoming golf season can be divided into three periods, with each period having specific strategies and goals to keep you on track — the preparation, competition and transition periods.
The preparation period can start as early as January and extend until the first competition of the season. The first competition can be your weekend match with your regular foursome, men’s/ladies night or a local tournament.
To be properly prepared requires some thought and training beforehand to ensure peak performance. Some of the things to consider are: working on your swing mechanics, setting some goals, making any necessary equipment changes, continuing with your fitness regimen focusing on strength, stamina and flexibility, and preparing a practice plan that balances with work and family.
In other words, you must plan your work, then work your plan.
The technical aspects of your game will be determined by the goals you have set. Goal setting allows you to practise with a purpose. Goals such as setting a target for percentage of fairways or greens hit in regulation, improving your bunker play, learning a knockdown shot or improving your mental game skills will lower your scores and help you to compete at a higher level.
Periodization and setting the wheels in motion for the upcoming year will help you avoid becoming frustrated or disenchanted in your quest to improve. My job as a golf coach is to help you make your improvement timetable as efficient as possible. Once you attain your goals of improvement, it is usually relatively easy to maintain that level of play with regular play and practice. Of course, the lure of becoming even better can be achieved by another set of higher goals next year.
Tom Clark is the head teaching professional at Timberwolf Golf Club and has been a certified CPGA member since 1987.