Stages of Year-Round Golf Training
Whether you play golf once a week or every day, year-round training is important for every player. The most important things I recommend focusing on are: golf instruction and coaching to improve your swing and learn more about your game, golf-specific fitness training and purposeful practice.
Golf Instruction vs. Coaching
During the year, players should go through different stages of instruction and coaching. Instruction is giving a player information about their swing and how to improve it, which will ultimately lead to better scores due to more consistency. Coaching is directing players to self discover and to put their game under high-pressure situations like they face when on a golf course. It is incorporated only once we have made swing improvements. Coaching puts these changes to the test to see if they can hold up under pressure. This can be done in a variety of ways through golf-specific drills and purposeful practice.
Depending on your location, this will happen at different times of the year. For those of us that live in the midwest, I recommend taking instruction during late fall and early winter to improve your swing and learn more about your game. Instruction is beneficial when you commit to making improvements and getting better. Taking lessons should happen a couple of times a month to make sure you aren’t developing any bad habits. This also contributes to making practice meaningful because you are working on a specific move in your swing.
Coaching should take place February through April or May. This gives the player the best chance to succeed for the golf season. High school players will be on a slightly different schedule because tournaments and matches begin around March.
Purposeful practice is the one factor that needs to remain consistent; the time of year is irrelevant because players should have a meaning to every practice session if they want to improve their scores. The goal of purposeful practice is to simulate a golf course, which includes high-pressure situations and an unstable environment. If we can re-create this environment when practicing, playing golf will become easier and you’ll find you deal with adversity on the golf course better and see lower scores. After all, that is why we practice.
The reason we suggest taking golf instruction during the winter is because we spend little time on the golf course. We want you to work on your game and be prepared for next season so you see lower scores and enjoy the game more. I suggest using the summer months to play golf and score, while using the winter months to make swing changes and improve. It can be very frustrating when you try to combine both. Therefore, training and practicing during the winter months is crucial to lowering your scores and playing your best golf.