It’s Spring, Time For Club To Meet Ball

Posted by Beth Hartman

The sun is rising a bit earlier now, and staying light long past 7pm. With the sun getting up higher in the sky each day, a lot of us are getting the itch to see just what kind of work we need to do in order to get the winter kinks out of our golf swing. Yes, spring is the season when true golf addicts are heading out to their local golf-clubs to see if the snow has departed enough to allow them to work on their game.

Before shaking off the cobwebs, here are 10 things to keep in mind before your first round of golf in 2019:

It's colder than it feels
Let's call this the "Weather Relativity" rule. In September, coming off a sun-scorched summer, a cloudy, 50-degree day feels like you're visiting upper Maine. But after three months of winter, those same conditions translate to a trip to the beach.

Remember, your golf swing uses a unique muscle combination and memory, one that's hard to replicate in the workout room. Making your first swing of the year on the tee box is a recipe for a disaster. Golf Digest fitness editor Ron Kaspriske says it's important to "prime your muscles before an athletic activity," so prior to heading to the first hole, make sure to swing and stretch on the range. Go ahead and warm up by hitting a bucket of balls to get the kinks out of those shoulder and leg muscles, which can help you in the long run by not getting any cramping or over-extended, stretched muscles!

One good mantra is “Slow and simple, stupid”!
Not only at the range, but throughout your inaugural round, the tempo should be your primary focus. Chances are your swing is going to be rusty. Trying to smash your new driver or taking a hard whack from the rough will only aggravate any kinks. According to teachers Lynn Marriott and Pia Nilsson, establishing tempo means giving 70 percent of full effort on a swing. This will help you keep your swing under control.

Stretch out on the driving range:
Like football's mini-camps or baseball's spring training, you don't see players going 110 percent in their first foray of the season. It's about returning to a rhythm. Getting the feel of gripping that club again and feel the muscles relax after you've gone through the follow through after your release.

Now one thing you can do in order to help you work on cutting down your stroke count is to make use of some available technology. I’m speaking of using a little golfer’s helper, a golf watch. After all, without having accurate distances on the course it becomes a guessing game trying to figure out what club to hit. Often times you may come up short or worse end up in a hazard.
You can really feel lost if you do not have the correct distance.
That’s right, having yardage to each hole, straight from your wrist can really make a difference.
One of the most popular golf watches with GPS right now is the Garmin Approach S10 golf watch which comes preloaded with more than 41,000 courses worldwide. It includes all these courses and with no monthly subscription.

And its overall price is a bonus compared to some other golfer's helpers out there and you can get it from a company known for developing innovative GPS functionality that has been around and used by our military for its accuracy for years. I'm talking about the Garmin Approach S10 Golf Watch!  It provides yardages to the front, back, and middle of the green--as well as hazards and doglegs--on thousands of preloaded courses worldwide. From Garmin.

Starting off with a 9-hole round is a great way to get the kinks out and walking that course will help your leg muscles realize that it’s that time of year again where they need to perform in order to maintain your playing gait. Now, remember, your first, second, even third trip out to the links are going to keep you humble. You're not going to score well; your game is going to be off and the course won't be aesthetically pleasing. Why even bother, you might ask.

Why? Because, in spite of the less-than-ideal environment, it's still going to be a damn good time. Spring golf may not be the game at its best. But first rounds, in any walk of life, rarely are; they pave the way for better things to come.

So, go on, grab your clubs, put on that visor-golf-hat, tee up, and go have some Springtime fun.


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