Last time we discussed how every golfer, no matter the ability level, should take periodic breaks from golf.
For most of us the weather gives us a natural break. It’s called winter. For those of us who are fortunate to live in a climate where it’s possible to play golf year round, superimposed off-
seasons are necessary to heal and recharge.When you’re ready to begin playing again after a break there are some proven ways to help you get your game back in shape. Of course, before beginning any physical activity like golf, especially after long periods of inactivity, get your doctor’s okay first.
Acclaimed golfer and instructor Bob Fagan explains, “Most golfers after a winter layoff or extended absence are usually anxious to get back playing. If they don’t go directly to the first tee, they will probably head to the driving range and pound driver more often than any other club. “Any good player will tell you, what suffers the most when they haven’t played is the short game, yet most everyday players will completely ignore their short game (pitching, chipping, sand, and putting). If you can get your short game touch back, your scores will reflect it. So concentrate on your short game first.
“You might start with putting on the carpet inside. A good exercise is to lay down an object such as a coin and putt for distance without too much regard for accuracy. It matters little whether the carpet is fast or slow because what you are really try to achieve is the return of feel. Getting back outside, head first to the practice putting green and begin with very short putts from inside a couple of feet. Do this to get accustomed once again to seeing the ball roll into the cup. Once you make several in a row, move a couple of feet back and repeat. Obviously putting becomes harder as you move further away from the hole, but you’ll be surprised how quickly your stroke improves by doing this.
“Next go to the longest putts you can find and work on them. Just like the indoor drill, focus more on distance rather than accuracy. Again the goal is to achieve touch. From there you can do similar drills with chips, pitches, and the sand game. You’ll speed your progress up by weeks.”