By Sean Hogan
All photos by Dom Furore
Use the time, when scores don’t really matter and your handicap might be frozen, to work on a few things that can have a meaningful impact on your game next spring.
What things? Two are as simple as rehearsing better body motions in front of a mirror. The other is a drill you can do indoors or out. Pro tip: You might want to use foam golf balls for spousal harmony.
This mini-swing drill will immediately help you develop a better strike on the ball: Grab your pitching wedge and set your feet in a narrower stance than normal with the ball centered. Make a small swing with your lead arm moving back short of parallel with the ground. Hold this position (above) for a couple of seconds, noting a hinge of the wrists and a fold of your trail arm. You’re now in an ideal pre-impact position with the club trailing the hands. From there, swing down and through into a low, abbreviated finish. This will give you a great feel for how to compress the ball with a square clubface and a forward-leaning shaft.
Now’s the perfect time to groove how the body should rotate during the swing. With your hands positioned on the side of your thighs, get into a good address posture hinging forward from your hips. Now simulate a clubless backswing, letting your arms move up and down your legs as you pivot away from the target (above, left). Then simulate a through-swing (above, right). This is the look and feel of a good pivot, and you can practice it anywhere. Keep doing this all winter, and your swing will look and feel much more efficient and in control.
This drill helps sync your arm swing with your body rotation. It’s also a great isometric stretch as you warm-up. Get in your address posture, and hook the back of your trail hand (right for righties) under the back of your lead hand. Now pretend you’re making a backswing, feeling like your lead arm stays connected to your upper body as your torso rotates (above). Then simulate a downswing maintaining this connection. Remember how this feels when you hit the course next spring. --WITH RON KASPRISKE