As many of my fellow Canadians will attest, the 2016 golf season is just around the corner. The snow is gone, April showers have started, and a crazy cardinal is banging its head against my patio door (I am not kidding about the cardinal)! All of these, and many more, are signs that spring is near and golf season will soon be upon us!
After 4 months, I am ready to hit the links! This off-season seemed exceptionally long and for some reason, time seemed to pass slower than molasses moving downhill in January! As golf season is just weeks away, it is time to prepare. As a creature of habit, I will start my preseason tradition of mentally, physically, and emotionally preparing to golf.
Preparing for golf after a long lay off is not complicated, but it does require some effort. For me, there are three areas that need attention to make sure I have a quick start to the season without creating any challenges that will slow me down. As stated earlier, I like to focus on my mental, physical, and emotional sides of golfing at the beginning of any golf season.
Mentally – Playing golf happens long before I hit the links. I like to visualize my swing, start managing my expectations, and thinking about how to approach the new season. I like to recap many of the interesting articles, videos and suggestions I received during the off-season. I try to develop a practice plan and determine which area needs my attention first as I start to get back into ‘the swing of things’! Preparing mentally for the golf season does take time and now is the time to start.
Physically – This aspect of my preparation started at the end of last year’s golf season. I have tried to stay fit and feel that I am physically ready to play golf. Over the next few weeks, it is important that I work on my flexibility. Flexibility is key to prevent any early injuries. By focusing on my flexibility, matched with my other exercises, I will be physically ready for my first swing of the season.
Emotionally – Above all, this is the toughest to manage. Like a kid in a candy store, I am excited to play on a real course and as such, I sometimes try to do things I am not physically or mentally ready to do! As the excitement of playing grows, I sometimes forget to keep ego in check. As a result, my ego drives my game and I have a tendency to over-swing, hit too many balls on the range, or forget that course management is important all the time. On the flip side, I am very happy and always grateful to be playing. I guess that is a fair tradeoff.
Getting ready for the golf season is not complicated, but does require effort. Preparing mentally, physically, and emotionally can pose some challenges if left unchecked. I am not complaining, just realizing that golf season will soon be upon us and properly preparing is important. I hope to be hitting the links in about 2 weeks, until then, I am off to stretch!
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!