After 6 months off from golf, I can tell you that my golf swing is less than smooth. My back is not supple, nor are my arms loose. I feel like a knotted ball of string that needs patience and effort to untangle. However, this is nothing new and will take some concerted effort to work out all the kinks.
Anyone who has had a significant lay off for golf understands that it takes time to get back into form. Personally, it takes a few weeks for me to fully restore my swing to a point where I can start working on my game. In the early stages, it is all about preventing injury (especially as I get a bit older) and building stamina. I am in this for the long game and although I am excited to play I have to contend with not being 100% ready to swing my clubs.
For those who are just starting their season, you understand what I am talking about. I am not sure what your process is to work out the kinks, but I thought I would share my three main areas of focus.
- Elongate my swing. I am very tight at first. Because my muscles do not remain fully loose as over my weather induced layoff from golf, I have to slowly work on elongating my muscles. To do this, I accentuate my entire movement of my swing and stretch each area. The pulling and pushing of my muscles helps awaken the tiny muscles of my swing. When I hit balls, I try to stay at 50% for a while and slowing increase my speed – but I always stretch my muscles during every phase of my golf swing.
- I focus on creating a lag between my upper and lower body. To do this, I am creating torque by having my lower body start my golf swing. I do this aspect of my swing very slowly and under control until I am warmed up. I try not to twist, but to create the sensation of a rubber band being attached each shoulder and opposite foot. This helps create tension to develop power later when I speed up the process.
- Maintain my balance during my entire swing. This is something I work on all year, but by over-swinging early in the season, I will have a tendency to lose my balance and this causes swing mechanic issues. Balance is very important early in the year because it builds the foundation for success later in the season. Additionally, by remaining in balance, there is less of an opportunity to injure myself.
So you can see that I focus on stretching and moving my body. At this point, I want to warn you that the above process works for me; as with any physical activity do this at your own pace and only what works for you. Everyone is different.
I maintain a level of fitness all year around and as such, I am prepared for the intended twisting and turning need for my golf swing. Even thought I keep active, I am still stiff and sore when I first start playing golf after a 6 month layoff. I do take my time and do not push my progress. That is why it takes a couple of weeks to work out the kinks. By taking things slow, I am able to enjoy 7 months of golf with no injuries.
Do you have a process to work out your kinks in your golf swing after an extended layoff? If so, what does it look like?
I am a grateful golfer! See you on the links!