Optimize your golfing off-season

“If you’re haven’t started on 2015 than you’re already behind” – @JakeCalderGolf

I’m not the first to write about the end of the 2014 golf season. Other bloggers that I enjoy reading, like The Grateful Golfer and Golf is Mental have shared their thoughts on this. And while I’m always a little sad when it’s time to clean the clubs for the winter it does not mean I have to stop focusing on the game. Here are 10 ways to help pass the golfing off-season:

1. Pause for Reflection – Golf is a game (for most of us, anyway). What was fun about it for you? What were the challenges? Why do you play the game and were your past reasons consistent today? What do you get from the game and what do you try to give back to the game?

2. Look back at highlights – Did you play any new and exciting courses? Did you reach milestones or achieve goals you’d set at the beginning of the season? Best shot? (Worst shot?). Any career rounds? Any aces?

3. Reset goals for the upcoming season – Extending from the previous two points, it is time for new goals (either loftier or more realistic)? For me, as a single digit handicapper now (8.8) I’m going to have to spend some time on this.

4. Assess your equipment needs – How are the sticks? Any need to add to your putter collection? What about apparel, shoes or even your ball (golf ball is one area I’ve struggled to match to my game for almost 2 years now). And with Black Friday almost here the time for this is perfect.

5. Fitness – a new focus for me. I’m 47 years old and well past my immortal phase. With a horrendously short swing I’ll spend the off-season seeking to increase flexibility, strength and boost my cardio. Can you still walk 36 a day?

6. Practice – For those like me locked in the Great White North or parts of the USA and Europe where there’s an extended and forced off season at home there are options to keeping the swing loose. Indoor domes, golf simulator studios and even finished basements all mean that in the off season our clubs are not necessarily banished to the garage.

7. Write (and read) – love the game? Why not write about it. Blogs are fun, easy and can connect you with a host of others who share a passion for the game.  I plan to read this winter too.  Bob Rotella and Lorne Rubenstein are on the top of my reading list.

8. Lessons – yes, I am starting with a new instructor in 2015 (it just wasn’t the big news Tiger’s move was). Developing a plan to continue to improve and address the weaknesses in my game which are primarily inside 100 yards.

9. Golf and Travel Shows – while these tend to happen in late winter, they can certainly whet the appetite and connect you to new gear, new course and vacation options and get you excited for the imminent start of the season.

10. Travel, or, plan your next golf trip – If you don’t live in the southern states or even Canada’s own Vancouver Island where you can play 12 months a year that forgo the off season and travel there to play! I’m already doing some extensive research on a fall 2015 trip to PEI with some buddies.

The off season can be a state of mind and a time to reflect and refine goals. Sure, we can’t get out and tee it up when we’d like but it does not mean we can’t take strides to improve our performance and enjoyment of the game!