Golf Column

‘Wintery’mix’ for golfers

By Paul Viau | Feb 25, 2014
Photo by: File Paul Viau

The winter months are trying for golfers. One week we are snowbound with the not-so-pleasant task of shoveling our way out of more than a foot of snow. The next week we are tantalized with the prospects of early spring — enjoying two (count’em) days in a row of 70-degree weather.
I hope you made it out to your favorite links during those two incredible days.
As I sit down to write this column, more than an inch of heavy rain has just fallen overnight. We were lucky it was above freezing, or that inch of rain would have added up to more than 10 inches of snow.
Either way, it’s going to be mucho mushy on the fairways for quite a while — which translates to everyone’s favorite course restriction — Cart Path Only.
Not only that, but we’ll all have to be very careful on the greens — or should I say, “browns.”
On top of it all, the recent heavy rain traveled our way along a fast-moving cold front, so we’ll be lucky if temperatures will get out of the 40’s for the next few days.
So here we go again, golfers. We have to use our creativity to stay motivated, keep training and keep shaping up our bodies and our game for the spring.
For example, as I was shoveling snow last week, I turned it into a training drill.
Instead of pushing the snow forward, I approached the snow from the right, and made repeated “sweeps” with the snow to the left.
My hands were more than two-feet apart, but I still strengthened my torso, making a turn similar to my golf swing. Every once in a while, when I knew had good footing, I made a deliberate weight transfer as I swept/shoveled through the snow.
This technique is difficult in heavy, wet snow, but with two or three inches of the fluffy stuff, it works well. So well, I’m thinking of re-gripping my snow shovels.
By the way, you could use this same, torso-turning technique to power through the firewood, as you transfer it from pile to pile. Unfortunately, I can’t do this because I have a gas fireplace. But I could re-grip my fireplace tools.
You could also start storing your golf bag near the fireplace. Warmer balls go farther. (Please, don’t take this out of context.)
I have a good friend — Tommy “Coon” Landers — who places a space heater next to his golf bag for a couple hours, with the heating element facing the ball storage pocket, before cold weather rounds of golf. As far as I know, he has never started a fire.
Yes, there is no end to the lengths we golfers will go for a few extra yards off the tee.
Finally, and I hope I’m not beating a dead horse, but all winter long — regardless of weather — you can (and should) be working on your putting game. In the hallway, down in the basement — wherever you can find 10-12 feet of low-pile carpet, make it a practice to spend a few minutes every day on your putting stroke.
If you have a big basement (and an understanding spouse) you can even do a little chipping along with the putting.
But pleeeeease — don’t break anything.

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