Watching the PGA’s Hawaii swing really makes me miss golf. The tour will continue through California and Florida during our colder months, forcing us to watch green grass, warm temperatures, and unlimited sunshine while we struggle to find any worthwhile sports on TV (save March Madness). The Masters is a little under three months away, so our golf season will be here before you know it.
Look at this this way: you have time to get ready. Doing a little offseason golf work will pay dividends when your calendar starts to fill up with tee times. For me, it’s more of a cleansing. Personally, I didn’t play a ton of golf last year, but it was more than I played in 2015. I expect to play a lot more this year. Mrs. RCS plays (and is really good), so it has become a theme of our quality time together. We are really excited for golf season to get here, and I don’t want to feel like I’m starting at zero on the first tee. Here are a few things that I do when it is NOT golf weather:
1. Clean out your golf bag. Over the course of a golf season, it’s amazing what collects in the black hole-like pockets of your golf bag. I usually keep a few shoeboxes and containers in the basement for golf “stuff”, and I unload everything into those boxes. Balls, gloves, tees, change, markers, towels, receipts, warm Coors Light cans…whatever. Then I take the shop vac and go to work on the inside of the pockets. Cleanliness is next to Godliness, folks. And this only takes about an hour.
2. Check the condition of your equipment. This is a no-brainer, but take some time and check your grips, your hosels, and the general condition of your clubs. Now would be a good time to send in your putter for a refresh (like I did with my old Cameron… #1 is about to head over for a re-do as well). Upgrading grips is like having new clubs. In addition, check your soft spikes, clean your shoes, toss your old gloves, and replace the batteries in your range finder.
3. Restock the necessities. It’s offseason, and it’s after Christmas, so most golf stuff will be on sale until mid-March. Check all the online golf websites and Amazon for golf balls, golf gloves, new spikes, tees, etc. All of that stuff is marked way down, as the new 2017 models fill the coffers over the next couple of months. Think about it, 2016 model golf balls hit just the same, at a 25%+ discount on Amazon. You know what size/style golf glove you wear, so buy a multi-pack for a steep discount. You get it.
4. Evaluate your golf ‘look’. Look through your golf shirts, hats, etc. and toss the stuff with mustard stains, sweat stains, holes, and bad fits. Trust me, it’s important. Get a few updated nice golf shirts (check out Holderness & Bourne), a pullover or two, some new pants, and a hat or two (skip the golf logo and go for something unique, like the Onward Reserve bear). It’s important to look good on the golf course, especially if you are known as a Red Clay Soul reader.
5. Get a few lessons. Beat the Spring rush and get a few lessons with a club pro. This may be tough, as the weather may not cooperate, but here’s how you do it: Call a club pro, and let him know you want some lessons. Get a 3-session discount. Scheduling will be tough, so ask that you can schedule based on weather. When the high is 60 on Saturday, call the pro and ask for a lesson at 3:00PM. You won’t get to practice as much as you would in the Spring, but it’s better that sitting on the couch.
6. Get flexible. Speaking of sitting on the couch… By now you’ve probably fallen off your New Year’s resolution and ‘going to the gym’ is a thing of the past. Well, here’s a reason to get back: your flexibility is key to play better golf. You have to be able to turn, and Bowl Season and the NFL Playoffs are gym prohibitive. Spend 45 minutes stretching a few times a week. Hell, do a yoga class with your significant other. Don’t laugh: there’s nothing worse than being tight on the tee box.
Beyond these, think about setting goals for the year, and work backwards on how to accomplish them. Want to break 80? Figure out how to get there, with more practice, more lessons, and getting fitted for your equipment. Want to take a golf trip? Price out that long weekend in Kiawah or Pursell Farms and start recruiting your significant other and golf buddies. Want to go to the Masters? Good luck!
What are your off-season golf tricks?