As the summer starts to disappear, the leaves begin to change colors and the temperatures cool off, you may find yourself either putting your clubs in the closet until spring or you may not want to give up the game for the season quite yet. Some of you will do everything possible to play as much golf as you can before the snow sets in. If this is you, then consider a few of these simple tips.
During the fall season, there are conditions that can and will make the game more difficult such as leaves on the ground, aerated greens, fairways and roughs, and cold air not letting your ball fly as far. Since you have no control over these factors it is best to realize them and make adjustments. Hit more club than you would from your summer distances, and don’t let bumpy greens or bad lies affect your attitude.
Take the opportunity in the fall to realize the weakest part of your game and spend time improving those areas. It is easy to practice what you are good at but I encourage all my students to spend the fall and the spring seasons learning skills they are not proficient in. If they make time to do this, they will see the results during the summer golf season.
The fall season is also a great time to look at your equipment and start planning for any upgrades or additions you may need for the following season. The PGA Merchandise Show is always in January and all the major manufacturers will release their latest and greatest equipment at that time. If you have done some research and found any gaps in your bag, the show will help update you on any new gear/equipment.
Plan a winter golf trip to a warm area and possibly consider a golf school for the winter. Taking a trip in the winter with family or friends and playing (or learning) golf is an awesome and rewarding experience. You will want to start making these plans in the fall and that will help to inspire you to play as much golf as you can the remainder of the year.
Lastly take the fall season and early winter to work on your golf fitness. Golf is an athletic endeavor so finding any extra time to become stronger, more flexible and increasing your endurance will pay off in your game. Maybe consider a yoga or Pilates class to strengthen your core and increase your ability to turn in your swing. Take some long walks or hikes and increase your cardio fitness. Find some form of fitness that you enjoy and you will more likely stick with it and your golf game next summer will thank you.
Matt Stottern is the PGA Director of Instruction at the Peninsula State Park Golf Course. He is also the Director of the John Jacobs Golf School at the same location. He has more than 20 years teaching golf and teaches golfers of all ages and abilities. He spends the winter months teaching golf schools and private lessons in Arizona. He can be contacted at 480.620.5395 or email at [email protected].