This has been the most exciting and fun winter I have ever had.
It seems that I am having so much fun enjoying what winter has to offer that I just do not want it to end. As a matter of fact, I spent two glorious afternoons in the last two weeks enjoying the sunshine while touring the vast landscape of Lakewood Golf Resort on a snowmobile.
Yes that is correct, a snowmobile!
A friend and I thought we would break up the monotony of the work day two weeks ago by going for a spin around the golf course (our very own winter wonderland). The sun was shining, the temperature was in the high single digits . . . a beautiful spring day by all accounts. Away we went with smiles in tow screaming at the top of our lungs and laughing uncontrollably as if we were in grade school. We did not have a care in the world. The snow conditions were perfect (a foot deep in spots) for a warm spring day.
How could this get any better? Then low and behold the weather turned cold and boom — another six inches. Yee haw.
When the weather broke around the middle of the week, I snuck out from behind my desk, opened the garage door and there she was — the snowmobile was raring to go once again. So out she came and this time I decided to use the driving range like a race track.
Donning the same smile as I had the week earlier, wearing my shades as the sun was too bright and without a jacket as the temperature was in the teens, off I went. Yee haw once again.
Around and around I went as if I was leading the race. Not a single soul in front of me and not concerned for anyone behind me. Nothing could be more perfect than this . . . that is, except it is April 23rd! Are you kidding me!? What’s up with that!?
The end of April and I find myself racing around the driving range to break up the eight inches of snow that we still have with the hope that this will help it melt quicker. Other ranges in Central Alberta are selling range balls and I am using my range like a snowmobile race track.
What’s next . . . a dog sled race in July?
All joking aside, it looks like spring has finally arrived. That means that everyone is out polishing off their equipment, heading out to the range to work out the bugs in their swings so when the golf courses do open they are ready to go low.
When you go out to the golf course or driving range, you expect to play a good round or at worst hit the ball in the direction that you envision it to travel with the correct trajectory and distance.
How often does your outcome match what you expect? Do you usually shoot the score or hit the ball as well as you had envisioned before you arrived at the golf course? If the answer to this question is no, you need to evaluate where and how you could have saved strokes and avoid those blowup holes and undesired results.
I have five easy tips for you to implement into your golfing routine that will assist you in performing better the next time you play or hit the driving range. Give them a try and you will be surprised of the outcome.
First of all, you have to put the proper fuel in your body before you leave home.
Most golfers do not give this the proper attention it deserves. Most do not eat at all or they eat something that does not give them the long-term energy they need. Whether it is breakfast or lunch, you need to consume a complex carbohydrate and a good protein source. This combination will warrant the best use of your energy for the long haul.
An example for breakfast would be a bowl of oatmeal and a couple of eggs, with some fruit or juice. For lunch, a turkey or chicken sandwich on whole wheat bread and a piece of fruit.
The second tip is to warm up your body before you hit the practice or first tee.
Too many golfers show up five minutes before their time and head straight to the first tee. This is generally done without any kind of stretching to get the muscles ready. Be sure to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to your tee time. Start by completing some stretching exercises, ensuring the muscles and joints are warm and limber.
Once you have completed your pre-game stretching you are ready to hit some practice shots. Do not pull out your driver first. This happens too often and does not get you started on the right foot. Start by using a more lofted club and hit some half shots. Work you way up to a full swing and then change clubs. Prior to heading off to the first tee, pull out your driver and hit a few. Using only the driver prior too teeing off generally causes you to swing too hard causing poor results.
Drink plenty of water prior to and during your game.
Players should attempt to consume at least one liter of water prior to reaching the first tee and continue to hydrate during the round. Drinking plenty of water will assist in hydrating your muscles for optimal performance. Dehydration causes lack of focus, concentration and energy loss later in your round.
Don’t wait to get tight prior to stretching on the golf course.
You should be constantly moving your body and stretching your joints while you play or practise. Too many golfers complain about tight lower backs or shoulder joints during their round. Continual stretching during your round will assist in keeping your muscles limber, enabling them for optimal performance.
Finally, be sure to snack while you play.
This does not mean a burger, some fries and a beer or two after nine holes. Be sure to bring some fruit or a nutrition bar on the course with you. Supplying your body with the proper nutrients ensures that your energy level stays balanced. Doing so will assist in avoiding those mental lapses throughout your round.
These are only a few tips that will assist you in performing better during your practice sessions and while on the course.
Remember that insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results. If you are not happy with your on-course performance and wish to change the result, then you must look to make changes that will affect your performance in a positive way.
Have fun on the driving range this week and see you at the course.
Scott Bergdahl is the head professional at Lakewood Golf Resort near Sylvan Lake. His column appears Tuesdays in the Advocate.