Golf is an amazing sport that can be played for a lifetime and for some all year long. For most golfers, as the temperature changes, so does their score. I often hear the average golfer complaining about their scores rising when the temperature lowers. Here are two cold weather golf tips that will help you avoid the dreaded snowman and drop some strokes along with the temperature.
Cold Weather Golf Tip #1: When we are playing in conditions where the temperature has dropped we need to club up one or two clubs and focus on making controlled swings (i.e. three-quarter swings). Stay engaged with the ground while keeping our tempo smooth. The reason for this is that our cardiovascular system pumps less blood to our extremities. This means that our fingers and toes become particularly cold causing us to lose our speed and dexterity. Now add in the fact that golf balls are not as resilient and the air is denser compared to warmer temperatures. All these factors result in limited body movement and loss of distance.
Cold Weather Golf Tip #2: The Short game makes up for about 60% of our round. When cold weather is a factor the first thing that goes is our feel, and with the ball not reacting the same as in normal conditions it makes scoring, particularly getting up and down, difficult. So what do we do? Well for starters we have to know the L.A.W. (Lie, Area, Wind). Second we need to get the ball rolling as soon as possible (i.e. using a pitching wedge, 9 or 8 to chip or pitch with). This puts us in a far better position to one or two putt. When we have a better understanding of why, we make better choices which, in turn, leads to our confidence meter going up and scores coming down.
Bonus Tip: Remember to take extra time to warm up, keep your golf balls indoors the night before, and layer up!
Carlos is one of the top teaching professionals in the USA and has been teaching for 15 years. One of his greatest assets is the ability to see every part of the golf swing. He has worked and studied with some of the best teaching professionals in the USA. Carlos was one of three Golf Digest ranked teaching pros to teach at the exclusive Golf Digest Green Tie Gala along with Randy Smith and his mentor Pat O’Brien. He also works with golf pros, tour players, top junior, college, and amateur players. In his 15 years of teaching, he has helped over 70 junior golfers receive college scholarships and has helped numerous golf professionals pass their playing ability test for the PGA. Carlos is the director of instruction at the Carlos Brown Golf Academy (CBGA). CBGA is a multifaceted golf instructional academy. To find out more about Carlos and the Carlos Brown Golf Academy, go to www.carlosbrowngolf.com, and you can follow Carlos Brown online on Facebook and Twitter.
If you struggle with the reverse spine angle, where your back is angled toward the target (overswinging) at the top of the backswing, Christina Ricci will help you ditch it once and for all.
If you have been playing and practicing a lot lately, then your shoulder, abdominal, and low back muscles may be tight. This abdominal stretch will open up your back and stretch your abdominals to counteract the hunched over position from swinging a golf club.
Sit on a ball and slowly roll down to drop your head off the ball and extend your arms and legs so that your back in arched over the ball.
Balance yourself as you stretch your abdominal and low back muscles.
Hold the stretch for 8 to 10 counts. Do 8 to 10 repetitions. Stop immediately if you feel dizzy.
If you do not feel comfortable doing this stretch on a ball, simply lie on the ground and stretch your arms over your head and extend your legs out straight.
Using the ground properly to increase power and distance on shots has become a hot topic in the golf industry. With the advent of technology, such as BodiTrack, instructors can know measure how much pressure a golfer puts into the ground in order to maximize efforts. Ground force reaction (GFR) has been discussed, debated, and taught to students who wish to use their legs better in the golf swing. I’ve come up with an easy explanation to help students understand this concept quickly so that their golf game can improve.
The load, squat, jump sequence is an easy way to describe the proper use of the legs to help students use the ground more effectively to improve power and speed. This ultimately translates to more distance for the student.
There are two simple drills I prescribe that students can use in order to feel how much leg motion can be utilized in the swing. Players who lack distance and control often over-use their upper body (hands and arms) and unfortunately, this creates more variance in the golf shots. Using larger muscle groups, such as the core, legs, and hips create more reliable sources of motion.
The first drill to practice with is the Single Leg Swing Drill. Line up the golf ball with your lead leg, and pull back your trail leg so the toe in on the ground (See Picture 1). Next, you will make some swings utilizing your legs and upper body (see Pictures 2 & 3).
Most players will start this drill only swinging their upper body. What will happen naturally is the lead knee will flex in the downswing in order to maintain stability and balance. Next, it will begin to straighten, or “post,” right before impact so you’re able to swivel and rotate through. You can pick up clubhead speed with the drill immediately which will solidify the benefits and impact of using the ground quickly.
An easy way to understand how flexing and pushing into the ground creates force in the golf swing is through the use of a jump rope. If you look at the pictures of me demonstrating jumping rope (Picture 4), you’ll see the knees flex right before I jump over the rope. As I leap into the air, the legs extend.
The movement of knee flexion to extension is what creates the force and energy to propel my body into the air. Golfers use this same extension action to create energy and power in the golf swing.
This idea will certainly challenge those who believe you should “keep your head down,” throughout the swing. Over the years we have seen many examples of tour players who squat lower in the downswing, then extend and “jump” through impact and into the finish position. This creates massive gains in power. Look at some of the games longest hitters: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Lexi Thompson, and Brittaney Lincicome. Working on these two concepts will help you solidify the idea of ground reaction forces, and simplify how to use your legs in the swing to maximize power.
Feature Photo of the author, Dr. Alison Curdt at the 2020 KPMG Women’s PGA Championship from Getty Images
Dr. Alison Curdt leads our coverage of golf psychology and is a PGA Master Professional and a LPGA Master Professional. Being 1 of only 2 women to achieve this highest dual PGA and LPGA credential earned by an instructor. Alison has over 29 years of golf competition background and has recently played in five LPGA Tour majors. Alison arrived in California after being a 2 time Academic All-American and competing on a full scholarship on the women’s golf team at Florida State University.
Owner of Alison Curdt Golf in Los Angeles, CA, she earned numerous teaching awards such as the 2015 LPGA National Teacher of the Year, 2016 Southern California PGA Teacher of the Year, 4-time LPGA T&CP Western Section Teacher of the year, LPGA Top 50 Teacher, and was inducted into the Southern California PGA Teaching Hall of Fame. Alison has been selected twice as one of Golf Digest’s Best Young Teachers in America.
Alison is the Director of Instruction at Wood Ranch Golf Club and practices as a licensed clinical sport psychotherapist at Curdt Performance Therapy. She holds her doctoral degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in sport psychology.
See all of Alison Curdt’s articles on WomensGolf.com
Are you aiming way left (or right for left handers) to compensate for a wicked slice? Erika Larkin has some great stance and swing path tips to help you straighten your shots and even hit a nice draw.
How to lower your scores without changing your swing! That statement should most certainly catch the attention of all golfers!
Let’s assume you want to play great golf or maybe just better than you did last summer. You don’t take golf lessons or practice at all. (Obviously, I suggest that you should!) You are a bit afraid of change and you have heard that when you take golf lessons, you get worse before you get better.
If any of those statements apply to you, then I suggest you follow these simple tips, and you will shoot lower scores!
2. Use your favorite club on par threes.
3. Use your putter on the green AND up to 5 steps off the green.
5. If there are no bunkers around the green, bump and run your shot with your 7 iron or putt.
6. Aim to land the ball in the middle of the green ALL the time.
7. When your ball is in the rough, use a lofted club to make sure you get the ball out.
8. Learn how to hit your favorite club a shorter distance by gripping down on the club or slowing your swing tempo.
9. When your ball is around the green, pitch with your wedge, but set up to the ball like you would if you were putting.
If you can hit the ball 100 yards, two-putt every green, and you play from 5000 yards; you can shoot 86 …. and
If you can hit the ball 150 yards, two-putt every green, and play from 6000 yards; you can shoot 76.
Nancy Quarcelino is a member of the LPGA and PGA of America. Within a career that spans over 30 years, she is regarded as one of the premier golf instructors in the country. Nancy has coached a wide range of golfers during her career including amateur men and women of all abilities, competitive junior golfers, players on the LPGA Tour, the PGA developmental tours, LPGA and PGA club professionals, and collegiate golfers.
Nancy has previously held the position of Head Professional/General Manager at Indian Hills Country Club in Bowling Green, Kentucky and was also the Head Professional at Hermitage Golf Course in Old Hickory, TN. She was the host professional for the LPGA Sara Lee Classic Tournament for many years while at Hermitage Golf Course. Nancy’s passion for golf turned to teaching, and in 1992 she started the Nancy Quarcelino School of Golf which just completed its 26th year as a successful business in the Nashville, TN area.