With short days and cold weather wintertime usually means retiring your clubs and hunkering down, but it can be a time of opportunity.

Time to Focus

“Winter is a great time to focus on certain changes that you postpone all spring and summer,” says Sedgefield Country Club Director of Fitness Sherri Tallant. “It does not have to be very time consuming, you don’t need hours in the gym or a lot of heavy weight lifting in order to get huge benefits.”

Tallant is not just a personal trainer but is TPI certified, which means she’s gained a deep understanding of how the body’s strengths and weaknesses affect a golfer’s swing. “In the spring and the summer, most of our members’ time should be spent playing golf,” she acknowledges. “But in the winter, don’t just put your clubs away and forget about your golf game until spring.” Tallant recommends going to the fitness center or any space outfitted with mirrors. “Just watch your golf swing,” she advises.

Tallant adds that cooler months are the best time to start working on your short game. “Putting and chipping tend to be the two things that get rusty the fastest,” she says. “Stick to practicing in the mirror and you’ll stay tee-time ready come spring.”

Be Flexible

Less time on the course also means more time to spend on stretching and strengthening. “In the off season, golfers should spend more time in the gym doing things like yoga classes,” Tallant says. Sedgefield offers a six-week yoga program that meets for an hour once weekly, and most of her members sign up for two back-to-back six-week sessions.

“Through yoga, you’re not necessarily making your muscles longer, but you’re keeping them from getting shorter, which they would do if you don’t use them,” Tallant explains. “Strength training and stretching lengthens that muscle right back out and helps with rotation, which speeds up your clubhead speed. It’s absolutely awesome for golfers to do in the off season.”