There is not much of a winter here in the Greater New Orleans area, but it is outright cold this week. With the expected freezing temperatures many golf courses may close to protect the golf course. Walking on the golf course can kill the grass from the roots when the temperatures get close to freezing. At least that is the case with Bermuda grass. Grass up north may be more tolerable to cold temperatures.
With that said, when you can't play golf during the winter, what do you do to improve your game? Here are three suggestions that may help.
1. Work on your putting - Putting makes up the majority of your strokes on a golf course. Your driver is about 14 shots, your irons about 18, and the rest is wedges or putting depending on your skill level. Putting however is about 30 - 36 shots of any round. The PGA Tour average for 2022 was 29 putts per round just to show you how many shots are on the putting green. I recommend a practice putting mat to help you hone those putting skills. There are many out there and the amount of space you have at home or your budget can make a difference in your choice. I recommend the SKLZ Accelerator Pro Putting Mat. It does not require a lot of space and is geared to helping develop a good rhythmic putting stroke with markings for the backswing and follow through ensuring you accelerate through the putt. Best of all it only cost about $60. I recently shared a video using this putting mat on my Instagram page. View Here
2. Try Golf Fitness - There are two ways you can try this. One is at home with a system like GolfFOREVER where you use a swing trainer and a fitness program online or an app. I personally use GolfFOREVER and I love it (Free Shipping with Code: GOLFNOLA). The swing trainer alone can help you groove a swing and increase your swing speed but the fitness aspect, which is personalized when you start, is a gold mine. It also includes golf swing tips from Justin Leonard and other professionals. The other way is hands-on and in-person. This is especially a great way for those that are new to golf fitness. We highly recommend Dr. JP Guidry at Guidry Golf and Sport. Dr. Guirdy is the only certified TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) instructor in the greater New Orleans area. His hands-on approach will get you going in the right direction for a golf swing that will be strong and gain speed with your driver.
3. Use an Indoor Golf Simulator - This is a very popular option for many up north where they can not play for months. We are lucky that we get to play a vast majority of the year with no more than a week off most times. If you are in the Metairie or Mandeville area Loft 18 is one of the best places to go practice. Their simulators have many golf courses you can play or just use the driving range and work on your yardage. The simulator also gives you your carry distance numbers and more. Which I find to be very accurate. They also serve really great food. The only downside is you can only rent a simulator by the hour. If you go with 1 other person you can barely play a round of golf in the 1-hour window. If you go for longer than a day there can get a tad bit pricy. The last time I went it cost me more than it would have to play a real round of golf. It would be great if they had some kind of membership or something to make this pricing better for those that would like to go on a regular basis but as far as I know they do not. However, I do think they have a rewards program.
There are three things I think can help every golfer during winter, "unplayable", conditions. Try one or try them all and your golf game will thank you. Of course, these are only some recommendations. There are many things you can do to improve your golf game other than these. You can find a golf instructor who either does indoor golf lessons on a simulator or one that has hitting bays to a real driving range.