Golf column: Preparing for 2013 season

We are winding down another golf season in Minnesota in the next few weeks. While we were able to start golfing earlier than normal in 2012, it never seems to be a long enough season. Some of you may be fortunate enough to be heading south for the winter, where Florida and Arizona offer lots of great golf options and beautiful weather.

Chris Weinhold

Chris Weinhold

Most of us will be here as the snow flies and the temperature dips and hope for another early spring. So as we put the clubs away for the next five months, what are you going to do to prepare for the 2013 golf season?

The biggest piece of advice I can give you is to continue to golf in some way over the winter months. Not touching your clubs from October ‘till April and thinking that you will pick up where you left off during your last round is not likely to be the case.

Being able to work off some of the “rust” in the golf swing over the winter, will allow you to golf better early in the season and have a more enjoyable summer.

Here are two easy ways that can help you and your golf game be ready for the next spring.

• Continue to hit golf balls on a regular basis. For some people, this may be a bucket of balls per week and for some it may be every few weeks or even once a month.

TwinCitiesGolf.com has a list of all indoor hitting facilities, all season ranges and indoor simulators where you can work on your game and continue to get repetitions in.

I would tell you to make sure your expectations are lowered when you are hitting golf balls indoors. It is not the ideal situation, as the ball cannot travel as far as an open range, but you are working on repetitions and trying to keep your swing in tune.

Come April next year, you will be thankful for those golf balls that you hit over the winter months, if it is in regular intervals.

• Take a lesson with a local PGA professional. I see a lot of golfers that take a lesson and believe that they will be instantly better after 30 minutes, and then they will come back at a later time to improve another part of their game.

A few lessons in each area of the game and now they will be a scratch golfer.Unfortunately, the game is not that easy.

As a teacher, I stress to my students that after a lesson I want them to come back and practice what we worked on until it is comfortable. The offseason is a great time to take a lesson and receive a few items to work on with your game.

Write down what you need to work on and get a few drills from your golf professional that will help accomplish this.

Now with regular practice over the winter and keeping the “rust” off your swing, you will be ready for the first tee shot of the year.

Here’s hoping it will be in mid-March again.

Chris Weinhold is the assistant golf professional at the TPC Twin Cities, Blaine.

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