Photo courtesy of Corey Wilson/Wilson Photography LLC
As a golfer, this is the longest and most intense winter in recent memory, with snow and extreme colds sticking around longer than just a day. Fortunately, we weren’t faced with defeating a white-walker army of the dead. And yes, there was plenty of Game of Thrones watching x2 to be had.
For those of us who weren’t snowbirds or lucky enough to live where the temperature averaged at least 50 degrees during the winter months, you truly lived a Midwest golfer’s dream. For the rest of us who were faced with the unfortunate reality of a long, cold, golf-less winter, how did we survive the 3-4 months without golf and keep our game from complete hibernation?
Likely one of the best ways we kept warm during the long winter months was by frequenting our local simulators to, at the very least, maintain our game during the winter. The benefit? Avoiding the crippling “swing hibernation”. It may not seem like it now, but we’ll be able to reap the benefits of our winter hacks when the season officially kicks off without the usual 4-week primer (at least for me) knocking the rust off. Plus, where else could we play a round at Pebble Beach or Pinehurst No. 2 with subzero temperatures outside?
TopGolf provided the opportunity to work on all aspects of a golf game: swinging, drinking, and eating. Not to mention, the bays were always nice and toasty warm, which eliminated the “freeze” factor, all while still providing the great outdoor experience. And don’t worry about those stares of judgement received for being “that guy” or “that girl” walking up the steps with your own clubs. They just lacked the dedication Sticks and Hacks devoted to the game during the winter.
Learned from YouTube Videos
Over the years I’ve found a lot of the small improvements in my game came from watching YouTube golf videos during the offseason, and that’s exactly what I did. There’s a wealth of useful tips from the infinite number of YouTube instructional videos. Utilizing the downtime we had during the offseason will be a great opportunity to use what we’ve seen from said instructional videos and begin to visualize and practice how to incorporate these nuggets into our game, even if it’s something as simple as a grip adjustment and “air swinging”. Every bit helps.
Braved the Cold
While the 90-degree rule has nothing to do with temperature, I’ve implemented my own personal 50-degree rule, which indicates I shall not golf when it’s below 50 degrees: no ifs, ands, or buts. For the rare few that had wildling blood running in their veins and had no qualms braving the extreme cold: more power to you. I personally never mastered winter golf and I have enough trouble swinging with one layer of clothes on, let alone 3.
Binge Watched A Streaming Network of Choice
There’s a reason Netflix stock has been on the rise since the pandemic started. They’re producing a ton of great binge-watchable content. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t take an occasional winter off and do absolutely zero golf-related activities. But I can’t think of a better way to do nothing than stay inside out of the and lay on the couch and watch a spectrum of Netflix series from beginning to end, or in my case, re-watch Game of Thrones.
There’s no doubt about it. Winters are tough for Midwesterners, both physically and mentally. This winter was no different. That’s without the added bonus of being in the middle of a pandemic.
If the opportunity presented itself to get out of dodge and take a trip somewhere warm and sunny, I commend you. There’s nothing quite like being somewhere warm mid-February and knowing back home everyone is freezing their tails off. And let’s not forget a little Vitamin D never hurt either.
Columbus, Ohio (O-H) native, Brian has consistently played championship or mediocre golf since a young age...depending on the day. He's learned to adapt his game to a lifelong "baseball-like" swing and will never sway on his stance that the club is always at fault, never the golfer. In addition to golf, Brian's passions include sipping bourbon (neat), rescuing dogs, smoking meats, and lifting heavy things.
More Stick and Hack Content
Stick and Hack Club Membership
Start Connecting With Stick and Hacks All Over the World