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I strongly believe in some basic analysis of our golf as being a hugely helpful source of information to improve your game

A new year, a new season

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great holiday season and we wish you all the best for 2014. According to the Chinese calendar it’s the Year of the Horse, but for all the golfers out there we would love it to be the Year of the Birdie…or maybe even Eagle!

I always find this time of year interesting as we tend to look ahead and make plans for the next twelve months. We should all be making plans when it comes to our golf and here are a few suggestions for how best to prepare for the coming season.

A change could do you good

There is nothing more destructive than becoming bored or frustrated by our practice routines. If you have a practice schedule, why not change it up a bit? Try alternating the days you practice, change which side of the range you use, try some new drills or work more on your short game. This might sound basic but we can become bogged down by a routine that we feel is becoming tedious and a fresh approach may be exactly what we need! This can be especially helpful if we have had a disappointing previous season. It might be time for a fresh start; put last year behind you and make it feel like a brand new, positive season.

Evaluating performance

How can we improve if we don’t know where we went wrong? I strongly believe in some basic analysis of our golf as being a hugely helpful source of information to improve your game. It doesn’t have to be super complicated line graphs and percentages: What about a simple chart you pop in your pocket alongside a scorecard recording information like fairways/greens found, number of putts and a space for any additional comments (e.g. hit a good chip, had a bad lie, got out of bunker)?

This can be really helpful and in my experience often makes for interesting reading. The area which you felt was holding you back may not be the one you had always thought! There are also several apps which can help you organise this.

Based on this information, you will be far better placed to plan your practice schedule, focusing on the areas which need the most work.

Equipment MOT

One of my real pet hates is golfers not taking care of their equipment. Top of this list must be having good quality grips on all of your clubs, including the putter. This is a job that should really be done once a year and the benefit is massive. A new grip can really lift a club and give it that new feel so all those bad shots from last year are forgotten.

Also, don’t forget your loft and lies! Changes can happen very easily so making sure these are still accurate will help. Be honest, who can tell me the loft and bounce angle of their wedges without peeking? We should all understand the importance of the short game nowadays and the significance of your loft and lies shouldn’t be underestimated. You can discuss these issues with our customisation experts at the St Andrews Links Golf Academy.

These are just a few ideas that may help you have a great pre-season and who knows, this could be your best season yet!

 

Words by Blair Cross, Academy Instructor

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