How To Practice Golf in The Cold
Don't let your juniors practice in the cold! They might get good at it…
A thought that I’ve have had for a while and recently decided to look explore more diligently is cold weather training.
Being from the UK, I was faced with cold weather quite often, and in Georiga, winters do tend to be similar. Student’s tell me all the time, “I can’t feel my hands,” “I can’t move properly,” “I can’t swing in all these layers,” etc. My response has always been that cold conditions are something golfers will face when playing in a tournament, so training in temperatures that are alike, if not colder, can only help them better prepare for those particular tournaments.
Depending on the phase of the student, pushing this type of training can be good and bad. A student that is in the early phases of learning may need to wait before taking on the difficulties of zero degrees training. Students that want to play competitively may need to think twice about taking a breather with a hot chocolate.
By far, the most common statement by far is, “I can’t feel my hands.” I looked examined this and spoke with a good friend and very trusted advisor/mentor. My questions went like this:
Me: “(mentor), can there be a time where temperatures are so low that it is counterproductive for competitive golfers to practice?”
Mentor: “Will this golfer be tested/competing in temperatures as low? The answer is that they will, so... no, practice is not counterproductive.”
Me: “(Mentor) But, there are times when golfers can’t feel their hands. Could that not have an adverse effect on the player’s pattern of movement during training?”
Mentor: “Will the player be tested/competing with little feeling in their hands due to the cold temperatures? The answer is that they will, so practice is once again productive, not counterproductive. What you must default to is the order of questions, which always start with - will the player be tested or compete in this? If so, it is not counterproductive.”
This is vital to know and understand, even if we coaches don’t like standing out in the cold weather temperatures. It might be hard and miserable for some, but we are doing our students a disservice if we don’t. Our students must learn ways to deal/cope with the stresses of cold temperatures. They must learn ways to overcome these problems because they will be faced with them at some point in a tournament. Even if students don’t face the exact same temperature, and it is warmer in competition/test time, it may feel that much easier for them.
Get wrapped up, get prepared and leave no stone unturned.