Physically—not so much.
I walked it last weekend and when you're hoofin’ the hillsides of Ojai, Father Time can really smack you in the face when you wake up the next day—calves burning and your back a little sore.
While you may ask, how old is this guy? I’d respond that I can still confidently check the 25-35 years old box on the free Taylormade sweepstakes surveys—so let this be a warning to you all that getting your golf fitness in check should still be a priority at any age.
Now, we can't all be like Lebron and smuggle in two hyperbaric chambers into the NBA bubble, racking up $1.5 milly+ of recovery bills each year... so for the rest of us...
I thought I’d put together some of my own in-home training hacks (emphasis on the hack) to get us all in better golf shape.
My Top 5 At-Home Training Hacks
No equipment required.
Training Hack #1:
Broom Impact Compressions
Ok, so the wife didn’t take too kindly to my “poor me I couldn’t play golf for 8 weeks because I got married and went on our honeymoon” routine from last week’s issue. How do I know this? Because I had a LOT of chores this week.
But I say, let’s view every chore as an opportunity to improve your game—and that starts with a little impact compression drill I do while sweeping.
One of my biggest challenges with compressing the golf ball is that I get too concerned about making a pro tour divot that I, in fact, make a “Joe” tour divot… aka a chunk. This broom drill I created is the perfect way to "feel the compression" without hacking up the turf in my apartment complex courtyard.
On the downswing of your sweep, you want to get about an inch or so of “broom compression.” The broom’s bristles will give you all the feedback you need, too much compression and the broom head will tug. Too little compression and you won’t actually be finishing your sweeping duties…
Finish a standard apartment’s worth of hardwood floors and you’ll be throwin’ darts and stickin' greens in no time.
Training Hack #2:
Dog Leash Resistance Band
For this drill, I suggest having a B- trained dog. Too well trained and your dog won’t actually pull on the leash to give you the resistance you’ll need. Too poorly trained and you can kiss any kind of control over the drill goodbye. The sweet spot is right in the middle where your dog listens to you but… like, whenever she feels like listening.
Today we’re training with my dog Polly. A delightfully aloof lab who loves to plant her feet in a particularly smelly patch of grass on our walks—adding what I will estimate is about 75 to 85 pounds of resistance.
The idea for this drill is to practice alignment around impact. With about 75-85 pounds of resistance, you should be able to really feel your body align while using your pooch’s resistance to simulate the moments immediately before, during and after impact.
My personal key is to ensure that my wrists are both aimed at the target for impact, instead of rushing through things and spinning slices like I’m at a food court Sbarro.
Training Hack #3:
Zoom Meeting Core Stability
My training regimen is a 24/7 kind of deal. Okay, maybe closer to 16/5 to accommodate for like sleeping and watching football… but 16/5 doesn’t really have the zip that 24/7 does, ya know? The point being that even on work calls, you can be getting some golf reps in.
One reason I love this drill is because the stakes for breaking your form are so high. You'll be actively broadcasting yourself to your coworkers so if you're doing this drill wrong... you can be sure the side-chain Slacks will be going OFF about what on Earth you're up to.
And I challenge anyone to come up with a better simulation for the pressure of a must-hit shot on the course than the passive-aggressive, middle school style ridicule of coworkers roasting one another over Slack during video calls.
The idea is to practice your shoulder and core turns without moving your head. By stabilizing your head, you’re setting yourself up for consistent contact on the course.
And by angling the computer camera to only show yourself from the neck up, if you pull the drill off correctly, no one will know you’re even practicing!
Training Hack #4:
Spatula Club Face Control
Dinner time doesn’t mean your training has to stop. In fact, this may be one of my favorite in-home drills. For the purposes of this, I am using a common plastic spatula, however, any cooking utensil works as long as it satisfies these two things.
1) Includes a flattened side to mimic the club face.
2) Utensil does not have food on it so as to avoid a secondary clean-up effort when marinara sauce splatters over the floor and ceiling.
Here, we’re taking nice and easy practice swings using your kitchen utensil. We really want to focus on every part of the swing to ensure that we’re controlling our club face throughout and returning the face to neutral at impact.
Training note: if you are working out in a galley style kitchen, be very aware of taking full speed cuts… I now have an ENORMOUS bruise on my knuckle from smacking my hand into the oven handle on the follow through.
Training Hack #5:
Pyramid Golf Bag Squats
If you’re a hoofer, then this drill is a must to ensure that your energy doesn’t die somewhere around hole 14. I got inspired for this drill after a particularly short-sighted outing a few years back when I showed up for 18 at a mess-around course near me with an ice cold 12 pack of Coors Light in tow.
The course ran out of carts for our twilight round and suddenly I found myself packing my bag full of cans to avoid the dreaded scolds from the course starter demanding that I put back my
Just like at the racks of your local Crunch Fitness, the idea here is to steadily add cans then remove cans of your favorite on-course refreshments during your squat sets. A typical pyramid set for me will go:
3 Can - 6 Can - 12 Can - 6 Can - 3 Can
You’ll build up your leg and back muscles in the same way baseball players swing with those heavy bats. So once you get the can-less bag back on your back, it’ll feel like nothing.
Never. Skip. Leg Day.
There you have it. Fool-proof advice some could say—or proof I'm a fool... But you'll never know for sure until you try it and my still sinking handicap seems to indicate that something I'm doing these days is working. Was that a humble brag?
Nah, that's just a brag-brag. Swing hard and see ya next week!