Off Season Training - What are you doing?

For some, the off season might have already begun once the first snow flake touched the ground. For others you might not have an off season due to your climate but maybe you have dedicated a month or two to slow down and focus on some specifics. Wherever you live, what are you doing this ‘Off Season’ to better yourself? Do you have a detailed plan or some goals in mind? Are you planning on getting a lesson or a coach?

Go ahead and discuss, I am interested to see what others have lined up for themselves.

I for one am diving deep into golf related fitness, focusing on my stability, mobility, strength, and power by implementing workouts derived from Joey D’s book - Fix your Body Fix your Swing.
I also plan to link up with a swing coach (my first) to get a better understanding of my flaws throughout my swing and course management.

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Cool thread idea. Hopefully we can help keep one another motivated during the winter season.

Just today I was going through some tournament data from my 2018 season. My goal for the winter is to figure out what this data means, turn it into actionable data, and use it to define what I need to work on for 2019.

Using a very rough calculation of Strokes Gained comparing my FIR, GIR, Total putts, and Up and Down % to the 96th ranked person in each stat on the PGA (rough average), I found the following results.

-1.5 strokes gained off the tee
-2.68 strokes gained approach the green
-1.13 strokes gained putts per round
-.32 strokes gained around the green
-5.63 total strokes gained

My eyes go right to my approach shots and inability to hit more fairways. Does my inability off the tee lead to worse approach numbers? Do I just suck with mid-irons and wedges? I am not sure but I hope to figure that out this off-season and figure out a way to positively impact whatever issue for next season. I imagine it will lead to working with some sort of coach.

I too am going to be working on my fitness and golf strength this winter. Hope to also learn a few new shots to add to the arsenal.

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More of a work out goal, but I want to improve core strength. I’ve been reading through a bodyweight fitness subreddit for some info (https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/). They have a recommended routine that looks interesting.

As far as swinging a club, I’ll be out there so long as the course is open. There’s a number of public courses around here that are open year-round depending on the weather. Long Island doesn’t get really severe winters

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@sundaybag Interestingly enough, I actually started to really keep track of my stats through the GolfShot app after my round, as well as a spreadsheet. It really does paint a great picture (if you’re a numbers guy) to see your strengths and weaknesses laid out on paper. Gives you a great starting point on which areas need particular attention.
I broke my stats up into the similar categories, then I assigned 1 or 2 skill drills for each of those specific areas for me to undertake when I practice. Just like my on course stats, I detail my skill drill stats to see if I’m improving or not.

I like the idea of comparing to a ranked player. That is something I will have to disappoint myself with.

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Cool thread, tracking this!

I said this time last year I would focus on ‘golf fitness’ but I had no specific goals, so it predictably faded as the winter set in.

I’ve had a relatively successful year for my golf game, and feel like I am on the edge of ratcheting up my whole game one level, but I’ve made a few observations that has held me back from truly scaring par on courses consistently:

  1. my swing has a common miss where I get lazy and just take the club on the path of least physical resistance, which for me is a slight over the top which will pull my ball off line unpredictably. It’s playable sometimes, but I can’t waste my energy hoping I’ve aimed right enough of my target line, I’d rather strike it on my line more often.

  2. I lunge at my drives a lot, especially as the round grows late.

Both things point to core strength and flexibility. A stronger core can help hold the club path in position as I rotate back, and the flexibility will help me turn better and not lunge to make a strike. Probably couldn’t hurt to gain a little arm strength, too.

True Golf related, though, is my short putting. Specifically getting a ball to start online within the first few feet of roll. I’m looking to set something up in my house that is firm and level…if anyone has DIY suggestions let me know!!

If you want a drill that will make your putts true, grab a flat, metal meter stick and putt golf balls on it. If your ball makes it all the way down, your putts are true. The first couple of putts usually fall off after about 10 inches. Absolutely maddening. Then you get in a rhythm and you roll five or six all the way down and you feel like a god.

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While I don’t necessarily love hitting off mats into nets, I bought a membership to the PGA Tour Superstore “Range” near my place. They have the trackmans set up at each station and you can email yourself the data for all the shots you hit. If nothing else, it’s good to just be able to head over and hit some shots when I get the itch.

Also yoga does wonders for flexibility/improving range of motion.

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Im lucky being in the North East Of Scotland and staying on the coast that we don’t get hit hard by the winter and can play full course nearly all year. We have eclectic comp between ourselves which has 18 playing this year it keeps us going and everyone competitive as the bragging rights for winning are huge.

I have a TPI program i use for the gym 2-3 times week which i find helps to keep me ticking over, also go to the range at least once a week and have started a block of 3 lessons to tidy up my swing , i find the winter a great time to work on my game .

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How do you dissect the data? The stats I am keeping are all basic (FIR, GIR, Putts/round, Up/Down %). After conducting my basic comparison, it was helpful to see where good players average day stacked up to mine. Now that I have the general data, I do not really know where to focus. Instinct tells me that only losing 1.13 shots putting per round is fairly decent given that putting is 41% of my strokes. Losing .32 strokes scrambling seems reasonable - I am willing to give up a stroke every 3 rounds around the green. It’s hard without pinpointing where in the approach game and off the tee the issue lies.

Just did the same comparison to stat leaders on the PGA tour in 2018 to my stats. Talk about exposure. An elite player in each categories average vrs. my average in 2018 looks like this:

-3.22 strokes gained off the tee
-4.55 strokes gained approach
-.92 strokes gained scrambling
-2.58 strokes gained putting
-11.27 strokes gained total
-45.08 strokes gained over a 4 day tournament.

I figured taking the year long average for the stat leaders in each basic category would be a reasonable comparison to what winner on tour any given week would look like - if not even better. Really shows how far off a scratch golfer is from competing on tour. 45 shots per tournament. Yikes. Then you add in the difficulty of the courses they play. 60 shots back is not out of the question.

Edit: Did this with Leish’s stats from last week. Here are the results:
-1.86 strokes gained off the tee
-4.27 strokes gained approach
-1.28 strokes gained scrambling
-4.9 strokes gained putting
-12.31 strokes gained total
-49.24 strokes gained for the tournament

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For me, I agree with Mark Broadie’s assessment of the amateur golfer needing to work on longer shots as opposed to shorter ones.

I have a tendency to get wild off the tee and launch balls well OB or deep in the woods. I’m now playing my third from the tee or dropping three from a terrible angle. I have more balls OB (or in the trees) than three putts.

I bet if you make your tee ball a strength, your strokes gained approach would drop as well.

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I find the winter is usually the time where I try to get rid of all the injuries I’ve picked up over the summer.

Currently working on 2 x tennis elbows, 1 x golfers elbow, a niggling frozen shoulder, general back complaints, a sore finger on my left hand that never goes away and a femeroarcelateral impingement in my right hip. Frankly it’s a wonder I can even play.

If you’re under 30, enjoy it. It’s shit when you pass 40!

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I concur! Being the ripe old age of 47, niggles as you described are a constant source of anguish.

Being in Lancashire, we avoid a heavy winter usually, our comps consist of 14 holes fourball better ball, bacon barms at the half way house and a coffee topped up with something saucy from a hip flask. I find those comps much more fun (read, less stressful) than the summer and keeps the swing ticking over.

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I agree wholeheartedly.

By far, my strength is my driver. i’ll average about 270 in the fairway. I think i averaged 12 fairways a round this year. So, i hit a lot of greens. When i dont hit the fairway, its not as easy. If i’m having an off day with the driver, i WILL play poorly. I’ll hit 15 greens a round when im driving it well. When im not, its probably closer to 8 or 9.

I would sacrifice my first unborn child to average 12 fairways a round. I step up and have no clue where it’s going. On the other hand though, my punchout game is REAL strong, shoutout @ClubProGuy.

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This is how I have broken my stats up, same as you but I haven’t dived into comparing against any type of field. Something I will do against the Web.com guys to really help paint the picture.

PUTTS UP & DOWN GIR FIR SAND SAVES
31.95 28% 49% 55% 26%
31 30% 51% 57% 14%
30 38% 44% 57% 22%
29.4 42% 47% 51% 27%

I track my averages of last 5 rounds and update it every Monday. Sunday’s round helped drop my putting average as I had 27 total putts and only 9 on the back.Obviously the more GIR’s you have the higher your putts will likely be.

I have started a bit of a ‘workflow’ in my ability to dissect and rectify an issue. All of my tracked stats (%'s) are broken up into Levels ranging from 1 - 5. Each level is progressively more difficult to obtain - i.e - GIR Level 1 is equal too or less than 30%, Level 2 is equal too or less than 40% and so on. What my workflow allows me to do is analyze my data, assign my skill drill, and then assign my prescribed fitness exercise to assist in getting better in that skill drill. Obviously the correlation between my skill drill and prescribed exercise is bit of a stretch in fixing the root cause, but Im a firm believer that my overall fitness and ability to get better at my skill drills go hand in hand.

Update on my own Off Season (Maybe something Ill continue to update here?)

I had my second training session today using Joey D’s fitness regime. My trainer is excited as I am with all this as she has noticed a second breath of air in my motivation. We worked on lower body; focusing on hips, some core, glutes, IT band and groin area through some dynamic stretching and so forth. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am feeling a little sore but no where near as sore if I was weight lifting (which I dislike as my job is pretty active and I don’t like walking around looking like I shat myself). Massage, spa and cold dips tonight to help recovery. Stretch with some at home pilates on the cards tomorrow evening to keep everything loose.

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yeah, but do you average 3 three putts a round. Are you happy with only missing 3 4 footers a round?

My game is the essence of frustration. Never in trouble, always around the green, usually have 6 or 7 real good looks at birdie. It looks boring from the outside, but when you miss that many putts, bad thoughts run through your head.

Then, when youre in a match and short side yourself and you havent hit a chip all day, your happy to have a 5 footer for par, that you know isnt going in.

But hey, better than the last two rounds. I’m a +.6 GHIN, and shot 86 and 90 the last two times out.

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I can relate to @GluteActivator’s sentiment that I’d kill to hit that many fairways a round, especially with that kind of distance, but I also get where you’re coming from.

I’m currently a 22 handicap, and I’m always comparing myself to my brother who hovers around 8-12 depending on how much he plays, and when I see him getting frustrated over some of his shots, I say stuff like “man, if only I was as good as him, I’d never be upset on the course with how bad I’m playing”. But then I just recently played with a random at public course and he shot over 120 while I shot 96 and as I expressed my disappointment that I didn’t shoot just a little lower (still looking for my first round in the 80s) he said “I’d kill to shoot 96”. And I think about where I’ve been, because it wasn’t that long ago that I could only dream of breaking 100. It’s part of what’s frustrating and fun about golf at the same time. We’re never satisfied, so while that can be torture at times, we’re always striving to get better. 15 GIR in one round sounds like such a fun day of ball striking to me that I can’t imagine ever getting tired of that, but at the same time, the goalposts shift and missing birdie putts and three putting for bogeys isn’t very fun when you dream of going low. I hope I can get to that point where that’s my problem some day…haha

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A couple months ago i was -4 through 14 and had 14 putts on the last 4 holes… two four putts, two three putts. Solid 74

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yeah, I think that anyone, no matter what their level, can see why that would be frustrating even if the number 74 jumps out to me as a pipe dream

At the start of this season I was hitting the ball the best I ever have. At my brother’s bachelor party out in Tahoe, I found out at the turn that I was beating him, 41-42. My 41 included two three puts on GIRs so I’m telling myself I could easily be at 38 or 39 (lipped out a birdie putt and missed the par putt coming back, and lipped out the par putt on the other one), but either way I was thrilled. Suddenly breaking 90 for the first time seemed like a foregone conclusion and I had dreams of scaring 80. We shuffled up the groups for the back 9 so my bro could play with more of his friends at his bachelor party and I proceeded to melt down while getting stuck with worse players that kind of killed my vibe. I came in with a 55 and my brother beat me 84-96 I believe when it was all said and done. As the best man I joke with him that I had to let him win, but that was unbelievably frustrating. And the funny thing was, at the start of the day I would have taken 96 10 times out of 10 if you told me that was my number.

Next round out I went 42-54 for another 96. You’d think I could have learned something from that first meltdown, but oh well, that’s golf, haha.

How is Joey D’s book?