How do you motivate yourself in the off-season?

Golfer's worst nightmare

We’re on the cusp of winter in the DC area and as I prepare for my fall eastern shore golf trip the inevitable sadness is setting in with the realization that the golf season is nearly over.  My typical year consists of 30-35 rounds from March to November followed by two months of worshiping at the alter of the football and hockey gods and ending with a one month infliction of cabin fever.  The absence of any meaningful play on the professional tours doesn’t help (and I’m not counting the President’s Cup as meaningful.)

Combating the passion drain and propensity to become a sofa spud is tough.  How do you stay motivated over the winter?  My main source is improvement.  The ability to practice and the challenge of putting my efforts to the test on a weekly basis is a powerful driver.  Banging balls in the backyard range has less appeal without the ability to immediately test my changes.  Professionals in other sports stay motivated in their off-seasons by the fear of failure and loss of income.  How about those of us who have a passion for the sport but also have day jobs?  Will travel to a warm weather destination solve?  Embark on a fitness regimen?  Please send your ideas.  Thanks.

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About Brian Penn

Avid sports fan and golf nut. I am a lifelong resident of the Washington D.C. area and love to follow the local teams. Also worked as a golf professional in the Middle Atlantic PGA for several years and am intrigued by the game to no end. I love to play and practice and am dedicated to continual improvement.
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2 Responses to How do you motivate yourself in the off-season?

  1. Brian I am going through the same thing out here in Chicago. Winter is right around the corner and I have a few putting and general swing drills I work on, but the main thing I try to do in the winter is work on my physical fitness and mental fitness. I will run on the treadmill and play a full 18 holes in my head at my local course. I will visualize the entire round during my run just to keep my mind sharp and ready for the next time I go out and play. You would be surprised how comfortable you feel on that first tee after a winter of not playing if you try this. I found that I felt like I had been there 100 times before and I was comfortable on the first tee even without working much on my swing.

  2. brianpenn says:

    That’s a fabulous approach! I’ve played a simulated round in my head the night before a real round but never rehearsed continuously over the winter. Love the idea of playing mental golf on the treadmill too, which isn’t the most interesting of activities. There’s only so much Sportscenter a man can take. Thanks for the suggestion!

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