Until you’ve picked up a club and attempted to hit a golf ball, you can’t grasp how difficult the game of golf really is. Proficient players make it look so simple and natural, watching them it seems like it should be easy. In reality, the golf swing is one of the most complex movements in all of sports, requiring the coordination to keep multiple body parts moving in sync.
The professionals on television make the golf swing look effortless, this is largely because golf is their job. They’ve put thousands of hours’ worth of work into the fundamentals in order to imprint them into their muscle memory. You’re likely in a bit of a different situation than Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, in that you’re happy if you can hit the links once a week, and maybe squeeze in a bucket of balls at the local driving range now and then. But just because you can’t make it to the golf course or range because of time or weather, doesn’t mean that you can’t put in some time practicing golf at home to help you improve.
Here are our top 5 at home golf practice tips!
1. Buy A Swing Training Device
Most people think they can only work on their golf game on the driving range, but golf swing training devices provide you with an easy alternative to hone your skills. That’s why we believe training devices are the best way to practice golf at home! Here’s a look at some of the key benefits of golf swing aids that you can use in your garage or backyard:
- Minimal time investment: Don’t worry about spending hours heading out to the driving range. With a swing training device, just a few minutes each day can go a long way, and there’s no need to leave the comfort of your own home!
- Reinforces fundamentals: Unless you’re golfing every day, it can be difficult to carry any momentum in your play from one round to the next. The only surefire way to hold on to the progress you make is to practice golf at home, preferably every day. And if your last round was a dud, it’s a great option to work out those kinks at home before you get back out on the course again.
- Affordability: Swing trainers are a one-time investment that can help you shave strokes off your game. They provide a continual opportunity for improvement that can’t be matched by more temporary solutions like beating more balls at the driving range. In addition, unlike most temporary solutions, they offer some guidance. After all, it is particularly difficult to work through swing issues by yourself.
2. Work With An Instructor
Any golf instructor worth their salt will equip you with some drills specifically tailored for at home golf practice. No one hates to see your golf game slide due to lack of practice more than your instructor. These drills often go hand in hand with the use of swing training device for the very same reasons we suggested above. An instructor can teach you how to practice golf at home in other ways as well, be it through stretching, or through specific physical or mental exercises. Of course this tip necessitates leaving your home to get started, but the insight a professional instructor can provide most often proves invaluable. There are apps available, like the V1 Sports Golf app, that let you stay in contact with your instructor, receive tips and lessons online, or compare video of your swing with a tour pro. Keep this technology in mind when you practice golf at home.
3. Flexibility and Strength Training
Sometimes the best way to practice golf at home is to not swing a club at all. If you don’t have the time or resources to acquire a professional fitness instructor, fear not! The internet contains a wealth of golf-exercise suggestions that can be equally as effective. We even have our own blog on the subject! Here are a few suggestions if you don’t know where to start. Many golfers struggle with hip flexibility, with tightness in their knees or back, and with weakness in their glutes and core muscles. These represent much of what makes a good swing possible. Below are recommendations from our own in-house Titleist Performance Institute Certified physical therapist Taylor Horgan. We suggest that you also do your own research on any stretches or exercises before attempting them yourself.
For hip flexibility we recommend a figure four stretch. There are a number of ways to do a figure four stretch, and which way will work best is up to your own physicality. The basics of the stretch remain the same. Cross your legs, placing the ankle of one leg on the thigh of the other - just above knee - opening up the hips.
For tightness in the knees we recommend hamstring and quad stretches. The most basic hamstring stretch is very simple, sit on the floor with both legs out straight in front of you, extend your arms and reach forward toward your toes - bending at the waist. The simplest quad stretch is to lay on your side, legs and body in line, supporting your head with one hand, and bending your leg to grab your foot with the other, keeping your knees together.
For tightness in the back we recommend Thread the needle and open book stretches. To thread the needle, start on your hands and knees, wrists directly below shoulders, knees directly below hips. Slide your right arm underneath your left with your palm facing up and let your right shoulder come all the way to the ground. Rest your right ear and cheek on the ground but do not press your weight into your head. To do an open book stretch, lie on your side with your knees and hips at 90 degrees, knees together, with your arms outstretched in front of you - one on top of the other. Take whichever arm is on top of the two and lift it, raising it to place on the opposite side of your body, opening your chest in the process. Keep your knees together!
For weak glutes we recommend glute bridges. To do a glute bridge, lay on the ground, bend your knees and bring your feet close enough that you can brush your heel with your fingers, drive up through your heels and upper back to lift your glutes off the ground, squeezing your glutes hard and tightening your abs.
And finally for strengthening your core muscles for golf we recommend the dying bug exercise. The initial position is a lot like the open book stretch, only instead of lying on your side, you will be on your back. Knees, arms and legs in the air, knees at 90 degrees, lower opposite arm and leg to the ground slowly then return to center and repeat on the other side.
4. Practice Proper Body Positions With A Mirror
Don’t have room to make full swings in your living room without putting lamps and ceiling fans in danger? There are a number of static body positions in golf which are fundamental parts of what makes up a good swing. By practicing these you can improve your golf swing at home without ever swinging a club! Get yourself in front of a mirror, preferably of the floor-length variety, and strike a pose. Do you struggle to make a coordinated backswing? Bend into your golf posture, cross your arms across your chest and turn your shoulders around your spine without swaying. This sort of rotation drill can be improved by the use of a swing training device, especially a swing trainer like Swing Align. Many swing training aids are centered around a specific part of your swing, and some, like Swing Align, are helpful for getting multiple body positions just right. If you don’t have a swing trainer or instructor, look at some pictures of the pros. Do your body positions look like theirs? If not spend some time in front of the mirror trying to mimic the best players.
5. Golf Research
Golf is a mental game as much as it is a physical one. There is a wealth of information out there tailored to helping golfers improve and understand their golf swing. Many flaws in the average golfer’s swing can be attributed to a lack of understanding or having a clear picture. All the practice in the world won't amount to much of anything if what you practice is improper form. For some, research is an ugly word, but it doesn’t have to be! Watching the pros at work qualifies after all, so we highly recommend watching more golf on TV! Really study their set-up, alignment, and swing movements. Watch and absorb their tempo and timing. There is good content available online about how to visualize to see yourself making a better swing, more like the pros. When you are trying to make a swing change it is helpful to visualize the changes first and nothing is more powerful than images of pros and their effortless swings. If you see it, you can be it!
Practice Golf at Home With Swing Align!
Swing Align is an industry leading golf swing training aid that helps reinforce the most important golf swing fundamentals, promoting a swing with better accuracy and more power. Swing Align is a bundled system, complete with cuffs and an alignment rod that are worn across your upper arms, and an additional alignment rod that’s placed on the ground. Swing Align can also be worn on hour lower body for even more learning opportunities, particularly in the short game area. Using the Swing Align system to rehearse key swing movements and positions will help you improve. For example, by aligning the rod that you’re wearing with the one on the ground that represents your target line, you can better understand shoulder alignment, one of the most important but least practiced fundamentals. Rotation, arm-body connection, and swing plane are also easily learned and reinforced through both visual and muscle memory. Using the Swing Align device 15 minutes a day or less at home will help build a more consistent golf swing. Swing Align is portable, so you can take it with you to the driving range where you can use to hit any golf shot at full speed. But the important thing to remember is working on your game from the comfort and convenience of your home is easy and fast with Swing Align. Shop our products today!