One of the greatest readjustments in relocating is entirely relevant to Winter golf, in that last year I was able to play all but, one weekend in DC when it was 22 degrees and the ground was completely frozen. Those of you that follow me on Twitter will recall the infamous video of me on course last Winter with the cordless drill, by drilling into the ground, I was able to tee it up. There was minimal snow in DC last Winter, whereas here in Chicago this year it started snowing on October 22nd and has yet to cease. Packing away my clubs during the Winter was not a contemplated thought in the past, I was mystified by my Midwestern friends that would undertake the aforementioned ritual every year. One of the members at my prior club in DC actually cackled at me when I informed her as to how I was going to play during the Winter months in Chicago. My friend, Dixie actually gave me an entire informational packet relevant to Winter Golf as a parting gift.
Winter golf,what was I thinking? This is my front lawn.
My clubs are not quite packed away because I simply cannot bring myself to do that. I love them. They are a part of me. The local indoor range and Top Golf are only a short drive. Intermittent practice has been occurring. Additionally, I have a practice net complete with a mat in our storage area, chipping net and a practice putting device scattered about the house. A friend sent me a Birdie Ball and I have been randomly hitting that around the house too, I reason I cannot do too much damage, unless of course I crash into something with my backswing.
Exercise has always been a big part of my life, in DC when I was not golfing I was kickboxing and doing some yoga. Last Summer, I joined a studio here in Chicago and I instantly realized how beneficial increasing the amount of yoga I was doing was on my golf game. A large portion of yoga is simply focusing simply on your breath. I recall Phil Mickelson saying after he won the Open Championship last year that coming down the stretch remembering to keep breathing was crucial. I have heard this said numerous times before by other professional golfers in post round remarks. This really resonates with me where my own game is concerned. When you focus on your breath it forces you to slow down and simply relax as you step up to your shot. It provides you with a clear mind and allows you to visualize your shot.
During these harsh months, I have thrown myself into my yoga practice to also strengthen my core,flexibility and balance three things that are critical for making solid contact with the golf ball. I have also participated in a gong meditation workshop, an inversion workshop, a 30 day plank challenge, a 30 day squat challenge and have started meditating daily for 20 minutes at a sitting.
Five times a week I venture to the studio and either do a core strengthening class or a sculpting class which incorporates weights. The days that I am unable to get to the studio, I work on inversions at home on my mat. Simply getting upside down requires an insane core and when you fall over, as I often do, it humbles you.
Me working on a yoga inversion known as tripod.
Me and the future US Open 2014 Champion, Lee Westwood.
This year I have a trip to the US Open at Pinehurst and a trip to the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, Scotland planned. There are so many things coming golf related that I look forward to and wish to share with all of you here on the blog. Thank you for taking the time to catch up with me in this off season. Please follow the blog.