PRO-SPECTIVE - Periodization for Golf

      Periodization is the systematic planning of training for sport. For the competitive athlete the aim is to reach the best possible performance in the tournament season. Competitive or not, you can use this concept to organize limited time to the greatest effect.

At this time of year people in the rest of Canada scramble to squeeze in their last few rounds of the year with the end of the season on the horizon. However, we can divide our year-round golf season into three phases with the primary goal of peaking in the summer:

Transition Phase - late autumn or early winter

Time for a bit of R & R if you have been playing lots of golf, particularly if much of your golf has been in competition. Sit down with your coach to review your performance from the summer. Identify areas to improve, leaving no stone unturned. Your flexibility, core strength and endurance should be addressed, as should the relative fit of your equipment. How solid is your mental and strategic approach to the game? If 2016 is going to be 'your year' NOW is the time to devise a wee plan.

Preparatory Phase - Happy New Year!

Re-set goals for the coming year. Implement a program for significant adjustments to technique, as necessary. Finalize your equipment set-up for the coming year. Continue to take classes or read sports psychology material. This is the longest of the three phases, as we are building and begin to narrow the focus at the end of this phase. Shorter days suggest that you may not fit in as many rounds of golf, but this shouldn't limit you in terms of practice and lessons. 

In-Season Phase - summer

With input from your golf professional, only minor tweaks to technique are the mindset while in-season. You'll need to be mentally tough to avoid the temptation to completely re-construct your swing in the event of one or two poor rounds of golf. Essentially, it's time to "dance with who your brung" and believe that your work earlier in the year will pay off. 

Limit yourself to one simple key for your full swing while committing to your pre-shot routine for on-course structure. Pay close attention when reviewing your performance after each round. One of your main goals should be to reduce or eliminate on-course strategic and mental errors since they are the main source of 'blow-up' holes.

Finally, challenge yourself by entering a competition or two once you're feeling ready! You've done all of the 'prep' and who knows? It could be lots of fun.

Brian HannLead Teaching Professional