Drills for the Winter Off-Season

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By Rick V., Team Titleist Staff

  • 33 Replies
  1. Hey Team Titleist,

    It looks like our recent cold snap here in the Northeast is here to stay, so I’ve started to think about off-season training. A quick review of my play in 2018 revealed a few trouble areas, but there was one shortcoming that I’d like to reverse right away - I’ve lost a foot or two off my fastball.  Normally, I’m not one to worry about distance, but this year I noticed that this slight drop-off was causing me to over-swing. And you can guess what pearls that produced. Yep, wild offline shots that were somehow even shorter.

    So, my goal this winter is to regain enough strength, flexibility, form and speed so that swinging within myself feels okay again and produces acceptable results. To reach this goal I’ll focus on four areas: technique, speed training, pliability and strength training. I also just upgraded to a TS driver and fairway metal, so I know I'll have technology on my side, too.

    For technique, I’ll rely on the guidance of Skip Guss, a great PGA instructor here in Massachusetts (and a frequent contributor on Team Titleist) to help me build a more efficient and better-sequenced swing. For speed, pliability and strength training I’ll be tackling a number of exercises and drills that can all be done indoors, including one speed drill that I’d like to share below.

    Light = Fast

    One of the first training aids ever used by golfers was a weighted golf club. The extra weight builds strength and teaches you how to recruit bigger muscles to power your swing. Certainly a great tool, but there’s some new thinking that to build speed it helps to train with speed, so an alternative or complimentary approach is to swing something very light.  I’ll be using a spare driver shaft without a club head, but you can use an alignment stick or even turn a club upside down and swing the grip end.

    I like to swing the shaft a foot or so above the ground, but it’s good to make some horizontal, baseball swings, too. Start slowly and focus on the “whoosh” sound. You want the whoosh to be loudest just after the point where the ball would be relative to your stance. Swing repeatedly, building up speed each time, until you make the whoosh as loud as possible past “impact”.  In order to reach your maximum speed you should feel your legs and hips starting the downswing. Your arms and hands should stay passive, following the lower body and releasing the shaft at the last moment.

    Now repeat the same sequence with a golf club, listening for the sound of the club head past impact and trying to make your loudest whoosh just after the ball. Build up speed gradually from swing to swing, replicating the feel you had with the light shaft. If you have a hitting net or can get outside, a great bonus step is to hit a golf shot, focusing on reproducing the same feel you created in the practice swings.

    We’d like to hear about your winter training plans, too.  Do you have any drills that you’ll be working on this off-season?  Please share your favorites in the comments section below.  


  2. WesleyB


    I use Swing fans www.amazon.com/.../B00Y45A5RK it's pretty much the same concept as the weighted golf club, but it has the advantage of swinging the shaft. Which allows you to listen for the woosh sound that you want to hear right after ideal impact position.
  3. Hari S.

    Hari S.
    Medicine Hat,

    And to work on tempo as well
  4. I just completed a TPI assessment with my local instructor to find out what improvements I need to make. Really opened my eyes to see where my weaknesses were with my body. Will do a follow up next week with a PT to go over exercises to strengthen my weaknesses. I am 55 and scored a 13 on my assessment, not bad. Hopefully by going to the simulator twice a week and these exercises I will be ready when the weather breaks with a better game. Currently a 5.1 hcp. and aiming to go lower. I’ve been at this hcp. the last few years and want to get better, so hopefully with these improvements it will. Thanks to Titleist for all the opportunities they provide to their customers.
  5. Speedy

    Newmarket, NH

    My instructors gave me some things to work on to help and understand my swing path. Drop 3 coins, one close to you, one in the middle and one outside of the other 2. Set up with your stance and place your club behind the middle coin. Swing and hit the inside first. Set up with club behind the middle coin again. Swing and now hit the outside coin. Set up again with club behind the middle and hit the middle coin. It's interesting and odd but it does help with my inside to out. Of course i'm hitting this soft coins up against my curtain when the wife isn't home ;)

    Also, a lot of stretching to work on my hip mobility and putting. Always putting....

    Thanks for the tip Rick! I like it and will look into that as well.

  6. Chris92009

    Cincinnati, Ohio

    I purchased some "speed sticks" which are essentially weighted golf clubs (set of three) and I swing these in the garage in Ohio to keep my golf muscles in shape. They come with a variety of drills one can do to not keep your golf muscles in shape but also potentially increase your swing speed if done on a regular basis.
  7. Lary H

    Lary H
    Pittsburg, KS

    I made a set of speed sticks, I made them from broken driver shafts at the hosel and weighted the ends with plastic salt shakers weighted with lead shot, then epoxied the weights to the shaft. I weighed each one with a scales I borrowed from the local high school chem instructor. Works pretty well. We’ll see if I can get some distance improvement. Would you share some drills that come with the bought set?
  8. Darryl M

    Darryl M
    Wichita, KS

    Learned today (TS2 driver fitting & shaft evaluation) my driver swing breaks down during and after my turn causing power lose & accuracy.

    New born baby Giraffe legs was the term used......

    SO I'll be doing some video & mirror drills during the winter to help stay solid throughout my swing from take away to finish. So at this time I am staying with my 915D2 until I make a cleaner swing.

    I have a 4 day workout routine I do all year around that includes TPI videos I use for core & lower body in conjunction with my upper body workouts. I usually swing an old driver shaft when I am bored and it is freezing outside just for rhythm practice.

  9. Chuck Z

    Chuck Z
    Mt Pleasant, SC

    I get out of bed and go to the course, when it is not raining.....if there is not frost on the course, we play....or wait for for about an hour and it will defrost....layer up with FJ apparel and have a fun day......normally start in the mid 30's lately and end in the mid 50's...not to bad.....blessed to be able to play 95% of the year..... =)
  10. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    On a recent Golf Channel show, Sean Foley mentioned that of all the tips and trick on how to hit the ball further, how many talk about yoga mats and strength conditioning? I knew my sedentary work wasn't helping so I joined a gym to (again) be my own coach. My club head speed on driver was at 79 mph for a 917 D fitting. Then one of the instructors got TPI certification so I gave him a try. In a year my club head speed did rise to 84-85. Not an exciting number, but 15-18 yards longer with the same equipment. My year round workouts include 20-30 minutes of stretching before I get to the fun stuff. On my last evaluation, I've added several degrees of should turn and getting close to a goal for hip rotation. ...Don't wait until 67 to start to work on building/maintaining golf flexibility.
  11. Steve N

    Steve N
    Chapin, SC

    Rick's drill with a light alignment rod is great. So are the Speed Sticks that Chris recommends. I also use the Momentus driver because it helps build clubhead and face awareness.
  12. 25 minutes on the stationary bike level 7, 70 rpms an finish at 100 rpm. Crunch machine at 50 lbs 30 times. Pully’s with 10 lbs, 30 punches, 20 waist high to my side forward pulls, 20 to my side backward pulls, 20 across the belly pulls, 20 behind the back pulls, each on both right and left side. 10 lbs weights,p one in each hand, curles from the side to shoulder high 20 times, lift from below the hip to shoulder high to the side 20 times, repeat 20 times from thighs to shoulder high in front, followed by 20 chest high start, to full extension over my head. 80 years old, 5-6 177 lbs.
  13. Jim G

    Jim G
    Wilsonville, OR

    Aging has a factor on a golfer's balance - and being 75 years old requires regular exercising to maintain good balance and a decent handicap (6 to 7). My trainer/golf professional set me up with several exercises and some include a Bosu Ball. It's a half of a ball with a flat platform to stand on. I'm hoping to get up to one legged swings soon. Taking care of the body is most important. Oh, and for us older players, give the Titleist DT TruSoft a try. Great feel, competitively priced and Titleist quality.
  14. Hari S.

    Hari S.
    Medicine Hat,

    I'm using the swing fan to work on my tempo along with flexibility to increase the length of my back swing
  15. Kirk E

    Kirk E
    Murfreesboro, TN

    Stretching and working on flexibility are the things that I focus on during the cold winter months. Mixing in a different type of cardio 3-5 times for 30-45 minutes a week is also a goal that I have during the winter months.
  16. Pete K-K

    Pete K-K
    Phoenix, AZ

    Working hard with kettlebells (swings, snatches, cleans & TGUs). Adding steel clubs and maces for mobility. Lots of pull ups, squats ant push-ups too.
  17. Wade W

    Wade W
    Roanoke, VA

    Use a truth board all winter (dead straight three foot putts).

    Try to make 50 or so putts a day.

    Helps level the curve when weather warms in a couple of months.

  18. Wow, great suggestions, everyone. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Barry B

    Barry B
    Lake St Louis, MO

    No golf related drills for a while as I recover from knee replacement surgery. Right now it's all about knee range-of-motion exercises and then eventually working on getting leg strength back.
  20. David H

    David H
    Covington, LA

    I'll do P90X, pilates and yoga along with riding bikes and playing pickleball. Make sure you work both sides of your body and torso to avoid injury.
  21. I have left shoulder rotator cuff early January. I have had this surgery twice on right shoulder.
    I hope to be back hitting balls in May. However, my greatest concern & scariest part of the process is the nerve block. The last time I wound up with something called long thoracic nerve palsy.

    Signed scared to death but ROM is very limited - why my short game improved greatly last summer.
  22. Tony L said:

    I have left shoulder rotator cuff early January. I have had this surgery twice on right shoulder.
    I hope to be back hitting balls in May. However, my greatest concern & scariest part of the process is the nerve block. The last time I wound up with something called long thoracic nerve palsy.

    Signed scared to death but ROM is very limited - why my short game improved greatly last summer.

    That sucks always something when your rehab consists of any type of surgery -
  23. I have left shoulder rotator cuff early January. I have had this surgery twice on right shoulder.
    I hope to be back hitting balls in May. However, my greatest concern & scariest part of the process is the nerve block. The last time I wound up with something called long thoracic nerve palsy.

    Signed scared to death but ROM is very limited - why my short game improved greatly last summer.
  24. N Anthony S

    N Anthony S
    Portland, OR

    I don't do anything different. I usually work out 4 times a week with each workout consisting on some type of core strengthen.
  25. Donald K

    Donald K
    Rockford, IL

    I use the Orange Ball swing trainer. Take my time in setting up then make 10-15 swings slowly at first gradually picking up speed. Doing it slowly at first help to keep a good tempo and balance.
  26. Mark G

    Mark G
    Bloomington, IN

    Agree with you
  27. I do a bit of yoga, working and updating our Lord's Bounty Garden at Church and helping neighbors with snow removal
    and leaf raking. I also do a lot of walking.
  28. Kemp E

    Kemp E
    Chapel Hill, NC

    Whole body work outs are important. However, not everything can be done in a day. I have a loosening set first thing in the morning, then mix weight work through the week and running on non weight days.
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