It has been a little while since I managed to find the time to update this blog and I wanted to talk about something that many of us overlook but can make a big impact on health in general. I think I discussed my use of a golf simulator recently and how I enjoy working with that from home to keep my golf swing in good shape. I have had a number of people sending me messages to find out more about these products but the swing is only one part of the puzzle when it comes to the game.
Both Mental and Physical health also come into play and can make a marked difference to skill levels and the ability to maintain consistent results, even when things are going slightly wrong. Keeping active and fit will make the difference but this doesn’t just apply to fresh air. It is also important to ensure that you keep the house clean inside from dust, mold and other allergens. Suffering from health related problems caused due to any of those mentioned can lead you to fatigue, insomnia, sickness and a general feeling of illness. One answer would be to install a complete home humidifier system in your home to ensure you keep the air quality balanced and optimal for your health. You can check this out to learn more about some of the different products currently available.
Diet is another important factor and cannot be underestimated. So many of us struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet due to the limitless temptations that are on offer. Time is often another constraint with many of us in demanding jobs and relationships that take up much of our free time. Making time to prepare healthy and balanced meals is very important and really needs a higher focus for most of us. These days there is no excuse with the abundance of literature freely available helping to determine what constitutes a healthy meal! Avoiding the processed foods is a great place to start as these are the worst when it comes to health and weight management.
Golf is a great sport as you will find there is nothing better than spending time outside. Enjoying the sights, sounds and smells that nature provides is a great way to relax and help keep stress to a minimum. Obviously, a round of golf constitutes a decent walk as well ensuring some exercise if the golfer can play once a week. There are so many golf courses to be discovered in almost any corner of the world so I think the average golfer will never get bored with a constant challenge on the horizon.
If you take your game seriously then make sure you keep yourself healthy and fit both in body and mind to see significant improvement in your handicap!
In order to work on your golf swing from home you will need to make sure you have a decent golf net. Something like the return net is a good idea but those work out to be quite expensive. A net like this returns the ball to your feet after each shot making your practice time more useful as well as saving you from backache if you spend a lot of time practicing. Callaway also sell high quality nets in their quad net range so you may want to check out those as well.
Like anything else you buy in life you need to look at quality. Putting your net down and packing it away after each session can be a pain and cause you to stray from your practice schedule. If you can leave it assembled in between sessions then you will get a lot more use out of it. This is why it is important to buy quality so it can withstand weather and rain and you won’t have to worry about rust. You will also find lower quality nets have flimsy poles that wear after awhile and the whole thing becomes unstable.
If you are working with a golf simulator indoors then it really doesn’t matter which model you choose and in most cases you will not need a self standing model with a frame anyway. You can quite easily get the material on it’s own and fix it up to the roof. Just make sure you leave enough room between the net and the wall or you will end up with little holes peppered all over the place!
If your budget is already stretched and you don’t mind what it looks like then you can easily hang a sheet in place of a net to trap the golf balls. This is not ideal but it will do the job. Some of the modern projector screens are designed for this purpose and can serve a dual purpose, a screen and catch net.
I was lucky in a way and I found some material with smaller holes online and built my own system, this works out the cheapest and really does work nicely.
Just remember, if have a net a setup in the backyard then it may be doing more harm to your swing than good. Make sure you do not just stand there and hit balls without any plan or purpose. Unlike the range you cannot see where the balls are going so you could just end up damaging your swing instead of helping it! Always limit your practice time to ensure you are making the most of out it!
One of the discussions I have occasionally with my golfing buddies is on the subject of fitness and although many of them play golf weekly they seem to remain pretty unfit. Walking is obviously good for you, which is covered by the golf, but you still need to get the heart rate pumping by spending time in the gym or running around the neighborhood. Swimming is known to be one of the best forms of exercise as well as you end up using nearly all the muscles in your body – something not easily achieved doing other sports. Just playing golf alone will not keep you fit and healthy in the body and mind.
A strong mental focus is also needed for sustained performance on the golf course and I have often noticed those who can mentally focus for long periods of time excelling at this sport. It really takes take a lot out of you to keep that determination going right through to the eighteenth hole! Lack of focus often causes people to start making mistakes on the back 9 holes, ruining what could otherwise be a perfect game! Just look at Tiger Woods, although his golf swing is amazing his ability to remain focused (even after a bad hole) is what keeps him at the top. I don’t think I have ever come across a more focused golfer!
Improving Golf fitness often requires a lifestyle change that includes a regular exercise program as well as a healthy diet. I have found this to one of the most important factors in lowering my handicap and it really has paid off. I have slowly noticed increased stamina and improved concentration which has allowed me to play well over the whole course as opposed to half of it! This has allowed me to slowly drop my handicap while my other golfing partners struggle to keep theirs in one place! Check out more information here.
One of the benefits you will get from fitness is increased muscle flexibility which helps to keep you control your swing. The golf swing is not a natural move for the human body which is why many people struggle to play golf as it requires keeping several movements in check at the same time. If you are in shape you will find it a lot easier to keep everything fluid and you will end up hitting the ball a lot more consistent.
You can check out the video below for some good ideas and techniques to keep yourself fitter on the golf course and play a better game!
So, if you are looking for a new years resolution or you just want to improve your health and fitness then make 2014 the year you put in the effort, you will be quite impressed with the results and how they can affect your golf!
One of the biggest problems with the game of golf is trying to find enough time to practice. Golf is one of the those sports that requires consistent dedication and work if you plan to improve. You will probably find you need to work hard at your game just to maintain your handicap. Now, if you are like me and have a career and a family it can become almost impossible to find enough spare time to spend at the driving range. I aim to go there once or twice a week and get a round in on the weekends but that is often not enough. I decided early last year that I had to find a way to practice more without it taking up too much time, this lead me to the idea of getting a golf net.
I bought the Callaway Quad net as this looked like the best quality for the money and it is very easy to put up and pack away afterwards. Setting this up in the yard enabled me to spend a lot more time working on my swing without having to go anywhere. It even brought one of my sons to start playing the game as he would use the net when I am working. Eventually I noticed that the practice was really helping but it is still not the same as using the range as you cannot judge where the ball is really going. Speaking to one of my golfing buddies led me to thinking about installing a golf simulator at home. Click here to checkout some of the golf simulator models currently available.
After spending some time on the web I eventually settled on the OptiShot Golf Simulator from Dancin Dogg. This product is well priced and has all the features I was looking for. It ships with a reasonable selection of courses and you can download more from their website. Using the simulator gave me all the essential information that was missing from using the golf net. I am now able to see distance, trajectory, swing path, face angles and much more. The only downside to this product is that is does not work very well outdoors which is a shame as it can be awkward to setup a hitting area inside. The swing is captured using Infra-Red which does not work in the sunlight outside. I have the simulator setup in the garage ( you need a permanent place, it is too much work to setup after each session) and this has worked out for the best. You can see some screenshots from the simulator below.
Over the past year or so I have managed to drop my handicap by around 7 shots which is an amazing achievement when I think it was taking me years to drop a couple of shots without the ability to practice at home! If you love the game of golf as much as I do then I highly recommend you think about getting yourself a “golf studio” setup at home so you can work on your swing day or night – even the weather does not come into play!