How to practice golf indoors
The winter offers every golfer the chance to devote some time to building the foundations for a better 2016. Away from the pressure of the course and without judging the quality of each swing by the results, you can make some serious progress. Here are some drills I’ve with designed to help improve both your swing and your short game. So if the weather is poor, don’t pack up your golf clubs – instead use my drills for how to practice golf indoors and come out firing next year!
A good swing path starts with an orthodox takeaway. This can be trained using a basketball as I am doing here. Hold the basketball so you are looking straight down the lines at address. Adopt your normal golfing posture – your left shoulder should be a fraction higher than your right and your right elbow should be fractionally bent. Now practice your takeaway. There should be no rotation of your forearms but as you finish the takeaway the lines on the ball should still be pointing towards you.
You can use the basketball to perfect your release. When we talk about the release we are referring to how the angle stored in your wrists during the backswing is ‘released’ through impact. Get it right and you’ll inject some crucial extra clubhead speed when you need it most while also benefitting from better accuracy. As your practice this move with the basketball, I want you to release the ball as you release the angles in your wrists. The ball should go straight towards your target. If you are prone to ‘casting’ – releasing this angle too soon – you will let go of the ball too soon and it will head off to the right.
Posture & Plane Check
Here’s a great drill to illustrate where the club should be half way into the backswing. Stand upright with the club stretched out in front of you and a mirror directly behind you. Now move the club back so the sole is pointing directly at the mirror. Now get into your normal golf posture – do this by hinging your upper body over the ball at the hips and then flex your knees. Now look at the position of the club in the mirror. You should have the perfect posture and half way back position – try to replicate this in your swing!
One of the most common mistakes I see among the players I coach is an ‘over the top’ action. This is when the right shoulder initiates the downswing causing the club to outside the ball-to-target line during the downswing. In this situation pulls and slices are the inevitable result. To help, buy a stretchy exercise band and attach it to a door handle. Stand far enough away from the door so the band is tight and then practice your downswing move. The band will prevent your right shoulder from coming over the top, encouraging you to use your hips to start the downswing. This drill could transform your weak slice into a powerful draw!
The way you transfer your weight in the golf swing is essential for both power and accuracy. A great way to get a feel for that is to make a series of swings without your shoes on. With your feet sitting flush on the ground you should get a much better appreciation for the flow of your swing. Your weight should move over your right side on the way back and then towards the target on the way through.
For every chip shot you hit, you need a clear picture of what your ball is going to do. Visualising the flight, landing spot and roll is essential and this drill is designed to help you thnk about your flight and landing spot. Find a basket or small bin, place it about 10ft from you and hit 10 balls. See how many you can get to land in the basket…
Putting strike drill
Those who are naturally good on the greens have one thing in common – an ability to find a true roll. This is something you can hone in practice by drawing a line around your ball. Find a flat area of carpet and hit a series of putts. If you are delivering the putter on a good path and striking the ball from the middle of the blade, the ball will roll with the line pointing straight at your target throughout. This is a great way of training the fundamentals to a good stroke without becoming too technical and losing your feel.