Take a Golf Vacation to Improve Your Game
Tiger Woods used to have training days that lasted 13 hours. He often started with a run of four miles, then lifted, then golfed, then did another four-miler, and then did another sport like tennis or basketball.
He played. He did short drills. He came away with confidence and knew no one outworked him.
Don't worry. No one is going to tell you to train 13 hours a day on your fabulous golf vacation if you want to improve! On the contrary, you want to relax and have a balance. Even Tiger doesn't train that hard anymore.
But what does it take to have the number-one golf vacation where you actually improve your golf game, you ask? The answer: Golf, a great spot, and relaxation.
To help you get to the vacation tee, we've put together tips on how to make your next vacation a number-one relaxation and golf improvement success.
Balance Golf and Relaxation
Before we get to the nitty-gritty of your golf vacation, let's hit on the top-level essential: balance. You want to pick a spot that has both great golf and great opportunities to relax and do other activities you love. After all, coaches and trainers alike agree that athletic performance, even for professional and Olympic athletes, improves when the athlete is relaxed.
Pick a spot with the best restaurants, fun day trips, a spa where you can get a massage in. Pick a course with great views so you can enjoy the moment.
Also, be sure to balance your schedule once you're there. You want to be on the course or driving range, yes, but not all the time. You want to make this fun so you're motivated, not burned out. Push yourself, yes, but use your inner enjoyment barometer to know when it's time to stop and hit the Jacuzzi.
A smart way to get that balance is to plan your training schedule ahead of time. Also, aim for checking those two boxes before you book: ideal course and ideal relaxation options.
Pick a Course That Fits Your Skill Level
You want the course to be a challenge for you. You want it to be hard enough so you can push yourself. You want it to be available when you're there and when you want to play.
Once you pick your destination, book your tee times in advance.
Pick a Course with Great Grass and Amazing Views
Some courses have grass grooming down. It seems like a no-brainer, but when you see agronomy excellence in action, you'll know the difference. Yes, taking care of a golf course is called agronomy. The actual definition is "the science of soil management and crop production," according to Dictionary.com.
As for the nice views, those are for you simply to enjoy. It's your vacation after all, so why not?
Pick a Spot with a Great Golf Pro
You want to find a golf club and vacation spot that has one or more great golf pros. PGA pros are ideal. And make sure they have lesson slots available when you are there. Book ahead.
This is a great chance to really focus on what you need to work on. Listen close. And practice what you learn. Ask your pro how many lessons are ideal for the length of your stay. Have your pro check your equipment right off the bat.
Pick a Spot That Fits Your Wallet
There are great golf courses and vacations for all budgets. It used to be an elite sport but now it's for everyone. Do your homework on the other deal breakers for a number-one golf vacation. Then find the spots that match for you and fit your budget. Peruse their websites, ask around, call, and pick the best of the bunch.
Pick a Spot with the Hotel and Extras You Want
This is all about relaxation. Look for a golf vacation with the ideal hotel with all the amenities. You want to be comfortable. There should be great eating options at the club and hotel, and also in the area, if you like to venture out and about.
Speaking of venturing, so many great courses are in top vacation destinations, like Florida (especially Lady Lake, FL :) ). So look for a spot in a place you'd also like to check out.
And did we say massage? Pick a spot where you know you can get those muscles to relax. Ideal picks might have a pool, sauna, Jacuzzi, massage spa. Like to play tennis? Pick a spot with courts nearby. Like to run? Pick a location with gorgeous trails. Now, you're starting to sound like Tiger!
Make a Commitment to Get Out There
Now it's time to get serious about this golf business if you want to improve your game. Let's start with this: Right now, before you go, make a commitment to get out there. Yes, make that decision, and you're more likely to do it. And if you get out there and play or swing every day or almost every day, you'll be on your way to improvement.
Book Your Lessons with the Pro Beforehand
Look on the website. Call the golf pro. Do what it takes to get instruction. And do this now. Sign up now.
Have your golf pro look at your game and tell you what needs attention. Get tips on technique. This is what you are going to practice on your vacation.
Have a Practice Plan
If you want this to be a number-one golf vacation for improving your game, come up with a practice plan. This will get you in the habit of good practice techniques that you can take home with you. This alone if you continue post vacay should improve your game.
Your golf pro can help you create the plan based on your lesson and evaluation. And here are some basics.
Warm up and stretch before you start to hit balls. The pros do about two minutes. You can make it 10. Loosen up with some walking in place and arm swings. When you start to hit go slow. You can start with a pitching wedge and move up to the long clubs after.
As you hit, pick targets, especially on the driving range. Plan to practice the shots you need to improve according to the golf pro.
Practice on the Course
Winning is not the object on this trip. Improving is. So take this opportunity to practice what needs work.
As long as it's not busy and you're not holding up the course, try a few balls on any difficult tee or spot. Mix up your shots and your clubs too.
Hit the Driving Range
Schedule in the driving range when you're not planning to be on the course. Book ahead of time if needed.
Practice what you play on the course. If you use one shot 80 percent of the time, spend most of your time drilling that shot.
Also, mix up shots and clubs to practice shots that don't get a lot of play time on the course, shots you don't get a chance to hit often. Hit a bunch of lob shots in a row. Hit a bunch of 7 irons in a row. Don't just use your 5 iron and driver here.
The more you practice, the faster you'll improve.
Remember the Basics
Get back to basics when you're practicing so they become second nature. Here are a few to remember:
- Let your club swing effortlessly and do all the work with its superior tech
- Let your shoulder start the swing
- Hold your head steady
When in doubt or having an off moment, which will happen when you're practicing steadily, keep it simple and easy.
Play with Golfers Better Than You
As with most sports, athletes rise to the level of the better player. If you get a chance to have a game or two with more-skilled golfers, do it and learn. And see if you suddenly hit that shot you've been trying.
Any great golf vacation spot will have an amazing pro shop and whatever you need but you'll be more likely to have your number-one vacation if your clubs are in good condition, you have enough balls, and your shoes are comfortable. Think about sending your clubs ahead so you don't have to deal with them in the plane if you fly.
Your Stellar Game Awaits
Now that you know what to do to get your number-one golf vacation, this should be your motto: Golf and relaxation to a tee.
Like the ring of that? We do. And we like how you're about to improve your game and do some chill and high-quality vacationing at the same time.