(NC) -- Although most Canadians — save for those heading south for golf vacations—pack their clubs into storage at this time of year, many experts suggest that winter is actually the ideal time to refine your game.
“In the spring and summer, given the option to practice or play, most people will want to play,” explains Andre Cuerrier, the director of academies and services at Golf Town, the largest golf retail chain in Canada. “But in fall or winter, you really have an opportunity to tune things up so that you'll get even more out of your game next year.”
Cuerrier has seen the fruits of such labour firsthand. “We have a lot of testimonials from people that have seen improvement from winter lessons,” he says. “Last winter, we had a gentleman who only played occasional corporate golf and said he had never broken 100. This summer, following some winter lessons, he came to the store and told us he not only broke 100, he broke 90.”Cuerrier points out that Golf Town administers an estimated 40,000 lessons through its fleet of PGA of Canada instructors.
“Moving the game indoors, without the distraction of fair weather, can make for a more efficient learning environment,” says Glenn Cundari, the technical director at the PGA of Canada.
“Taking winter instruction allows you to do the same thing as the top players in the world,” he explains. “You hone your craft and by the time summer rolls around you can simply focus on playing the game much improved.”
Understanding and refining that swing motion has become vastly easier in recent years. Sophisticated computer-swing and ball-flight analysis software and hardware enables instructors and club fitters to capture a vast array of swing data. Cuerrier says that Golf Town's new winter programs take advantage of that data to establish a benchmark of players' current abilities.
“We run players through a battery of tests in a simulator—a 30 to 45-minute assessment of their short and medium putts, chipping, pitching, short and long irons and drivers—to create a report card that shows where you should focus your energies,” he explained. “The launch monitor data is not merely the way of the future, but it is the present of golf instruction, understanding your ball flight and launch conditions helps every player improve faster, but it also makes club fitting a more effective and efficient process since a player's swing becomes more refined and repeatable. But most importantly, when next spring rolls around, you'll enjoy playing golf more than ever.”