5 at-home drills to practice while you’re watching the election
After what has seemed like an endless campaign for both parties, Election Day is finally here. And while you may not consider yourself political, most Americans will be glued to coverage tonight as our country decides who will lead the nation for the next four years.
It’s sure to be a stress-inducing evening — no matter what side of the aisle you sit on — so you might need a healthy form of distraction to keep you occupied. So why not work on your golf game? You may not be able to hit balls at the range, but you can still get in some reps in the comfort of your home. Here are five drills to work on while watching the election.
1. Correct grip
This drill is easy because you don’t even need to get off the couch to do it — all you need is a single club. Take the club and place it in the fingers of your left hand, then put your thumb on the top of the club. To check if you are gripping the club correctly, take off all fingers except the pointer, and make sure the butt of the club is pressed against the heel of your hand. Next, take your other hand and place it on the club, making sure the thumb is across the grip. Now, you can sit around and fiddle with the club and get used to the feeling of a proper grip.
2. Putting stroke
For this drill, all you need is your putter, two cups, a few golf balls and one other club. Start by setting up the cups two to three inches apart from one another six feet out in front of you. You can place them closer together if you want added difficulty with the drill.
Next, put your iron on the ground parallel to your feet with the clubhead facing the right cup. Put a ball down and address the ball while trying to get the toe of your putter as close as possible to the shaft on the ground.
“The grip on one of these clubs gradually gets bigger, so it’s going to let you take the club back on a naturally inside arc, which you should be doing,” says Korn Ferry Tour pro James Nicholas.
If you address the ball too far away from the shaft on the ground, you won’t get this feedback. As long as you get the toe lined up properly and close to the clubhead, you will find that gradual arc on the way back.
If you want to make the drill more difficult, take a putter headcover and place it inside the heel of your putter at address to create a gate for your putter head to swing through. Set a goal for yourself on the number of putts you can roll through the cups and work your way up as you get more comfortable. If you do that, you’re sure to improve your stroke.
3. Bowling for tees
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Another great way to practice your stroke is with this golf-bowling mash-up from WePlayGolfatHome. The idea is simple — set up 10 tees in a pyramid and then try to know them down with a golf ball. You get two tries in each set, 10 sets in a game. If you can consistently hit your lines and speed, you’ll bowl (putt!) 300 in no time.
4. Fix early extension
This drill will require a little more room, but if you struggle with early extension, it will be worth it. Early extension happens when players come out of their posture and stand up prior to impact, causing inconsistent contact. To fix this, get a chair and place it behind you as you make swings. Try to keep your butt on the chair as you come into impact to get the correct feel of not extending early. For added pressure, try this drill at the edge of a swimming pool. If you extend early, you’ll fall in the pool. Nothing like the pressure of a good soaking to teach yourself correct swing fundamentals.
5. Home workout
If you’re looking for a little higher exertion activity to keep you busy, try this six-step home workout from Korn Ferry Tour pro James Nicholas.
1. Hip airplanes
Place your hands on a chair and slightly bend one leg at the knee while you bend the other leg as you lift it up sideways, working your outer hip muscle.
3 sets, 10 reps per side
2. Glute Bridge
Lay down flat on the floor with your knees bent and extend one of your legs toward the ceiling. With your foot and hands flat on the ground, press your hips towards the ceiling, keeping your leg raised. Make sure your back remains straight throughout the movement for stability. When pressing upwards, explode, then come back down toward the ground slowly.
10 reps per leg
3. Deep Squat
Make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and squat down as far as you can. Make sure to press down on your heels and keep your shins over your feet as you squat down. Similar to the last exercise, go down slow and explode up.
3 sets, 10 reps
4. Push up
Make sure your hands are directly below your shoulders and go all the way down to the ground for your push up. James likes to make these more challenging by clapping on the way up.
10 regular push ups, 10 clap push ups
5. Seesaw Lunge
This exercise is pretty self-explanatory based on its name. Lunge forward and then lunge backward, just like a seesaw. Make sure you are keeping your back straight and your hands at your sides throughout the movement. When you go from front to back, make sure you explode upwards in-between the motions.
3 sets, 10 reps per leg
6. Lunge to Reach
Lunge forward with your left leg and place your left elbow inside of your left heel, while keeping your knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Your right hand should be on the ground and your right leg should be as straight as possible. Once in position, reach all the way up towards the ceiling with your left hand to open up your chest. Then place your left hand down inside your left foot and extend with your right arm the other direction. Finally repeat these steps with your other leg.
5 reps per side