5 ways to keep your game sharp as a new dad (or if you’re just short on time)

Scottie Scheffler, his wife and baby after Scheffler won a recent PGA Tour event

With Father's Day this weekend, here's some simple tips for all the new dads out there!

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With Father’s Day this weekend, it’s time to give a special shout-out to all the dads out there. Thanks for all that you do, all the fun lessons, and all the love and support each day.

As a new dad myself — with my daughter born last fall — I can tell you how much my life has changed in the 8.5 months since. Life looks a lot different than it did this time last year, and one glaring gap in my week-to-week routine is the amount of golf I get to play.

In other words, it’s pretty much nonexistent.

Instead of impromptu trips to the driving range or last-minute rounds with friends, I’m busy changing diapers, making my daughter giggle, speaking in baby talk, walking her to nap, and just trying to take it day by day.

After recently becoming a new dad, GOLF Instruction Editor Nick Dimengo shares how he's still grinding to improve his game and shave strokes
Strapped for golf time? Here are 6 ways to improve on a packed schedule
By: Nick Dimengo

I love being a dad, and it’s the greatest responsibility in the world.

Another new dad is GOLF Teacher to Watch Jonathan Buchanan, who came to me with an idea specifically for Father’s Day — tips to work on your game despite being a new dad.

Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity to hear more. Not only to share with each of our readers, but, selfishly, because my golf game isn’t getting much better these days.

So whether you’re a new dad or someone who’s just strapped for time and can’t make it to the course as frequently as you’d like to, take a look at Buchanan’s unique tips to dial in your game.

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How to work on your golf game, despite being a new dad

Working on your golf game as a new dad can be tough — like, how can you find anytime in the day? Fear not, because I’m here to help.

As a new father myself, I’ve had to find creative ways to keep both my golf game sharp and my swing speed up. So take a look below to see what tips might help you do the same — whether you’re a new parent or just struggle competing with a packed schedule.

Use a mirror

A mirror is a great training aid, as it helps you check and maintain certain positions in your golf swing. Find a mirror in your house, with a full-length mirror being the best option.

Break your swing down into two key positions, Point A and Point B. Swing to point A and hold for three seconds, then swing to Point B and hold for another three seconds. If you’re tight on space, you can choke down to the middle of the shaft and take your grip, making swings from there.

A great way to challenge yourself is to swing to these positions with your eyes closed and then check yourself in the mirror

Time commitment: 2-3 minutes

Try some body drills

I learned the importance of body drills from my mentor, GOLF Hall of Fame Teacher Jim McLean. Anytime you have down time and don’t have a club laying around, it’s the ideal time to knock out some body drills.

Simply place your arms across your chest and get into your golf posture. Next, work on your backswing turn and your finish position, putting your trail foot off the ground and maintaining your balance. You’ll be surprised at how well this works, as this will help keep your body in tune to the movements and footwork in the golf swing.

Time commitment: 2 minutes

Sitting down? Work on your grip

It’s always a good idea to have a club laying around that you can easily grab. So if you find yourself on the couch watching the U.S. Open this weekend — and wishing you could get out and play — instead, just work on your grip.

As you address the ball, an easy hack to confirm that your clubface is square is by using this golf grip hack - here's how it works
This simple grip hack will confirm if your clubface is square at address
By: Nick Dimengo

You’ve probably seen how Scottie Scheffler holds the grip right in front of his chest to place his hands on the club — and this is exactly what I want you to do. If you tend to fight a slice, turn both hands toward your trail shoulder. If you tend to fight a hook, turn your hands slightly away from your trail shoulder.

Working on your grip is a great way to take away the awkwardness of holding a club, especially if you haven’t in a while, so that the next time you do get to play it doesn’t feel as foreign.

Time commitment: 30 seconds to 1 minute

Work on impact

A great way to work on your swing inside your house is to firm up your impact position. A bonus here is that this doesn’t take up much space at all.

First, I want you to understand that address and impact are not the same. Everything at impact has shifted forward from where it started, so take your address position and, with no backswing, push to impact. You should feel weight/pressure shift to your front foot, which moves your hands forward. You’ll also feel your trail knee kick forward and your lead hip open up.

Make sure that the clubface is square and that your upper body is still slightly behind the ball. Now hold for five seconds.

Time commitment: 1-2 minutes

Keep your swing speed up

One of the immediate impacts of not playing golf very often is the loss of swing speed. Don’t worry, though, we can still keep you moving the clubhead and maintain speed with just a little work.

Simply find an area where you can make full driver swings — whether it’s in your backyard, your driveway, or even on a public sidewalk. If you’re stuck in an apartment in the middle of Manhattan, try to find a gym or an outdoor park where you can make swings.

After stretching a little, make 10-15 full out driver swings. If you have something that can measure speed, great. If not, use your senses to feel how much you increase the speed each swing, trying to make the next one faster than the last.

Time commitment: 3-5 minutes

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Nick Dimengo

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