Growing up in the Midwest, we always had those four or five months of cold weather where you'd get away from golf. Then you were fired up to come back. That's why now, even as a PGA Tour player, I continue to live in Madison, Wis. I love that feeling of getting excited to play again. Sure, I'm not as sharp at times as I might be if I played all year long, but I've found there are some things you can do in the winter to get ready for golf season-- and they can make a big difference when it's time to tee it up again.
I learned this lesson after the 2005 season. I had just come off a bad year (162nd on the money list) and then missed getting fully exempt status at Q school. That meant that at the start of the 2006 season, because of my limited status, I would be qualified to play only four of the first 16 events. That woke me up, and I knew if I were going to get better, I'd have to work on my game in the dead of winter.
Luckily, my father-in-law and golf coach, Dennis Tiziani, had just purchased a heated practice shed that took some of the sting out of the weather (see photo). I spent a lot of time in that shed, and it paid off in a big way-- for two years now. I had 16 top-10 finishes on tour in 2006 and 2007 and my first victory in six years (2007 Barclays).
But even if you don't have access to a heated range, there are plenty of things you can do to get your game ready for next season. Let me show you what I've been working on, and how it can help you, too.
-- As told to Ron Kaspriske