Embracing the Off-Season

I will not try to fool you. As a golfer,  a Canadian winter can seem daunting. It’s cold, icy, your nose runs more often than you can get used to, and you can’t golf.  It tests my patience and my ability to maintain a positive attitude. However, when the golf season comes to an end and the off-season begins, it brings with it a lot of opportunities to look forward to.

It is important to have some sort of off-season, regardless of your sport. It provides definition to your season. It provides a chance to kick back and reflect on your performance. It gives you the chance to recharge your batteries and come back even stronger.

The Canadian off-season, however, provides a little too much time to do this. This is where we have to take matters into our own hands.

Travel to Warm Destinations

Not everyone knows how amazing it feels to escape a cold Canadian winter on a warm vacation. We have that privilege, and it would be wrong not to embrace it. Last winter we were fortunate enough to go on a 3-month road trip where Beth and I tied the knot at Pebble Beach. This set the bar high for winter trips, but won’t deter us from seeking out more great adventures.

Pebble Beach 18th tee

A 3-month trip isn’t quite in the cards this year, but we do have a 2-week trip to Maui planned in January so far. I’ve never been to Hawaii, so I’m really excited to see what all the fuss is about and bring back some great info on the golf scene there. We’ll get the chance to rub elbows with PGA Tour players at the Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, spend some time on the beach, visit the sights and, of course, hit the links.

Improve Fitness and the Golf Swing

The off-season, at least for us, is the easiest time of year to improve our fitness. Summer can be a very busy time. Between friends getting married, trying to make a living, and squeezing in rounds of golf, it can be easy to let the fitness routine slip.

With life calming down over the off-season, it’s a great chance to focus on fitness and get the body healthy and strong for the upcoming season. We’ve been focusing on regular kettlebell workouts at home, going on frequent walks/jogs, as well as mixing in some new activities such as badminton and swimming. I’ve also been working on my golf exercise program from DM Golf Performance to get my muscles programmed and firing properly after a late season injury.

It’s also a great time to work on the golf swing without having to worry about where the ball is going, or what your score is. I swung a club for the first time in about a month and a half today at an outdoor (heated) range. It’s always refreshing to get swinging again after a break.


Goal Review and Goal Setting

If you’re an ambitious golfer like myself, you probably set some goals each season. The off-season is a great time to review your performance and evaluate where you’re at with your goals, and refine them for the upcoming season. I have yet to grind this out, but it’s in the off-season plans.

Catching Up

The off-season is a great time to catch up. On anything. With friends, family, your thoughts, or even that knitting project (I have no idea how to knit — but Beth does).

It’s also a great time for me to catch up on blog content (I have several course reviews from Arizona I have yet to publish…gasp!), brainstorm ideas, and make plans for the 2016 season. I have an exciting announcement coming soon regarding the 2016 season, so stay tuned!

With that, I’d like to finish by saying — thanks, Winter. 

Thanks for encouraging me to take trips to new and exciting places. Thanks for giving me the time to get fit and recharge my batteries. Thanks for reminding me how much I miss golf when I can’t play it, and to never take a moment on the golf course for granted.

We don’t have to be best friends for me to appreciate the opportunities you provide, as long as you hold up your end of the bargain and allow Summer to come back on time.

Happy golfing (or off-season!)



13 thoughts on “Embracing the Off-Season

  1. Josh- you have perfectly stated the fate of Canadian golfers come October/November timeframe. Getting away to warmer climates helps but it vanishes so quickly. My mates and I used to do the indoor golf simulator thing. It wasn’t perfect but at least you kept your swing going. In recent years I found golf fitness programs were helpful and a way to motivate myself to stay healthy. Then of course there is the snowbird model for those who can afford it. I finally just moved to Florida.

    1. Linley,

      I haven’t tried the indoor simulator yet, but I imagine that is a good way to scratch the itch a bit. Maybe one day we will join you down in Florida.


  2. Josh,

    You are definitely hitting the high notes for golfers who have to endure 5 months of cold off-season. I completely understand where you are coming from and look forward hearing about your adventures!


  3. Well stated Josh.
    I don’t mind a mental break from playing the game, and for all the reasons (minus the knitting) you identified. I come back fresh and ready to strive to achieve new goals. I only wish the winter was about half as long. That said, it’s 11c today in Toronto and should be 12c Sunday. I plan one last walk about with my clubs before my focus shifts indoors. Enjoy Hawaii and I’ll be in touch as my Calgary business trip this May comes together. Hope it’s a great off season for you.

    Thanks, Mike

  4. Golf simulators are awesome. I tried one a few years back and loved it. Fortunately though here in Australia I can play golf 12 months of the year because the climate is warmer.


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