You can prep for the season without hitting balls

Golfers who’ve been used to taking a few golf trips each winter may have to cut back on the expense this year. If so, there is a greater need than ever to get back in good fundamental positions when spring arrives and golf season starts back up. I spent a long, snowy winter in Switzerland years ago, and the way I kept my swing together was to get in front of the mirror and work on a few select positions.

You can check your reflection to see that you’re bending from the hips, and the shoulders are vertically above the hips and knees. If you’re not sure just how it should look, lay some instruction books or magazines on a table and refer to them. You should take the club back until the shaft is parallel to the floor and check that the clubface is vertical. This will also give you a read on how much stretching you need to do—if you see the hips or shoulders stopping short of the ideal position simply due to stiffness. When it’s time to start hitting balls, you just take your position checks out there and redo them over the ball. (If your club has a practice-range mirror, so much the better.) Feeling loose and swinging free is a nice idea, but not if your body angles are all over the place. Make sure you are at a sound, fundamental position on your backswing, then reward yourself by making a free, flowing move back through the golf ball. But get a few key positions right first.