Mixing in Weekend Workouts and Practice Rounds

In planning my play, I have mentioned at times on this blog how my work schedule allows for me to have extensive periods of golf play during school breaks. Technically, I preferred the year-round school schedule with its periodic 20-25 days off. But you oftentimes have to make do with what you get when you work for someone else.

PLaying Practice Rounds

President’s Day Weekend is one of those rare four-day weekends that affords me some extra time to mix in some practice rounds. This includes me playing at a championship course like Carlton Oaks. Gone are its days of luster from yesteryear, but this course still packs plenty of challenges for an average golfer. Walking the back 9 for about a third of the regular price for the full course with a cart is great way to make the most of my practice rounds.

Whenever I am planning my next round of golf, I tend to go through a routine that helps me get in the right mindset, find a good deal on tee times, and occasionally work in walking the course as part of my weekend fitness routine. I find that playing an 18-hole par 3 course is more economical and more efficient than buying a large bucket of range balls. The key advantage is that I learn more situational golf skills, decision making, and adjustments.

Weekend Workouts Versus Weekday Workouts

I like mixing in weekend workouts and practice rounds of golf whenever I can. These both work to my advantage. These both best fit the time that I have free and available. When it comes to the weekends, I need to make the most of my time.

Weekday Workouts: Training Days

During the weekdays, I set up Tuesdays and Thursdays as my training days. I usually try to get in my high intensity interval training (HIIT) along with some simple cardio and resistance training on these days. The other days are simply walking or light cardio and bodyweight exercises. This has worked for me so far, and I find that what I am able to get done before one makes me feel like I have accomplished so much.

Weekend Workouts: Walking the Course and Practice Rounds

It might seem like a bit of a cheat but it works for me. I used spend endless hours searching for the ideal local 5K to run at least once per month. Usually these happened on the weekends, so my weekend workouts were in the bag per se. Then COVID-19 hit.

No more 5Ks other than run-on-your-own virtual events. That called for me to come up with a replacement. With golf fitting in as a perfect social distancing sport, I found that walking the course gave me some challenges but it was best for me overall as I entered 2021. This allowed me to get in some steps build some stamina and build confidence as I mix in a few practice rounds.

Maximizing Practice Rounds as Weekend Workouts

I know that my practice reveals my problems, but I also know that it also sheds some light on where I have lost a step or two and where I need to push myself in order to get back into shape. That’s a reality that I have had to face, so I deal with it by mixing in some weekend workouts with practice rounds this weekend. I will face some challenging courses and some familiar holes with different flag pole positions, but I will also be killing two birds with one stone. I get in my walking steps at new heights for probably two days in a row and I will kick off my week with a fitness spark that will keep me motivated throughout the week.

California Lockdown is Not a Total Shutdown

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California is suffering right now. Santana winds are doing their normal seasonal thing and threatening wild fires across the Southland. Winter mornings are getting more chilly, but the days seem to continue with seemingly summer-like temperatures. But then again there’s COVID-19.

COVID-19 has California trying to figure out how to handle a global health pandemic on a statewide scale. It has the San Francisco Forty-Niners practicing and playing outside of the state. It has the governor and the mayor of L.A., along with a number of other state and local officials, receiving death threats and other types of hate mail due to the calls for curfews and limited holiday celebrations.

But it has not completely wiped out and shut down golf courses.

So What’s a Golfer to Do?

For me, I am all in. Like I said in previous posts, I got some extended time off coming up and aligns perfectly with the potential lift of this lockdown in mid to late December. I am readying myself for that time with a consistent practice schedule weekend by weekend. Whether it is my iron play and woods or my short game, I keep my focus on bringing my game up to a place where I can expect a skills transition from the driving range to golf course.

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I am seeking input and feedback on my swing techniques and mechanics. Hey! Yeah, I know that the belly fat isn’t helping me gain any torque, but I got a plan for that. But I am open to feedback like what I got from Brian Penn from All About Golf and some others like the Grateful Golfer. I tried engaging my core more, but I know that it needs work especially with a baseball background. With muscle memory, I am somehow always drifting back to my roots as a long ball hitter at the plate not the tee. In fact, I am really digging Cathy McPherson’s pointers about pre-shot routine and other aspects. The LPGA perspective helps a common golfer like me because the focus is not on long drives and wild recovery shots like the PGA Tour. Following the LPGA and Senior Tour lets us focus on fundamentals and shot selection as opposed to muscling up off the tee snapping a second shot to get back into play like some PGA pros. I am doing all of this while I got the time.

What I am Working on for the Next 2 Weeks

My primary focus for the next 2 weeks is all about fitness and health. In fact, I am starting a 10-Day Detox Challenge tomorrow. The prep for my mind, body and spirit has been revealing. When it comes to golf, I will continue to the consistent practice and even start out with walking a par 3 once I go on break. But I definitely have my eyes on overall health and wellness along with diet and nutrition as it relates to golf performance. I mean look at DeChambeau’s daily diet and what it entails.

I will continue with a focus on fitness for two weeks and end up swinging for fun on the course again before I even know it. I am not even ready for the 90 Day Challenge to go scratch. That ain’t even me yet. I am sort of working on my game and my physique simultaneously. Remember, y’all, I am just trying break 90 and do so consistently. No lockdown is going to shut that down, but it has definitely caused me to be a little more cautious with what I do and when I do it. After all, I am still learning how to break free of that wide angle slice that looks like a drone gone wild in flight. If I can get that done in the next month, I see my scores leveling out by spring.

Well, unless things change again in 2021.

Right When I’m Ready

I have oftentimes heard if you snooze you lose. And here it is in the first week of December just after a quiet Thanksgiving break and a short session to the driving range, and California as a whole is looking at massive shutdown and stay-at-home orders going into effect within the next 24 hours. I mean all of this right when I was ready to visit my local municipal course and give the course a whirl.

Think about it like this. Last week I had just posted on my driving range session prior to my play at a local charity golf tournament. I have visited the range multiple times since that session and tournament, but the feedback and support that I got both here and on YouTube, even Twitter, have helped reshape my approach to the range for my next session tomorrow. Brian Penn with All About Golf gave me some spot on pointers that have me engaging my core more than just swinging my shoulders and arms.

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I see the shutdown orders as another thing that will simply force me to do what many golfers dread and some others simply geek out about to no end. I am going to be forced to plan my play.

Plan Your Play

Working in the school system means that I get those extended breaks for winter and summer, even those week’ for Thanksgiving and Spring Break. Hey, I will take them all day long.

And this usually causes me to engage in planning my play. Scheduling includes which days I will make a run up to Oceanside and visit the LinkSoul shop for my Make Par Not War gear and play Pala Mesa Resort. Or, it might even entail my own personal version of two-a-days where I might play a par 3 course in the morning hours and work in a full 18 on a course like Cottonwood or Chula Vista which isn’t too long or drastic like Barona Creek or Eastlake Golf Course. Courses like Sycuan offer multiple hole layouts so you could replay and have the feel of a totally different course. Regardless of how I format it, such extended periods of time afford me the opportunity to plan my play much like the Grateful Golfer shared.

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Shutdown Means a Slight Adjustment

Outdoor recreation will adjust again. We will have to remain contactless and maintain social distancing with face coverings of course. It is in effect for 3 weeks, so that will put us right into the middle of my winter break. I could jam in a handful of rounds weather permitting… Oh, who am I kidding! It’s Southern California. Any bad weather is a welcome added challenge for the course.

In all honesty, I look forward to having to plan out my play. I got a few folks I need to try to catch up with on the course. It will give me a good target to take aim at as I do my indoor workouts daily in preparation for my next outing.

Tomorrow’s driving range session will be another chance for me to get the GoPro working and capture myself in full swing mode after all of that quality advice and feedback alongside the golf tips and videos that I researched and reviewed. I think it will be a bittersweet session since I have only played in a tournament since COVID-19 struck us with its massive effects on our daily lives. All I know is that next time, I am jumping out there and getting on the links when this thing opens up again (as long as the cases go down like the governor hopes).

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