For many golfers, 2020 has been a disappointing year as the spread of COVID-19 has forced many golf courses to temporarily close. However, as golf courses begin to reopen and the prospect of enjoying a round is back, what can you do to ensure you are ready when returning to the course following a break?
The first thing you need to do is check your golf bag. Are the clubs clean? If not, now is a great time to clean them so they are in great shape ready for your return to the golf course. You should also look in all the pockets of the bag to see if you have the balls, tees and other accessories required when playing golf. Unless you have been regularly accessing your golf bag, perhaps for practice in the garden, you should take everything out and make sure you are fully prepared.
If you were playing well before your golf course closed, it is not a given you are going to return immediately to playing at the same standard. Therefore, spending a few hours at the practice range is a good idea before playing a full round. This will help you just to get back into the swing of things and the feel of playing golf. Spend time using each club and try to picture the shots you were playing before you stopped. It will not take long to feel great with the clubs in your hands again and you will be feeling confident ahead of your first round back.
The same applies to the putting green and following a break from the game it is vital to get back up to speed with your putting. Take some time to use the putting green and practice hitting the ball from various distances until you begin making putts regularly from each distance. You do not want to be on the golf course pulling out the putter for this first time in months. It is only going to lead to one result and not the one you will be hoping to see.
On the day of your first round back on the golf course, try and arrive to the venue early. The last thing you want to do having had a break from the sport is to arrive a few minutes before your tee time and rush. Get to the golf course a good 30 minutes ahead of your tee time and relax. Head into the locker room and get changed (if this is allowed in the new regulations), warm up on the practice range and step onto the first tee feeling good about your preparation.
Finally, remember to have fun. Chances are you have been away from the golf course, unable to play the game you love for many months. While it would be great to return and immediately play to your best, that is unlikely. However, remember how you have been feeling without having golf in your life for so long. It is great to simply be playing golf and enjoyment, regardless of what happens, should be the priority.