There’s a buzz in the air as spring arrives and golfers all over the country start to emerge from winter hibernation. The clubs that may have been sitting idly for the past few months anticipate that first swing of the season. Courses are being prepped for opening as temperatures rise and the days get longer. Are you ready for golf season? Below are 5 things you can do now to make sure you’ll be ready to hit the links this spring.

Get in Shape

If you’ve managed to stay in shape over the winter, that’s great! If not, don’t worry – there’s still time to get in golf-ready form. You can start by upping your walking and/or jogging game, especially if you’re a course walker. Walking 18 holes is great exercise but also a long way to go (around 4 hours and 10 km on average) and you need to save some energy for your swing. In addition to cardio, improving your strength, balance and flexibility will also help your game. If you don’t have a workout program already, try these exercise tips from the Golf Channel and PGAtour.com. Also make sure to stay flexible by incorporating a few easy stretches – this goes a long way in preventing injury and improving your swing.

Hit the Range

This one might seem obvious, but it’s important. Driving ranges typically open before courses officially do, providing a terrific opportunity for a spring warm-up. Aspen Grove’s driving range opens on Friday April 14, 2017. Use your time at the range to practice with a purpose instead of aimlessly hitting balls around. For example, visualize a specific course and aim for a target. Try these drills to make the most of your time at the range. And with longer days on the horizon, there’s lots of time to get out there after work.

Equipment and Apparel

Your equipment might also need a tune-up and it’s best to invest before you get too deep into the season. If it’s time for new clubs, strongly consider getting fitted by a pro at your local pro shop or golf store. Personnel are trained in analyzing your swing and finding you the most suitable clubs for your game. Also, pay attention to your grips and change them as needed – around once a year or every 40 rounds is recommended. It’s time for new grips when they become dull, worn and slippery causing you to hold on tighter and negatively impacting your swing. Do a quick golf bag inventory to ensure you’re stocked up on the essentials like balls and tees and that your gloves and shoes are ready for another season. Also make sure you have proper clothing to face varying weather conditions, especially early in the season.

Plan

Make a plan for your season. This might include re-newing your membership or considering a different membership. Look at the calendar and make note of any tournaments or leagues you want to play in. What are your goals for the season? Are there any golf trips you want to take? Any “bucket list” courses to check off this year? Start planning early because courses and vacation packages can fill up quickly in the summer. Check out Aspen Grove’s event calendar to kickstart your planning.

Read Up

Check out Golf Canada’s website to stay up to date on Canada’s golf scene and see if there are any rule changes this season. Also make sure to brush up on golf etiquette to maximize everyone’s enjoyment of the game. Read your favourite golf site or magazine for tips and reviews on the latest equipment, apparel, technology, techniques, and news.