The new season is closer than you think and you need to be cruel to be kind when it comes to your collection of pitchmark repairers while soap operas offer the chance to multi-task and get your golf balls Sharpied up for the challenges ahead
In my days as an equipment editor, the build-up to the new golf season was pretty much a blur. So much new gear to familiarise myself with, test, and write about. In my privileged bubble, I’m not saying that I began each new golf season with a completely new selection of clubs, balls, shoes, apparel and general paraphernalia but I was a bit like a Premier League side at the start of a new season with several shiny new toys to play with.
It’s a bit different now. I watch from afar as equipment editor Hannah, ably assisted by instruction editor Andy, carry boxes of new clubs in and out of the office.
It’s not all glamour though – like the day when I found Hannah curled up on the floor, wrapped in coats, next to a heater as she attempted to thaw her feet out following a particularly chilly day of filming out on the course. If you watch that particular video back, you can feel her pain.
For me, the best way to get through the Winter Blues is to prepare for the upcoming new golf season.
In a matter of weeks there will be the prospect of such exotic joys as an hour’s post-work golf and teeing off after lunch and getting round before dark. I don’t know about you but it feels like years since that was last the case.
There’s no doubt that investing in new equipment, preferably taking the trouble to get a good custom fit, is a great way to raise the enthusiasm levels as well as improve performance.
It’s also the perfect time to invest in a series of lessons. Even if it’s just a refresher on the basics to check your technique.
And while it might be a little bit early to consider shorts and polo shirts, how about a new top – you know, something light yet warm, really versatile – that you’ll find yourself wearing every time you play until July?
My own favourite new golf season ritual has to be fresh grips. It can almost be more rewarding than unwrapping a new set of irons. I urge you to take the trouble to drop your clubs in at the pro shop to be re-gripped. It’s the golfing equivalent of clearing out the garage. I find that not only does it breathe new life into your clubs, it makes you think about them in a different way. Especially your putter.
And then there are the small things that make the difference. Well, they do to me anyway. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be carrying out a stock-take of gloves, tees, ballmarkers and even pitchmark repairers. Is it just me who accumulates pitchmark repairers?
I’ll re-pack my Golf Survival Bag that lives in my car boot. It’s packed with everything from snoods to lip balm, and spare batteries to wet-weather gloves.
And, yes, I admit it, I’ll draw Sharpie lines on golf balls while pretending to watch Coronation Street.