How to get fit for golf this summer Spring and summer are just around the corner, and if you’re looking to get back out onto the golf course, now is the time to start thinking about getting in shape. Physical fitness is key for improving your game. With a bit of practice and dedication, you’ll be lowering your handicap all the while raising your enjoyment of the game. Here are some top tips on how to get fit for golf this summer. 1. Make most of your local driving range Whether or not you’re a fully paid up club member, having access to a driving range is going to be important at any level of golfing experience , if you’re serious about improving your game. And now that winter is over and the weather is getting warmer, make a point of prioritising time at the range whenever the sun is shining, and you have a few hours to spare. Putting in consistent effort to work on your swing and develop your drive will pay handsome dividends over time, as you will notice when the time comes to play a full round. Here are some useful pro range tips. ultimate range session 2. Work on your physical strength and stamina It should go without saying that maintaining a good level of physical fitness is important if you’re keen to play your best golf. The same as with any other sport, there are real benefits to be reaped from improving your strength and stamina. There are plenty of ways to do this including this innovative programme for achieving top golfing fitness or the pro approach used by Rory McIlroy. Whether or not your fitness regime includes spending hours in the gym or relies on other fitness equipment and techniques , the important thing is to combine general strength and stamina work with plenty of golfing practice. Strike Your Irons Pure Like A Tour Pro 3. Improve your body’s flexibility Did you know that improved suppleness is an excellent, though highly underrated, way to improve your golf game? While strength and stamina work can work on your core to help with a more consistent and reliable game, the same can be achieved with greater flexibility . Having a greater range of movement means that you’re better able to utilise your physical strength where it counts, honing your performance more effectively. Yoga is one of the best ways to make your body more flexible. Not traditionally associated with golf, practising yoga on a regular basis provides huge benefits including greater core stability and a greater range of motion, building awareness of muscular imbalances and prevent injury and provide mental focus. Search for a local yoga class (any level, even complete beginners) and get inspired by this gentle 20-minute sequence. Yoga for Golfers 4. Putting the focus on your short game Let’s be honest – how often do you take the trouble to really focus on your putting practice? Most golfers are happy to spend endless hours perfecting their swing at the driving range, or trying countless ways to make tricky shots, but how many of them are putting sufficient effort into their short game? Far from being easier than other techniques, perfecting your putting practice can be a great way to help you lower your handicap. Why stumble at the last hurdle and make mistakes that are entirely avoidable? Buy a putting mat to use at home or use the putting area at your local club. Here are some great putting tips from Sever Ballesteros: Seve Putting Tips 5. Gain experience of different golf courses It is not unusual for golfers becoming frustrated by their lack of progress when they keep practising and playing at the same course. Have they really plateaued, or is there another reason why their handicap isn’t getting any better? Familiarity may not breed contempt, but neither does it challenge your golfing abilities. No two golf courses are the same , and there’s a huge amount to be learnt simply by playing multiple courses, terrains, architectures. Make a point of sampling different local golf clubs and courses this spring and summer to jolt yourself out of your comfort zone. A new course can really open your eyes to weaknesses in your game that you hadn’t realised existed. Here’s a rundown of the top 100 best courses in the British Isles, courtesy of National Club Golfer magazine. NCG’s Top 10: Best golf courses in the British Isles About the Author: Annie Button is a Portsmouth based writer and English Literature graduate. Annie likes to share her experiences and knowledge through her blog posts and has written for various online and print publications. When she’s not writing Annie likes cooking healthy new recipes and relaxing with a good book'. Twitter: Annie Button