How to make the most of your membership during the darker months

A group of golfers using the driving range.

Let’s face it – it’s hard to get around the golf course at this time of year, as the evenings become darker and daylight hours decrease. So while Wike Ridge is off the cards, it’s time to focus on honing your technique using the rest of our cutting-edge facilities.

Here’s our suggestions for getting your money’s worth out of your membership during the autumn and winter months.

Head to the driving range

Did you know that our driving range is floodlit? So you can practise right up until 8pm on evenings from November to March. You’ll be glad to hear that it’s fully-covered, to keep the elements at bay too. The driving range is the perfect place to master:

  • Driving:

Have you been struggling to get off the tee over the past season? Whether its inconsistency or your slice that’s troubling you – both can be fixed with a little patience and practise at the range. Nerves can also be a problem when it comes to hitting a driver (don’t worry, we’ve all been there!). The only way you’re going to overcome this is by practising over and over, until teeing off becomes second nature.

  • Chipping:

You’d think it’d be easier to hit a short shot but that’s not always the case. Our coaches often see people trying to scoop the ball up into the air by flicking their wrists – a recipe for inconsistency and heartache! If this sounds like you, we’d recommend trying to get your sternum and head more over your left side. Really think about driving the ball towards the target and let the loft of the club do the work, not your wrists!

  • Irons:

There’s not much point scrubbing up your technique if you don’t know how to work with your irons. While you’re at the driving range this winter, change your clubs and targets frequently. We’d recommend taking a break every ten minutes too, to go through a quick grip and set up check. It’s easy to get sloppy with the basics while you’re concentrating on other parts of your playing.

Scrub up on your short game

The short game zone facilities are exclusively for you members and people who have paid for a round. And, of course, the area is floodlit so you can practise the following shots until way after dark:

  • Chipping:

The key to a successful chip shot is contact and visualisation. You’re aiming to get the low point of your downswing at the ball or just slightly in front of it. And as for visualisation, use your mind’s eye to picture the target. We’ve got two chipping greens for you to fine-tune your technique on.

  • Pitching:

Are your pitch shots inconsistent, with your ball either going too far or stopping short? Our pros often find this is because of too much backswing and not enough follow through. A short backswing and hitting too hard to make up for it can also cause problems. Try this next time you’re at the short game zone: imagine your golf swing on a clock face where your club and body needs to match up on either side. If your body is a nine, then your club should be at three.

  • Bunkers:

Bunkers can get the better of the best of us. If they’re a sticking point for you then get yourself to the practise bunker this winter. Start by imagining that the sand is going to lift the ball, rather than your club. You should be aiming to take a £10 note’s worth of sand out of the bunker. If you visualise your ball in the middle of the note, this should help, then keep up your acceleration and make sure sand comes out of bunker.

  • Putting:

Have you been putt out by your putting drill for the last time? Thankfully, we’ve got a floodlit putting green to come to your rescue. Too many moving parts can be the cause of a dodgy putt. The trick is to keep your head and lower body as still as possible. Our coaches recommend placing a coin on the ground beneath your ball, then when you hit the putt look down to where the coin remains.

Play 12 holes instead

If you’re keen to put all of that practise into play, then there’s always The Oaks, our par-3 course. With 12 holes, you can squeeze a round into just over two hours, which should be much easier to fit in to your day before darkness falls.

We’re certain these suggestions will have you at the top of your game (and ready for next season) in no time. If you’re thinking about becoming a member, find out more here