February 1, 2021
Two kitchen chairs, an old bed sheet, a set of plastic clamps, a floor mat, and some foam balls.
With the snow piling up around us and golf season seemingly years away, that’s all you need to set up your own home practice facility and keep the winter blues away.
Last March, when the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to stay home, I was in the midst of a simulator singles league and was willing to do whatever I could to keep the swing fresh in the months leading up to golf courses being open.
One evening, while playing with my daughters in their playroom, I had a brainwave.
The ceiling was just high enough that I thought I could swing a pitching wedge in there. As it turns out, I was able to swing a 6 iron without clipping the ceiling or a light and drawing the ire of my wife.
From there, it was off to Amazon to order some foam golf balls that would allow me to hit something without risking putting a hole in the wall, and once again, drawing the ire of my wife.
But the idea of smacking foam balls into a basement wall at night after my kids had gone to bed didn’t strike me as a great one, and while the playroom was good sized, it wasn’t big enough to fit all of my kids’ toys and a hitting net in it.
So it was time to get creative.
That’s where the kitchen chairs, old bed sheet, and clamps came in handy. A little internet searching of DIY at home practice facilities (thankfully, there are many golf-crazed people like me in the world) and I knew I could make this happen.
Luckily I already had the rubber matting to hit off of, as we had laid it down so the floor was a bit softer on my daughters’ knees while they were playing, so once the foam balls came in, I was off to the races.
Each night after we put the twins to bed, I would go bang balls for about an hour and keep the swing grooved and the golf itch at bay, all while counting down the days until it was warm enough to go outside into my backyard and hit into my net.
Well, fast forward to 2021, and I’m back in my basement every night, hitting foam balls because I’m addicted to golf and need to play the game in some way, shape, or form so I don’t drive myself and my family crazy.
Now, I’m one of the lucky ones who has enough room in my house to be able to swing an iron with our worrying about breaking something. But even for those who don’t have the space to take full swings, there are ways to keep the game sharp and scratch the spot where we were all bit by the golf bug.
Before I had the guts to try and take a full swing, I found myself setting up mini-putt courses all over the house to get my daughters hooked on the game and keep working on my stroke.
Or I would find different places to hit low, short pitches just to remind myself of what it felt like to hit a golf ball.
So even if you don’t have the space to grab a 6 iron and take full swings, you can get creative around the house or apartment and keep the game sharp.
Grab some foam balls and a wedge, and work on that short game. Unroll that putting mat and set yourself up for the best season you’ve ever had on the greens.
Because even though there’s snow on the ground, we’re stuck at home, and golf season seems like a figment of our imaginations right now, we’ll all get a chance to hit the course soon enough.
Golf season in Ontario is short, but with a little imagination, er we can play all year long.