Cheers, fellow golfers! Today, we’re going to talk about one of my favourite topics - why having a few drinks can actually help your golf practice at home. Now, before you tee-totalers start clicking away, hear me out.
First of all, let’s be clear - I’m not advocating getting smashed and swinging your driver around like an axe. That’s a recipe for disaster, for both your health and golf game. However, having a couple of chilled ones can actually help you relax, loosen up, and get into a better mindset to practice your swing.
When you’re practising with a golf net, you can sometimes get into a repetitive, almost robotic rhythm. It certainly helps to hit lots of balls when perfecting your swing, but it can be hard to stay motivated.
This is where a couple of drinks can come in handy. They can help you relax and let go of any tension or anxiety you might be feeling, which can actually improve your swing mechanics. Although there is a limit, as we'll see shortly...
Let’s face it, there’s also LOTS to be said for the social aspect of drinking while hitting with a golf net. Golf is a social game, after all, and having a few drinks with friends can add to the enjoyment and loosen the lips for creative sledging.
You can even make a game of it - see who's swing improves or gets worse after a certain number of drinks, or play a round of virtual golf on your simulator.
Although we must warn that there are some potential downsides to practising or playing golf while drinking. Apparently, alcohol can impair your co-ordination and judgement, so It’s important to know your limit and drink responsibly - hangovers are no fun and brain cells come in handy.
*Golf Digest won't allow us to embed the video in our article, but if you want to save yourself 9 minutes and 34 seconds, the short version is: Yes, 8 beers is about 6 too many.
But if you drink in moderation and stay (somewhat) focused on your practice, there are real benefits to be had. Here’s a few tips to make the most of your swinging soiree:
1. Set a limit. Before you start, decide how many drinks you’re going to have and stick to it. This will help you stay in the zone and avoid going OB (that's short for either over-board or out-of-bounds, depending on where you are...).
2. Hydrate. Make sure you drink water along with your drinks to stay hydrated and avoid a hangover.
3. Stay focused. Without killing the buzz, focus on your technique and goals and use the drinks as a tool to help you loosen up.
4. Take breaks. Take time to relax, sip and stretch between shots - it’s meant be fun!
And finally, some sensible closing advice from that great American comedian and crooner Dean Martin, who was both a drinker and a golfer and once said: “If you drink, don’t drive. Don’t even putt.”
*In all seriousness, Deano was actually a pretty good golfer - next time you have a spare half hour travel back in time and watch this Sam Snead vs Dean Martin Celebrity Golf Challenge: