Winter Golf Tips: First Tee Shot

winter golf tips

In this video Golf Monthly Top 25 Coach Keith Woods offers some winter golf tips on how to approach your first tee shot by making a full and committed swing

Winter Golf Tips: First Tee Shot

Keeping the ball in play by hitting drives that carry further through the air is the perfect winter combination. But to do that you need to be  warmed up and ready to go from the start. Here's my guide to understanding how winter conditions can affect your driving game.

Make a full turn

It’s cold and I suspect you probably haven’t warmed up on the range before arriving at the first tee - that's not surprising given that it's winter! The problem here is that, if you haven’t stretched at all before your opening tee shot, you’ll struggle to complete your backswing. The result is likely to be a big block right – we’ve all been there. This comes because the club is left behind as the body rotates through impact.

I want you to become conscious of this. Understand that if you don’t at least make a few simple stretches, a big block right or slice, is on the cards. So, perform a few simple stretches by placing a club behind your back and slowly rotate your upper body. Hold the top of backswing position and feel the resistance between your core muscles and your lower body. Then slowly rotate through to your finish and again, hold the finish for a couple of seconds. This might not seem like much but it is preparing you for an athletic move and relieving some of the tension in your core muscles. Finally, as you stand over the ball, have this one single swing thought in mind. That is, to rotate back until your left shoulder hits your chin - your back will be pointing towards the target.  This will give you much more time to strike the ball accurately down the fairway. If you can follow this simple process, you’ll be one up on the field by the time you

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X