Stay at home: we have all heard these fateful words recently. Staying at home, however, means that you can no longer go to the golf courses: a measure that is undoubtedly necessary but at the same time a great nuisance for golf fans.We asked Lorenzo Golser, golf instructor and manager of the Chervò San Vigilio Golf Academy, how his daily routine has changed in the last period and how he coped with the impossibility of going to the green.

1) The COVID-19 emergency has changed everyone’s habits. How did it affect yours? What does your typical day look like?

This emergency has completely turned my daily life on its head. Like anyone, I am at home: unfortunately, my job was completely seized up, both concerning golf lessons at the Chervò Resort San Vigilio as well as for the golf clinic trips. I returned to Italy from the latest golf clinic in Abu Dhabi on 8 March, just before the blockades on travel were initiated. After resting the first few days, I started organising my time and day. I was not used to having all this “free” time, with such an important restriction on my freedom: i.e. having to stay at home. I divided my day by spending more time on some aspects in particular: trying to maintain an acceptable physical shape, sorting out all the things I never had time for, rearranging work, keeping in touch with all friends and family and helping them as much as possible, checking and organising my financial status (no income, only expenses for a few months!), spending more time with my partner and also trying to keep myself trained by participating in several online seminars and re-reading and studying technical books. Lately, I have become very fond of the Inner Game, a method of teaching and learning that is based more on the sensation and awareness of the gesture than on doing or not.

2) What can a golfer do to keep trained at home? Would you recommend any specific techniques or exercises?

This emergency has completely turned my daily life on its head. There are countless things that a golfer can do even while staying at home. First of all, try to keep your body in shape with some gymnastics: in my opinion, postural ones are best because they help us feel good about ourselves, but in general any exercise can be useful. Stretching, exercise bikes, yoga, and even walking on your own can give positive results. It is essential to get some sun, essential for vitamin D, for at least half an hour a day. Therefore, in this period you can watch numerous tutorials on social media, where my colleagues illustrate both technical and practical exercises that you can perform at home. The simplest exercise, which can be performed by anyone, even on a carpet with a glass as a hole, with a putter in hand, is to train yourself to pot some balls in the glass. Many also have specific mats at home. To avoid boredom after a few strokes, give yourself some specific goals. For example: 5 consecutive puts from a distance of 1 metre, then move on to 4 consecutive puts from a distance of 2 metres, 3 consecutive puts from a distance of 3 metres … you can increase or decrease the difficulty according to your results.

3) Do you use any specific tool to help you with training at home?

This emergency has completely turned my daily life on its head. The most important tool that every golfer has is their mind! Right now, each player can train their mind to increase the sensation and awareness of their movements. Even without a club, you can perform rotations of the torso, focusing not on the quality or the amplitude of the gesture, but dedicating more to each sensation that the golf swing gives us. With a club in hand, however, you can perform empty swings, without a ball. Make sure you have enough room for your swing and focus on your club’s position. You can match words to certain positions: when the club reaches the apex of the backswing, say “top”, when the club reaches the point of impact, where the ball should be, say “shot”, and when the club stops at the end of your swing, say “stop”. In the beginning, it can be done in slow motion and then increasingly rapidly, until you reach the natural speed of a swing. “Top – Shot – Stop” can be replaced later by single phonemes, such as “Da – Da – Da”.

4) What do you want to say to all golfers who are forced to stay off the greens?

It is the first time that also I have had to face such a situation. It is difficult to predict developments. However, I would like to give you some advice: we cannot always decide which situations to face, but on the contrary, we can always decide how to face them. We maintain our positivity, cultivate our interests and keep ourselves busy as much as possible, take care of our health and that of our loved ones, take advantage of this time to fix the things we had left behind. It’s like on the golf course: we are playing a very difficult hole. The most important thing is to stay focused and not panic, keep your positive attitude and stay concentrated on boosting your awareness. We will be back to play, because … everything will be fine!