One not need be a golf professional, superintendent or meteorologist to know that the golf season is winding down. The sunscreen has already been put away, and it won’t be long before the clubs are gathering dust in the garage until we get to spring.

Yes, Glaze Meadow is already closed for the season and Big Meadow will not be far behind. That means significant time away from the golf course.

But golfers are making a mistake if they abandon their games during the winter. Any golfer can take action in the colder months to be ready for the next golf season.

Here are some tips from Jeff Fought, director of golf at Black Butte Ranch, to stay fresh even in the deep freeze:

  • Golfers can start by swinging a golf club inside the house for about 15 to 20 minutes, advises Fought. It’s sounds simple, but the simple act of swinging a club will help a golfer remain flexible and to keep the feel of the golf swing. “The idea is to keep muscle memory up the best you can,” Fought says.

  • Get in the habit of stretching. Flexibility is an often overlooked key to a fast start to the golf season. “Getting into a good stretching program is so important to be able to start the next season fresh and ready to go,” Fought advises.

  • Focus your exercise regimen on your core muscles. Golf is reliant on a golfer’s core muscles, so finding exercises that improve strength in the midsection can disproportionately help a swing. “I can’t believe that strengthening your core, which you use for every golf shot, will not improve your game,” Fought says. (A word of caution, though. Seek advice from a health professional or trainer before embarking on a new exercise regimen.)

  • Yes, Black Butte Ranch always wants you to play here. But with Big Meadow soon to be closed for the winter, it is understandable that one might want to play elsewhere. So plan a golf trip or two. In Oregon, you do not have to travel far. Some of the greatest golf courses in the country make Oregon home, and most can be played at a significant discount during the colder months. Also, a few courses in Central Oregon, including those in Redmond, Prineville and Crooked River Ranch, tend to stay open if weather permits. “You are just trying to get out and get a good walk in, while getting a chance to swing the club a bit,” Fought says.

Whether a golfer takes heed with one or all of those tips, he or she should be better off come spring. And who wants to waste the first month of the golf season just trying to get themselves back into decent golf shape?

As always, too, spring makes a wonderful time to take golf lessons. Black Butte Ranch can help with those, as well.

For more information on how to take a lesson from Jeff or any of our Black Butte Ranch instructors, visit