Like most sports, summer is an opportunity for Arizona’s men’s golfers to prepare for their season. Rather than spend all of their time on the course, they take the summer to perfect their game in many different ways.
Senior Erik Oja has gained a plethora of experience by playing on the Swedish National Team.
“Being a part to the Swedish National Team has been a great experience and I have learned a lot,” Oja said. “A benefit of being a part of this team is that I have the chance to work with some of the best coaches for putting and swing techniques. More importantly, I have the chance to play in some major amateur events, giving me more experience.”
While being on the course can provide real-life competition scenarios, there are a variety of ways in which a golfer is able to improve during the summer.
“The way a collegiate golfer uses the summer season to prepare differs a lot,” Oja said. “Some might play a lot of tournaments like we do during the season. Others might take a lot of time off, while others might stay on the practice tee most of the summer.”
The three-month break provides golfers with the ability to break down the mechanics of their game.
“I have taken the time to break down my game and really get some good work in on the parts that needed it,” Oja said. “It is important for me to have good technical fundamentals in all parts of my game, coming into the start of the collegiate season.”
While golf may not be a physical contact sport, the off-season provides time for the golfers to work on their physical and mental fitness to prepare for the rigorous season.
“I’m a firm believer that golf is a sport where you can benefit from being in great physical shape,” Oja said. “Therefore, I have put in a lot of work to improve my physical skills. I use the weight room four to five times a week, focusing on Olympic lifting, balance exercises, core strength, and flexibility.”
During the off-season, a golfer’s swing is perfected. Techniques are practiced and finalized for the regular season.
“I work on all parts of my game both physical and mental simultaneously throughout the entire year,” Oja said. “During the summer I can focus more on improving my swing technique. During the fall season, it is going to be important to continue to work on the same technical details and to maintain good fundamentals. No swing changes will be made during the season.”
With the summer season coming to an end in two weeks, Oja continues to take advantage of his international experience, while currently participating in his fourth major event of the summer in Spain.
“Preparing for the events during the summer helps me to stay in competing mode,” Oja said. “Therefore, I will be ready to go when the season starts.”