The weather changed this week, and so will the golf.
Those 90-degree afternoons have given way to cooler temperatures as fall begins its segue toward winter. The ball won't fly quite as far and conditions on the course won't be the same.
Are you ready for those nasty-fast late-afternoon greens at Stevinson Ranch? Can you hack it out of matted down and irregular rough at Manteca Park?
When you draw that tight lie on the dormant bermuda fairways at Dryden Park, can you strike that crisp 7-iron onto the green?
It might all depend on being in good physical condition. Winter golf demands a different kind of skill set than what is required during the summer. Coping with cold weather is a must.
A good start is to plan one practice session per week. Make sure you do the proper stretching and then swing every club in the bag, from putter through driver. Scheduling one practice each week, which is sometimes not easy in our busy lives, will result in good preparation for your days on the course.
Fitness-wise, use a three-tiered approach addressing flexibility, strength and cardiovascular training.
Golf.com lays out a straightforward, low-intensity workout that is perfect for pulling you off the couch and onto the gym or the first tee.
Pay special attention to the shoulders and upper back. A golf swing can't be made with back pain.
Arm and leg lifts and abdominal crunches, exercises that can be done in your living room, are an ideal starting point. Some light running will increase stamina.
Here's one simple exercise: Bend forward at the hips just beyond your normal golf posture; hold dumbbells in front of your thighs with palms facing each other; slowly raise the dumbell to the side and up; slowly return to pre-stretch position. This targets a stronger take-away and downswing.
Visit your PGA club pro, who will have other ideas on how to stay fit over the winter.
Above all, remember: The golf addicts in the East already are undergoing their annual bout with West Coast envy. The weather soon will end their season.
Yours will continue.
UHALDE WRAPS FALL The wind finally calmed enough for the Fresno State women's golf team, featuring Modesto's Christine Uhalde, to wrap up its fall season at the Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown. Uhalde, the former Johansen High star, again illustrated her improvement Tuesday with a closing 2-under-par 70, spiced by three birdies, to tie for 42nd. She finished strong after wind-swept rounds of 82 and 80. The team placed 14th.
"Christine had a great comeback today," coach Angie Cates-Moore said. "To shoot 2-under in breezy conditions is really solid golf. We are happy she was able to finish her fall season on a great note."
Uhalde, an All-Western Athletic Conference second-team selection as a sophomore, placed third individually last week at the Cowgirl Desert Intercollegiate. She shot 71-69-78 at the Classic Club in Palm Springs during Fresno State's impressive victory.
The Bulldogs' Krysta Clark, a former star at East Union High of Manteca, competed as an individual and tied for 27th (75-78-77).
HOLES-IN-ONE Doug Roberts, Modesto, 125-yard second at Del Rio CC (Bluff), 9-iron. ... Carl Nowicki, Riverbank, 139-yard eighth at Creekside, 7-iron.
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2302.