Friday, February 09, 2007

Stretching exercises for golfers

Key Points For Effective Stretching

The stretching exercise below are classed as static stretches. Evidence suggests that static stretching should be avoided immediately before competition in favor of a general warm up and dynamic stretching.

1. To increase flexibility and range of motion, perform stretching exercises when the body is warm. This can be at the end of a training session or following 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise.

2. Complete a range of stretching exercises for different muscle groups. Pay particular attention to the muscle groups that are involved most in your sport.

3. Hold each stretch for 10-20 seconds. Initial tightness should gradually diminish as you hold the stretch.

4. Repeat each of the stretching exercises 2-3 times in succession.

5. Perform stretching exercises at least 3 times a week and ideally 5 times per week.

6. Ease slowly in and out of the stretch. Do not bounce! Breathe out as you stretch and continue to breathe as you hold it.

7. If you feel any pain, release the stretch immediately.

Upper And Lower Body Stretching Exercises


shoulder stretching exercises Shoulder Stretch
Interlock your fingers and reach above your head. Your lower back should be flat or slightly arched inwards. You can perform this exercise sitting or standing.


Triceps stretching exercises Triceps Stretch
Place your left hand behind your head and reach as far down your back as possible. With your right hand grasp your left elbow and gently pull it behind the back of your head. You can perform this exercise sitting or standing. Repeat for the other arm.


Chest stretching exercises Chest Stretch
Clasp your hands behind your back. Gently straighten your elbows and raise your arms as high as comfortably possible. You can perform this exercise sitting or standing.


Low back stretching exercises Lower Back Stretch
Lying flat on your back place the sole of your right foot on your left thigh. Grasp your right knee with your left hand and gently roll it to the left. Try to get your knee as close to the floor as possible without your right shoulder leaving the floor.


Groin stretching exercises Groin Stretch
Stand with your feet about 2 meters apart, toes pointing forward. Gradually shift all your weight to your right leg by bending your right knee. Your left leg stays straight. Place both your hands on your right knee for support. You can increase the starting distance between your feet for a greater stretch.


Groin stretching exercises Groin Stretch
Sit down and place the soles of your feet together. Clasp your ankles with your hands so that your elbows rest on your knees. Gently push your knees down with your elbows until your fell the stretch.


Quad stretching exercises Quadriceps Stretch
Standing upright hold onto a support with one hand (i.e. a chair) for balance. With your other hand clasp your ankle and pull your heel into your butt. Repeat for the other leg.


Hamstring stretching exercises Hamstring Stretch
Sitting down, stretch your legs out in front of you while keeping your back flat and upright. Bend your left leg keeping your left foot flat on the floor. Slowly reach forward and try to touch your right toe with both hands. Bend from your waist keeping your lower back flat and your head up. Repeat for the other leg.



Achillies stretching exercises Calf Stretch
Stand arms length away from a wall and with feet shoulder width apart. Place your right foot about 2 feet in front of your left. Keeping both heels flat on the ground lean towards the wall by bending your right knee. Your left leg should stay straight. Push gently against the wall for a deeper stretch. Repeat for the left leg.



Calf stretching exercises Achilles Stretch
This is exactly the same procedure as above except as you lean towards the wall let both knees bend. Rather than leaning forward you should feel like you are lowering yourself straight down. Remember to keep both heels flat on the floor. Repeat for the other leg.


Source

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

John Phillips Tuition Series: Putting

Grip

All good putters start with a sound putting grip, were the back of the left wrist stays firm and the grip pressure is light.

Start with the putter grip going through the left hand to the centre of the wrist, the right hand should stay neutral to the putter. The first finger of the left hand taken off and placed over the fingers of the right hand - this is called the Reverse Overlap Grip (as shown below).

The idea of the grip is to promote very little wrist action, this in turn will help promote a good putting stroke and lower your score.

If you still have a problem with keeping the left wrist firm, you could try the Cross-Handed Grip (see below) where the left hand is placed below the right. This is an alternative for players who have excessive wrist action or you could try a larger putter grip. Either of these might help especially if you are suffering from missing short putts.

Link

Monday, February 05, 2007

Basic Strategies To Proper Putting


The average golfer could easily make up 10 strokes a ROUND by putting properly. This one point makes proper putting perhaps the most important part of any player's game. And since most of us are not able to get onto the links anyway because of the winter weather, putting is something you can practice at home.

There's an old adage that the game of golf should be learned from the green back to the tee. That means putting, chipping, fairway shots, and THEN drives. Remember, most shots in a round are from around the green or on the green itself. It's not uncommon for some players to take as many (and often more) shots while on the green as they did to get to the green. Putting is paramount to a solid game.

The average golfer's tendency, when putting, is to use too much of their wrists and arms, thus breaking down their wrists through the putt. This is wrong and is the main culprit for poor putting. Do not break your wrists when putting! Why? Because as soon as you do, you lose control. That wobbly wrist action is transmitted down to the putter face and the ball will go just about anywhere when contact is made. Anywhere except where you want to go, that is.

To become a great putter, the perfect combination of shoulders and arms should be used throughout the entire putt. Any wrist action involved is through the motion of the weight of the putter. In other words, it's a natural motion, not a break.

During your putt, concentrate on your shoulders. On the backswing, your left shoulder naturally moves down and your right shoulder naturally moves up, like a pendulum. When you focus on your shoulders as if they were a clock works, your backswing becomes fluid. Your left wrist should stay nice and firm throughout this motion.

In order to set up the putting grip, first place the grip in the palm of your left hand, and your entire hand around the grip. Place your right hand underneath your left, in a similar palm grip. Now, overlap your right hand with your left index finger. Your palms should be opposite to one another, for a nice locked-in feeling. When setting up to address the ball, make sure your eyes are over the ball, specifically your left eye (if you are a right hand golfer).

Bend your knees slightly, and hang your arms over the ball.

Shift your weight slightly forward on your left foot, favoring the left side of your body. Your hands should also be slightly forward in your stance.

Before making your stroke, make sure your arms, shoulders, knees and feet are all parallel with your target line. Notice I said target line. This doesn't mean the hole but rather the path that the ball needs to travel in order to get to the hole.

Keep all these elements intact, and you should see improved putting in no time.

There is a standard rule of thumb for putting that usually works, but depends on the terrain, so adjust accordingly. For a five foot putt, bring your putter back five inches, and then follow through five inches.

Why do most putts miss? Because the stance and the putter head are NOT square to the target line.

With putting, this issue of being square cannot be overstated. It's vital that you get comfortable with being squared up on putts. Keep your wrists tight and don't let them break and you should see a great improvement in your putting in a very short time. Shaving strokes through better putting is something everyone can master. Young or old, weak or strong, putting can turn out to be a player's best friend.

Article Source: http://www.articlerich.com

Thursday, February 01, 2007

How to Grip a Golf Club



Your grip can make the difference between a good golf shot and a poor one - and a good round and an awful one

Tips:
Players with large hands should use an overlapping grip, with the right pinky finger resting between and on top of the left hand's forefinger and middle finger.

Players with smaller hands should use a 10-finger grip, with all fingers on the grip like a baseball grip.

Players with medium-sized hands should use an interlocking grip, with the pinky on the grip, but between the middle and forefinger of the left hand.

Link


The backswing-- it's not about your arms!

Instead of thinking about my arms and swinging my club backwards, I try to think of my back swing as turning my back to the target. I’m not swinging the club up in the air, instead I’m just putting the club behind my back. I’m just winding that spring!

The back swing works from the top down. The back swing takeaway starts at the top with your arms and shoulder turn and works its way down to your hips and legs.

The back swing is all about coiling up your body and creating the muscle tension or torque needed to release a powerful downswing. More specifically, resistance is created between the greater turning of the upper body and shoulders and the lesser turning of the hips and lower body.

Now for my back swing rule number one. Don’t get in a hurry! A hurried back swing doesn’t make the downswing any faster. I think it may be just the opposite. You’ve got to remember that somewhere at the top of that back swing, you’ve got to change and go the exact opposite direction.

The speed of your back swing should be at a steady tempo, not real fast or real slow. The tendency is to go too fast. Any time my golf swing begins to break down, my first correction is usually to slow down my back swing.

Link

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Golf Tips and Tricks- Improving Your Grip


The placement of your hands on the golf club believe it or not has a lot to do with your golf game. Holding the club can vastly improve your game providing you follow these tips. You will notice a difference.

The first basic understanding is that the hand placement on the club guide the ball. If you have your hands all over the place then the club will guide the ball in the same manner.

There are two types of grips, the light grip and the firm grip. If you grip the club too tight it will cause the ball to slice. The lighter grip makes for easier wrist movement. You have heard the expression before, it is all in the wrist and in the game of golf it happens to be true. In addition to the light grip of the club, you will begin to the feel your arms and hands become more relaxed.

By positioning the club correctly with the light pressure grip, it can help you control the clubs position on impact. When you turn your body as you swing, the club moves at the same time. The body and the club must turn together; it must be a smooth swing. The wrist movement in the swing is the power of the game.

If you begin by placing the club more in the fingers than the palms of your hand you will notice more of an increase in your wrist movement and that can result in longer shots. That is one known mistake to golfers; they place the club more in the lead hand palm than the do in the fingers. By doing that the drive lacks power and the ball will slice.

Your trailing or bottom hand is the stronger hand for most golfers. For example, if you are right handed the bottom hand will be your right hand. This hand should be positioned to extract a powerful drive without over powering your lead hand. Your hands should be placed in equal formation. That is what makes a great player great. The swing of the club at a consistent rate combined with your balance will improve anyones game.

The problem of some players is that the rush the swing. When you do this you lose your balance the ball will not drive properly. If you watch the professionals play, they make their swing and grips look so easy. The swing the club smoothly and they hit the ball hard. Balance is the key; if you have a good relaxed grip and keep your balance you should notice a huge improvement in your game.

These things don't happen over night so be patient and with a lot of practice you will notice an improvement. Practice at a driving range so you can see how you are driving the ball. Concentrate and follow through and remember it is all in the wrist.

Source

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Diagnosing and Fixing a Slice


The Backswing

There are numerous backswing issues that can affect your impact. For slicing, the two basic flaws are a backswing that is going too much up, or a clockwise twisting of the shaft, or both.

If your backswsing is too much up and not enough around, then the club is going to approach the ball on an angle that is too steep. In other words, too sharply toward the ground. A properly squaring clubface would then create an impact that is hitting the ground too hard. In an effort to hit the ground a bit lighter, the golfer with this problem often opens the face on the way through, causing a slice.

To fix this issue, take a look at your backswing at the top. Make sure the shaft is over your shoulder at the top, not over your head.
To achieve this position, you may have to feel your left arm cross your chest just a bit, creating a flatter or more rounded backswing. You may feel a bigger turn this way too. Good! Engaging those bigger muscles will only help you generate more power.

The next important element of the backswing will be the clubface position. One of the biggest mistakes slicers make is to turn the club clockwise to begin the backswing (i.e., immediately opening the clubface on the takeaway). This movement feels like the club is going around properly, creating a good turn. Unfortunately, this opening of the club simply creates an open face at impact. True, the clubface should "open" on the backswing, relative to the target line. However, this natural opening is done with the turning of the shoulders and torso, not because of a twist in the hands.

When you are making your backstroke, just hold on to the club. No effort to twist or hinge the wrists should be made. When you get to the top, you can check for the proper position by looking at your left wrist. You should be able to lay a ruler underneath the face of your wristwatch and have it touch both your arm and the back of your hand. In other words, the back of your left wrist should be straight.

The Downswing

You know, with a good grip and stance as well as a good backswing position, I'd be surprised if your slice is still here. If these first few areas check out, you're 90-percent of the way to eliminating that slice.

To begin the downswing, make sure you start down without any lift or push forward with your arms. Your weight should shift to the front foot and your body should turn toward the target. While this is happening, you should feel a slight drop of your left arm down your torso. This will give you the feeling that you're approaching the ball by way of your right pocket. This movement will virtually guarantee that the club is coming from the right direction.

If the ball still has a tail to the right, you can add this sensation: Try to get the feeling that the club is closing a bit too soon. Feel as though the clubface is closed by the time it gets to your right leg. This should be done through softness in the wrists, with a feeling of letting the club swing. It should not be done by forcing the club to turn over with your hands. Some practice should give you the feeling.

Final Words
I have some very good news about working on this, or any other problem, for that matter. You have the best teacher in the world with you at all times, namely the golf ball. The way the ball flies will give you objective feedback about your swing.

You'll want to remember that you are improving if your 30-yard slice is now a 15-yard slice. No matter how strange a new move feels, always listen to what the ball tells you. You may be sure that the clubhead is turning over soon enough, but if the ball is still tailing to the right in flight, then you'll have to feel the club close sooner still. Not until you curve the ball to the left have you closed the clubface too soon! The feel can trick you, but the ball won't.

From Roger Gunn

Link

5 Simple Ways To Improve your Golf on the Course

When you go out to golf you're hoping for a good round. I know I do. How often does your outcome match what you hoped for? Do you usually shoot the scores you had envisioned before you teed off? If not, do you ever evaluate where and how you could have saved strokes and avoided those blow up holes?

I've got 6 easy tips for you to implement immediately that will shave 4-6 or even more strokes off your score the next time you play. Give them a try and see what happens. Here they are:

1. First off you've got to put the proper fuel in your body before you leave home. Most golfers don't give it a second thought. They either don't eat at all before they leave home or they eat something that is not going to give them the long-term energy they're hoping for. So, whether it's lunch or breakfast before you leave, you need to consume a complex carbohydrate and a good protein source. This combination will warrant the best use of your energy for the long haul.

An example for breakfast would be a bowl of oatmeal and a couple of eggs with a piece of fruit or a juice. For lunch you could have a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with a piece of fruit. Lot's of lettuce on the sandwich and try to avoid mayonnaise or butter.

2. The second tip is to properly warm up your body before you even hit your first ball. I see so many golfers show up 5 minutes before tee time, hack a few balls and head to the first tee. Those golfers are headed for a double bogey right off the bat - but hey they're just getting “warmed up” right?

A better approach is to give yourself at least 30 minutes before your tee time. First do some dynamic (movement oriented) stretches to prepare your body to perform. Things like arm circles, partial squats, toe touches, etc. Then take some half swings with a 7 iron. Now after that you're ready to hit some wedges. You'll find with this approach your hits on the range will be much better, which will build your confidence.

3. Drink lots of water even before you leave your house. Try to consume up to a gallon of Water before you get to the course. This will help you absorb and digest your pre-game meal and hydrate your muscles for optimal performance. Don't take this lightly. Dehydration causes energy loss, lack of focus and concentration and fatigue later in the round. And remember, that's before you even come to the course. Once you get their you should be drinking water every hole.

4. Don't wait 'til you get tight to stretch on the course. You should be constantly moving your body and stretching your joints while you play. I see and hear too many golfers complaining of tight lower backs or shoulders during the round. What amazes me is that with all that complaining they do nothing about it. Why? Think of your body as a machine. If the machine starts to break down - fix it. I mean stretch those areas while you're playing. You'll see a big difference in your swing mechanics late in the round.

5. Snack while you play. No I don't mean the full meal at the turn with a beer I mean bringing fruit and nutrition bars to eat every 4-6 holes. When you supply your body with the proper nutrients your energy levels stay balanced and you will avoid those mental lapses late in the round. How many times have you had a good score only to blow up late in the round? I'll bet more than a couple of times. I know I have. Treat your body like a Ferrari not a Ford Pinto.

Link

Thursday, January 25, 2007

10 Ways to Increase Your Energy Instantly with a Golf Performance Diet

A golf conditioning program should always be accompanied by a solid golf nutrition plan. In essence, what you eat determines how you play. So, which foods produce champions and which foods hinder play? Let me give you a few hints.

It goes without saying that proper nutrition is important for all of us. But, if you are serious about shaving valuable strokes off your scorecard, you need to make some tough decisions on seeing your diet through. If you travel for golf, or play in frequent tournaments, it is important not to fall into the trap of ‘settling’ for fast food or a quick bag of chips or chocolate bar. Make a commitment to use some or all of the following tips and your energy will reach new heights in your next round.

• Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both of these are diuretics and cause fluid loss. They also both affect performance. Coffee can over stimulate your mind or your muscles, making your performance uncontrolled. Excessive consumption of alcohol severely affects your coordination.

• Avoid large amounts of food in the two hours leading up to tee time. Food in your digestive system diverts blood away from your brain and muscles, affecting concentration and physical performance. A meal two to three hours before play is preferred.

• Don’t skip meals. Golfers need that slow and steady release of energy to see them through difficult or long hours of play. Smaller meals are better to help increase metabolism.

• Eat 5 to 6 small meals throughout the day. This gives your body the nutrition it needs to last.

• Drink lots of water. Think in terms of 8 to 10 glasses each day. Continue throughout your round to stay hydrated especially during the summer months.

• Combine carbohydrates, proteins and fats at each meal. This aides in overall digestion and ensures you are getting the proper nutrients.

• Bring a snack or bag lunch. Beverage carts are not known for healthy choices, so don’t put yourself in a position to feel forced to rely on them.

• Avoid high processed foods or sugar based foods. They tend to raise blood sugar levels quickly and, then, drop rapidly causing fatigue.

• Stick with the basics. Don’t try new foods just before you play. Stick with what you know your body responds well to.

• Keep it simple. There is no need to make elaborate meals or go to great extent in preparation. A piece of fruit and bag of nuts will go a long way in replenishing energy when you need it.

As a golfer, especially if you are of a championship caliber, it is essential to have a wide variety of complex carbohydrates to maintain your energy through an 18-hole match or a 72-hole tournament.

Mentally your brain needs to stay conditioned to tell your body what to do, not to mention calculating distances, swing strength and maintaining focus. Follow these 10 tips and watch your scorecard drop to new lows.

Susan Hill is a CHEK Golf Biomechanic, Sports Nutritionist and President of FitnessforGolf.com, a private, member’s only, online golf fitness website dedicated to the improvement of golfers worldwide. If you are looking for ways to increase your endurance on the course, then visit http://www.fitnessforgolf.com.

Source

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Newbie Golfer Guide To Buying Golf Clubs


If you a beginner at playing golf, you should probably not buy a new golf club set immediately, since you may find out that you don’t like the game that much after all. Furthermore, you have yet to find out your real niche in the game and your own unique playing style, which will greatly affect the way you choose golf clubs once you are a more seasoned player.

The good choice for a beginner is to start with used golf clubs. The main goal is to keep the price down so that you aren’t making a huge investment before you really know what you are doing. Here you will find some tips to follow to help you to hunt down your starter golf clubs.

At this point in time, you should be trying out as many golf clubs as you possibly can. Borrow them from your friends, rent them out from golf club rental stores, and take the clubs down to the driving range. Hit as many balls as it takes to decide whether you want to stick with that particular club when you make the purchase.

If it feels at all uncomfortable or if you keep missing shots that you would normally make, you should probably reconsider your choice and find a different golf club that will work better for you. When you actually go out to buy some used golf clubs, carefully make sure that they are similar to the ones that you have tried in the past. If they are what you need, you’ll notice a huge difference in their quality.

As you search around for used golf clubs to get started with, you should bring along a friend who knows a little more about golf clubs that you do. By enlisting the help of an expert golfer, you can use their knowledge on top of your own personal preferences.

If you are stumped on a certain set of golf clubs and you aren’t sure whether they are worth the money or not, they will be able to help you make up your mind anyways. If you don’t know anyone who has such a high level of expertise, you can take your questions elsewhere.

Find out the specifications of the golf clubs that you are looking at, and discuss them with the pros at the golf shops, or even with golfing communities on the internet. Make sure you get some sound advice from at least a few people before you make the purchase.

Beginners also frequently make the mistake of buying a full set of golf clubs. A full set consists of 14 clubs, and is usually absolutely, 100% unnecessary for someone who is just getting started. Instead, look for something called a half-set. There are certain clubs in a full set that are more difficult for a beginner to control.

This includes the driver most of all, so this is the first one to go when narrowing down the clubs to a half set. Narrowing down your club set to just the most necessary clubs will give you quite a few benefits. It will make it easier to choose the right club when you go to make your stroke, and it will mean a lighter load to carry around all over the golf course.

Allan Wilson

Friday, January 05, 2007

Golf Tips - Ball Position

As I have stressed before, proper golf fundamentals are the key to a solid and repeatable golf swing. I've already covered the golf grip, and now I'd like to address ball position. There are a couple of different teachings in this area and I've experimented with most of them. The one that has worked the best for me is the Jack Nicklaus method of ball position.

According to Jack, "I play every standard shot with the ball in the same position relative to my feet. That position is opposite my left heel."

Butch Harmon offers a nice explanation:

...ball position is very, very important. That's why I like you to think of a constant ball position. Always position the ball off the logo on your shirt. If you don't have a logo on your shirt, position the ball in line with your left breast. The only thing that changes is the width of your stance - - where your right foot widens out farther the longer the shaft of the club gets.

If you think about it, if I was hitting a wedge shot, it would look like the ball was pretty much in the middle of my stance. Yet, if I was hitting a driver, you would have thought that I moved the ball way up in my stance. But really nothing has changed. All I've done is widen my stance out for the different clubs. This means that my alignment stays the same and my shoulders stay square the target line...

I used to try to play everything from the center, but the Jack / Butch method worked much better for me.

Remember, ball position off the left heel doesn't necessarily mean forward in the stance. As you use longer clubs, your stance widens, so the ball moves progressively forward in the stance. Conversely, as you use shorter clubs, the ball moves progressively back in the stance. For example, ball placement for a PW would appear near the center of the stance because the stance is so narrow (and sometimes open).

Here are some pics of David Leadbetter and Nick Price demonstrating the ball positioned off the left heel with varying stance widths. Notice in the large picture that Leadbetter is actually holding a club right where Butch recommends that you position the ball - in line with the logo on your shirt!

This picture captures Nick Price's ball position with a 9-iron:








Here's his position with a 3-iron:

Notice in each case, Nick's ball position is approximately the same distance away from the left heel. This is very similar to Tiger Woods' ball position. How does this compare to your ball position? If you are having problems with your ball-striking, it could be simply a flaw in your ball position. Try the Jack Nicklaus / Butch Harmon / David Leadbetter / Golf Grouch ball position and it could yield amazing results!

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