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.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

John Phillips Tuition Series: Putting


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.


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.

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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

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.


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.