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You Got Game?

My friends over at Southland Golf Magazine asked me to write up a piece of golf fitness.  Seeing as most of my clients coming in need help with Flexibility and Balance, I decided to write about it.  You can check out the article here and scroll down to “Better Flexibility equals Better Golf”.

In the article I spoke about how having good balance at setup, good hip mobility for a proper pivot and good trunk mobility to maintain swing plane were important, but in the online version I was not able to add photos, so I am doing so here.

Setup Balance:

Single Leg Balance in Set-up Position

Steve Soule, PGA is demonstrating single leg balance in his setup position for better golf fitness.

Hip Drops:

Hip Mobility Drill for Internal Hip Rotation

Steve Soule, PGA is demonstrating “Hip Drops” for good hip mobility.

Open Books:

Thoracic Spine Mobility

Rib Cage and Thoracic Spine mobility drill for improved golf fitness

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FEET, BALANCE AND GOLF SWING

Who would have every thought to pay attention to feet when it comes to your golf game? Believe it or not your feet and how connected to the earth they are greatly relate to how you swing the club and how much force you generate when you swing the club. Paul Chek (a fitness guru) puts it best by saying, “You can’t shoot a cannon from a canoe”, or there is no way to generate force from an unstable surface.

I have been working with Marc Marini, PGA Instructor from Sea Cliff Golf Club in Huntington Beach, CA and as with all of my clients, the first place I start is with a movement assessment. A movement assessment tells me how well (or how poorly) someone is moving and from that assessment I can create programs to cater to those needs. Marc came in to work on improving his power and felt his in ability to keep his feet connected to the floor was restricting him, and caused him to lose power and balance in his swing. Among other things, we had to go over some basics such as:
1) Roll out the arches: this drill massages the bottom of the feet to take stress off of your arches and calves

Massaging the foot arches with a golf ball

Marc Marini demonstrates how to roll out or massage the foot arch with a golf ball for better mobility in his ankle during the golf swing

 

2) Mobilize the ankle joint: We used 2 simple drills to give the ankle more movement by stretching the calves and top of the foot

Stretch for the ankle joint

Marc Marini demonstrates how to stretch the front half of the ankle for better mobility during his golf swing.Stretching the calf/ankle jointMarc Marini demonstrates for to stretch the calf against a curb to improve his ankle mobility and foot stability during the golf swing

 

3) Reintegrate the calves with a swing drill: In this drill I hooked Marc up to a stretch cord to challenge his balance (the same way he loses it in his swing). This reintegrates how his feet should act in the golf swing and retrains his brain as well as his body in the golf swing.

Swing Drill with resistance

Marc Marini and I demonstrate a drill to reeducate his balance through the golf swing.

 

Drill to improve Pivot

Marc Marini demonstrates one of his favorite drills to improve balance, pivotand club face are all in line with the ball.

In this case Marc is a strong dude and to unlock power we needed to improve his foot balance and ankle movement so he could generate more power in his swing.

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT AND YOUR NEXT ROUND!

 

My friends over at California Golf asked if I would like to be a featured blogger for the new website so I have started writing a series for them.  The First post I wrote about deals with on course nutrition and it titled “Eat, Drink, Score!” (click here to view).

Since the blog is a short write up, I decided to expand on some of the points I made in it here:

1) Always eat before your round!  It’s a good idea to have some food in your stomach before you go run out to play.  It’s stressful enough to get to the course with barely enough time to warm-up, so make sure you have eaten and have fuel for your round!

2) Choose water over sugary drinks.  Everyone likes a Gatorade or soda, but while your golfing (and especially in heat or humidity) water will serve you much better.  Water keeps you hydrated, that keeps your more muscles more limber which you want throughout your round.

3) Love up the good fats and protein!  I can’t stress enough, stay away from sugary foods and drinks.  Instead opt for some protein and fat (example would be some almonds and beef jerky, or a protein bar over a granola bar).  Reason being is you want good consistent blood sugar levels throughout your round.  If you eat a candy bar you will get your sugar rush, but you will crash and you don’t want that happening when your trying to sink that 4 footer for birdie.

Remember performance is about being prepared.  Eat smart, train smart and practice smart!  Your golf game will improve if you put the right work in!!

To see the other tips I wrote for California Golf click here