Stabilize your shoulder
The shoulder joint has the widest range of motion of all the joints in the human body, but that often makes this joint unstable and injury-prone. If you'd like to play your best shots consistently, don't miss these great shoulder stretches!
1. Shoulder Stretch - Front
Lay on your back on a level weight bench, with a 2lb weight in each hand. Hold your arms perpendicular to your body. Bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle to the bench and gently turn your elbows downwards, till your hands are flat by your sides.
2. Shoulder Stretch - Back
To get into the right position for this stretch, raise your left arm and reach for the right shoulder with the palm of your hand. Use your right hand to grasp the left arm just above the shoulder, and push it further towards the right shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds.
Repeat with the other arm.
3. Shoulder Stretch - Inside
Place your left hand behind your head. With your right hand, grasp your left arm just below the elbow and push it towards the midline of your back. You should feel a gentle stretch but no pain. Do not bend at your back or neck.
Repeat with the other arm.
The humble push-up is a great way to increase shoulder strength- just drop down on all fours on a level floor to get started! If you have access to the gym, hit the rowing machine, which targets your shoulder muscles (deltoids and rotator cuff), abs and lower back.
Putting, often our first experience at this wonderful game of golf. As young children, it is our annual chance at a free ice cream cone...... that's only if we can putt it through the clowns smiling mouth! But something happens as our golf game matures; we spend countless hours on the driving range trying to perfect that golf swing. We lose sight of our beginning, we forget that our introduction to this game was on the putting green. We still think "If I just hit this little golf ball close to the hole, I may not even have to putt at all."
I want you to think about the last five foot putt that you had to make, could others literally see the tension radiating from your body? Could they see the anxious expression on your face or could they even see your neck start to disappear as the shoulders pull in and got tight.
If this sounds like your last putting experience, I would like to share my pre-game putting routine, that narrows my focus and frees up my stroke on the course.
The next time you find yourself on the practice green, find a flat six foot putt to a cup and place two tees lightly in the grass a half inch inside each edge of the cup. Essentially, you have created a mini-goal post to hit putts through. It sounds very simple, but when you try it, you'll notice how much more acutely you focus. Instead of putting balls quickly to a wide variety of targets, you now have a great way to focus your concentration on a much smaller target. By the time you make it out on the golf course, the standard size holes will feel like basketball hoops in comparison.
Good luck with this drill and happy putting!
The position of the ball relative to your right and left feet is one of the most critical variables in our search for solid ball clubface contact.
Whenever the ball is on the ground and we are attempting to get it airborne, it is critical the bottom of the swing arc is slightly after the golf ball. This rule is consistent with every club in your bag from a wedge to your driver. Consistent contact between the middle of the clubface and the golf ball can only be achieved with a descending blow. The backspin created from the descending blow is what gets the ball up in the air. This is the reason the touring professionals always take divots and the divots are always after the ball. When we attempt to lift the ball into the air with upward movement we will do one of two things; hit the top of the ball or hit the ground before we hit the ball.
There are two major things we must do to make sure we strike the ball solidly before we strike the ground with our swing. The first and most important is to make sure we execute a consistent and properly timed weight shift. Every time we make a full swing the weight should be 75-90% in the left foot by impact. No matter how precisely we place the ball in our stance, the club will be approaching the ball improperly if there is too much weight on the right foot at impact. The more weight on the left foot the better the chances we have for solid contact. The key to transferring the weight is ROTATING the legs and torso toward the target at the initiation of the downswing. If the target ward swinging of the arms precedes the turning of the body you will be in trouble.
Every time you set up, check the position of your ball. Here are some guidelines for ball position:
- Short Irons (wedges, 9-iron and 8-iron) . The ball should be placed in the centre portion of your stance. These clubs have the most upright lie angles and they must be swung at the steepest angle, and you should take a divot in front of the ball.
- Middle Irons. Your middle irons should be played one ball toward the target-side foot from center (a ball left of center for the right-handed golfer). These clubs have a slightly flatter lie angle and you should take a slightly shallower divot than with the short irons.
- Long Irons and Fairway Woods. The correct ball position for the long irons and fairway woods is two balls toward the target-side foot from centre (two balls left for the right-hander). With these clubs, the ball should be struck directly at the bottom of the swing arc with very little divot.
- Driver. The driver is played farthest forward (three balls left of centre for the right-hander) to strike the ball on the upswing.
Hope this tip is helpful. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact me
Submitted by Director of Golf, Angus Glen Golf Club. If you're interested in furthering your golf education through lessons, contact Shawn McGovern at firstname.lastname@example.org
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DRIVING RANGE EXPERIENCE
With the great weather that we've been having lately, the driving ranges have been packed. All those eager golfers embracing the early season, getting out on the range, practicing and practicing!
But then they're surprised when the driver that they were pounding the ball with on the range seems to let them down on the course. Why? Many golfers, when they go the range, only take a small set of clubs. They hit their driver over and over again until they feel that they've really made some progress. This repetitive motion or practice is called blocked practicing. Research shows specifically block practicing results in a false sense of accomplishment and an artificially high level of performance during practicing and proves to be ineffective as it relates to playing the game of golf.
Random practicing is when you perform a number of different tasks in no particular order, thus avoiding or minimizing consecutive repetitions of any single task. In golf that means changing targets and clubs, ideally, every shot.
Random forms of practice will have poorer practice results but lead to better on course performance. Golfers who practice under random conditions demonstrate superior retention compared to those who block practice.
During block practicing, golfers fail to practice as close to game like conditions as possible. When we play, golfers are called upon to produce a single repetition of a particular movement in any number of different situations (different targets, clubs, lies, distances) - quiet different from producing numerous repetitions of the movement in the same situation over and over.
So how can you get the best results from your time at the driving range? First, take the whole set of clubs out of the car and practice with every club. Second spend some time on your short game at the chipping and putting greens. This way you will most closely simulate a real game and will be more prepared to adapt your game to a variety of shots!
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR DRIVING RANGE EXPERIENCE
The snow is finally starting to disappear. But if you've been shut in all winter, you need to wake up your muscles with a few stretches. This simple routine can be done now to get you ready for golf and should be done 15-20 minutes before you tee-off. It loses its effect if you spend 15-20 minutes afterwards getting your bag and clubs together. You should be changed and ready to play so that you tee-off within 5 minutes of finishing this warm up.
PROBLEM: Hitting the ball with a closed clubface, causing shots to curve to the left.
The first thing you should do is check your grip. The Vs in each hand should point over your right shoulder. If they point farther right, your grip is too “strong” and could produce a closed face and a hook at impact – when the hands return to their normal position.
If your grip is proper and you are still hooking, try weakening your grip by gradually moving both hands to the left.
Check your stance to make sure that your feet, knees, hips and shoulders are parallel to your target line.
One cause could be the ball location. If it is too far back, it could produce an excessive in-to-out swingpath.
Grip club more in the palm of your hands, rather than the fingers, to reduce wrist action and premature closing of the clubface.
Make sure that your left wrist is not too relaxed at impact. If it is,your right wrist will take over and close the clubface too early.
On the downswing, make sure that the action begins with your legs and body to guard against wrists unhinging and closing the clubface too soon.