Get Fit For Golf AND Fit For Life Through Balance Training
Would you like to be fit for golf AND fit for life? Then it is never too late to work on your balance! What Ive found that separates the good golfers from the GREAT golfers is their sense of balance. The technical term for this is spatial awareness. Spatial awareness is being cognizant where your body is in space throughout your golf swing and being able to control your equilibrium while moving. Many amateur golfers who do not have adequate balance may experience swing faults such as over the top and loss of posture. These are two faults that will lead to inconsistency in your game.
Now to get a true idea of your ability to balance, take off your shoes. It is better to do these exercises with your shoes off because you then force your muscles in your toes, feet, ankles, and shins to do the work instead of relying on shoes which allow your feet to sleep. If you find each test easy to do for approximately 20-30 seconds, then progress to the next level..if not, then stay at that level until you have mastered it consistently.
1. TWO LEGGED BALANCE: Stand with your feet together with good posture and hands at your sides.
2. TWO LEGGED BALANCE w/ EYES CLOSED: (same as #1) maintaining good posture and close your eyes for 20-30 seconds comfortably without swaying.
3. ONE LEGGED BALANCE: Stand with posture centered over one leg and lift opposite leg off floor. Knee should come to hip height forming a 90 degree angle. Do not allow legs/feet to touch each other.
4. ONE LEGGED BALANCE w/ SLOW BLINKS: (same as #3) adding the challenge of blinking eyes slowly to tease the body by not being able to focus on an object using sight for balance. First start with 1 second blinks then progress to 2, 3, 4, 5 seconds.
5. ONE LEGGED BALANCE w/ EYES CLOSED: This is the shining star! Can you stand on one foot and close your eyes for more than 20 seconds without bobbing or moving your arms from your sides?
How did you do? Are you frustrated yet? Balance is one of the first simple skills to leave us as we age. Why? ...because we dont practice! When we stand on two feet all day and are constantly centering our gravity over both feet as we move, tiny muscles known as stabilizers in our inner and outer parts of our legs get to go to sleep, just as our feet do when we wear shoes. So, standing on one leg challenges those muscles to do their part and fine tune them for sport specific moves, such as golf, AND helps to prevent injuries from falling.
According to the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), most professional golfers can stand on one foot for 30 seconds to 1 minute without a problem. So, now you have something to work on! Remember, practice makes progress! Do a little something every day to help you with your balance. It will make you more fit for golf AND fit for life!
Mindi Boysen is a TPI Level 3 Certified Golf Fitness Instructor endorsed by Tatum Ranch Golf Club in Cave Creek, AZ.. For more information about Mindi...http://www.fitforgolfusa.com
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.
The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.
Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.
Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.
Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.
Rahm (62) fires career low round
The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:
Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)
What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.
Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.
Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.
Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.
Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.
Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.
Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm
Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder
Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.
Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.
"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."
Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.
Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.
"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."
Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn
There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.
Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.
Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.
Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.
The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.