Building a Better Game From Head to Toe Week Six

By Katherine RobertsJune 27, 2007, 4:00 pm
In the golf swing the gluts and hips support a solid foundation for stability in the lower body as well as the source for power and distance in your swing. Strength and flexibility in the hips supports the loading and acceleration phase of the golf swing. The ability to access power from your gluts is a direct correlation of proper flexibility in the hip flexors, quadriceps, psoas and glut muscles.
 
In addition, low back discomfort originates from shortened hip flexors and tight hamstrings (more on hamstrings next week). Another common problem effecting effective hip function is when a golfer over trains his or her abdominals without the balance of erector spine strengthening muscles. Although it is important to build a strong core (see last weeks article) the balance of the front and back body is critical.
 
In one of our yoga poses this week I ask you to move deeper, body and mind. The bound angle pose against the wall offers you a place to allow gravity to move you deeper into the pose. I ask you to relax and breathe into the stretch vs. using your muscular strength to push harder. My own experiences, in addition to the athletes I work with, prove the benefits of this style of static stretching.
 
Quads / Gluts / Hip Flexors / Psoas poses:
 
Golf benefit: Stretching the hip flexors enables greater extension in the swing and allows the gluts to engage, generating more power, club head speed and distance in your swing.
 
Health benefit: Decreases the onset of low back pain caused by spinal compression from the golf swing, sitting for extended periods of time or riding in the golf cart.
 
Here we go!
 
PAR Level:
Articulating hip lifts:
Bend your left knee placing your left foot on the floor. Extend your right leg, arms parallel to your body. Inhale, as you prepare for the exercise, exhale as you lift your left hip off the floor. TIP: Focus on your left glut as you lift the hip off the floor. Imagine the left hip is lifting towards the ceiling. Repeat ten times and switch sides.
 

 
PAR Level:
Dynamic pigeon pose with the balance ball:
Place the left ankle over right knee. Inhale and pull the ball towards you focusing on the stretch in the right glut. Hold for one breath and repeat ten times. Switch sides.
 

 
Bound angle pose at the wall:
Preparation: place your spine against the wall, roll the shoulder back and zip up the lower abdominals. Pull the navel towards your spine and lift the ribcage off the waist.
 
PAR Level:
Soles of the feet are positioned away from the groin.
 

 
BIRDIE / EAGLE Levels:
Pull the feet closer to the groin.
 

 
Hold for one to three minutes.
 
Adductor / abductor window washer stretch:
 
In the supine position, knees bent, place your feet wider than your yoga mat. Inhale and allow your knees to fall to the left. Exhale as you bring your legs back to the starting position. Repeat ten times in each direction and now place your left foot on top of your right knee and hold for five deep breaths. Switch sides again.
 

 
Crescent lunge pose with club:
This pose strengthens the gluts, quads and hamstrings.
 

 
Place the right foot forward, left foot back and lift high onto you left toes. Inhale as you bring you right quad parallel to the floor. Inhale as you lower your quad towards the floor, exhale as you bring you right leg to the starting position. Repeat ten times and switch sides. TIP: Pull your navel towards your spine, maintaining an upright upper body posture.
 

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    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has over 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com or visit www.YogaForGolfers.com.
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Tiger's Saturday birdies at Honda

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 24, 2018, 9:20 pm

    Tiger Woods was in almost total control of his game for the majority of his third round Saturday at PGA National. And although he was once again bit by the Bear Trap, the 14-time major winner tapped in for birdie at the par-5 18th to post a round of 1-under 69 and fight his way back to even par for the week.

    Four back to start the day, Woods parred his first seven holes before pouring in his first birdie via this flagged iron from 139 at the par-4 eighth:

    Woods hit three more quality approaches at 9, 10 and 11 but couldn't get a putt to drop.

    The lid finally came off the hole at No. 12 when he holed a key 17-footer for par to keep his scorecard clean.

    One hole later, Woods added a second circle to that card, converting this 14-footer for a birdie-3 that moved him back into red figures at 1 under par for the week.

    Unfortunately, the Bear Trap would ensnare Tiger for the second day in a row. Woods, whose iron play had looked as crisp as it had in years, sailed approaches long and left at both the par-3 15th and par-3 17th, leading to bogeys which erased the two birdies he worked so hard to secure.

    But just like on Friday, Woods rallied back with a late birdie, this one at the home hole, to steal back a shot.

    Getty Images

    O. Fisher, Pepperell share lead at Qatar Masters

    By Associated PressFebruary 24, 2018, 5:13 pm

    DOHA, Qatar - Oliver Fisher birdied his last four holes in the Qatar Masters third round to share the lead at Doha Golf Club on Saturday.

    The 29-year-old Englishman shot a 7-under 65 for an overall 16-under 200. Eddie Pepperell (66) picked up shots on the 16th and 18th to catch his compatriot and the pair enjoy a two-shot lead over American Sean Crocker (67) in third.

    David Horsey (65) was the biggest mover of the day with the Englishman improving 31 places for a share of fourth place at 12 under with, among others, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Andrea Pavan.

    Fisher, winner of the 2011 Czech Open, made some stunning putts on his way in. After an eight-footer on the par-4 15th, he then drove the green on the short par-4 16th for an easy birdie, before making a 12-footer on the 17th and a 15-footer on the 18th.

    Like Pepperell, Fisher also had just one bogey to show on his card, also on the 12th hole.


    Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters


    ''I gave myself some chances coming in and thankfully I made them,'' said Fisher, who has dropped to 369th in the world rankings.

    ''You can quite easily make a few bogeys without doing that much wrong here, so it's important to be patient and keep giving yourself chances.''

    Pepperell, ranked 154th in the world after a strong finish to his 2017 season, has been a picture of consistency in the tournament. He was once again rock-solid throughout the day, except one bad hole - the par-4 12th. His approach shot came up short and landed in the rocks, the third ricocheted back off the rocks, and he duffed his fourth shot to stay in the waste area.

    But just when a double bogey or worse looked imminent, Pepperell holed his fifth shot for what was a remarkable bogey. And he celebrated that escape with a 40-feet birdie putt on the 13th.

    ''I maybe lost a little feeling through the turn, but I bounced back nicely and I didn't let it bother me,'' said the 27-year-old Pepperell, who hit his third shot to within four feet on the par-5 18th to join Fisher on top.

    The long-hitting Crocker is playing on invites on the European Tour. He made a third eagle in three days - on the par-4 16th for the second successive round.

    Getty Images

    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 24, 2018, 4:45 pm

    Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.


    Getty Images

    Uihlein fires back at Jack in ongoing distance debate

    By Randall MellFebruary 24, 2018, 4:32 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Wally Uihlein challenged Jack Nicklaus’ assault this week on the golf ball.

    Uihlein, an industry force as president and CEO of Titleist and FootJoy parent company Acushnet for almost 20 years, retired at year’s start but remains an adviser.

    In an interview with ScoreGolf on Friday, Uihlein reacted to Nicklaus’ assertions that the ball is responsible for contributing to a lot of the troubles the game faces today, from slow play and sagging participation to the soaring cost to play.

    Uihlein also took the USGA and The R&A to task.

    The ball became a topic when Nicklaus met with reporters Tuesday at the Honda Classic and was asked about slow play. Nicklaus said the ball was “the biggest culprit” of that.

    “It appears from the press conference that Mr. Nicklaus was blaming slow play on technology and the golf ball in particular,” Uihlein said. “I don’t think anyone in the world believes that the golf ball has contributed to the game’s pace of play issues.”

    Nicklaus told reporters that USGA executive director Mike Davis pledged over dinner with him to address the distance the golf ball is flying and the problems Nicklaus believes the distance explosion is creating in the game.

    “Mike Davis has not told us that he is close, and he has not asked us for help if and when he gets there,” Uihlein said.

    ScoreGolf pointed out that the Vancouver Protocol of 2011 was created after a closed-door meeting among the USGA, The R&A and equipment manufacturers, with the intent to make any proposed changes to equipment rules or testing procedures more transparent and to allow participation in the process.

    “There are no golf courses being closed due to the advent of evolving technology,” Uihlein said. “There is no talk from the PGA Tour and its players about technology making their commercial product less attractive. Quite the opposite, the PGA Tour revenues are at record levels. The PGA of America is not asking for a roll back of technology. The game’s everyday player is not advocating a roll back of technology.”

    ScoreGolf said Uihlein questioned why the USGA and The R&A choose courses that “supposedly” can no longer challenge the game’s best players as preferred venues for the U.S. Open, The Open and other high-profile events.

    “It seems to me at some point in time that the media should be asking about the conflict of interest between the ruling bodies while at the same time conducting major championships on venues that maybe both the athletes and the technology have outgrown,” he said. “Because it is the potential obsolescence of some of these championship venues which is really at the core of this discussion.”