Eight Minutes to a Better Swing - Week 5

By Katherine RobertsApril 2, 2008, 4:00 pm

Impact ' The moment of truth!
 
One of my DVDs is designed to address one lifes biggest challenges ' time! Eight Minutes to a Better Swing provides ten, 8-10 minute sequences of exercises targeting every part of your body. From the hips, back and trunk, to balance and pre-round warm-up, the DVD is intended to give you quick, simple solutions. www.YogaForGolfers.com This week continues our new series based on a sequence of exercises requiring a minimal amount of time. If you have eight to ten minutes, I have the program for you!
 
Last week our program focused on the downswing phase of the swing while this week we focus on the impact position, what I refer to as the moment of truth!
 
Lets take a closer took at the biomechanics involved at impact.
 
The following is an excerpt from the Golf Biomechanics section of my book Yoga for Golfers ' A Unique Mind/Body Approach to Golf Fitness.
 
Impact:
Definition: The phase of the golf swing where ball contact occurs.
 
It should not be surprising that the majority of the injuries occur during this phase of the golf swing when the most parts of the body are moving, maximum velocity is reached and contact is made with the ball. The spine is most susceptible if the golfer slides towards the target. Depending on the magnitude and velocity of this slide, injury can occur. For golf, sliding stresses are generally considered the most dangerous. Controlling the amount of hip slide is crucial from a physical training standpoint.
 
Summary of Impact Biomechanics
At impact the head and neck experience a side bending motion towards the right combined with a forward bend.
Shoulders are now brought back to a square position.
The mid and low back experience a side bending motion towards the right combined with a rotational motion towards the left.
Lower body is turning with the hips being slightly open towards the target.
 
Summary of Muscle Activity
The greatest muscle activity and tension is produced as the muscles contract to bring the club to the ball.
The shoulder girdle, including the rotator cuff is active. Other muscles including the serratus anterior, which connects the shoulder blade to the rib cage and the pectoral or chest muscles are actively accelerating the arms.
The mid-back muscles including the lower trapezius act to stabilizer the shoulder blade.
The trunk muscles including the abdominal groups and the erector spinae or spine extensors are active.
The hip muscles that are most active include the hip rotators, hip adductors and hip abductors. Hip rotators weakness is common in golf. If the hip adductors and abductors are dominate during this phase, the golfer may lack leg stability and a sliding motion can occur.
All leg muscles are active as weight is being transferred from the right to the left side.
 

This week we focus our eight minute series of exercises for the hips, core (back muscles) and shoulders. Our main intention is to build more strength, helping you generate maximum velocity at the point of impact.
Tip: Please print out the archived articles from the last two weeks on the hips and core abdominal / oblique exercises.
 
Lower body strengthener with shoulder circles:
Warrior Three pose:
 
Step the left foot forward and right leg back, internally rotating the right leg and foot. Bend into the left knee until the quad is parallel to the floor. Extend the arms to shoulder height. For more strength in the shoulders, rotate the arms clockwise in tight, quick circular movements. Repeat ten times and circle the arms counter clockwise. Switch legs and repeat.
 


 

Glut strengthener:
Bridge pose with yoga block
 
Place the heels close to the gluts and the block between your knees. Squeeze the block and slowly lift the hips off the floor, focusing on engaging the gluts. Hold for ten breaths, relax and repeat one time.
 


 

Back strengthener:
Locust pose (Par Level and Birdie/Eagle Level):
 
PAR Level:
Begin on your belly, face pointing towards the yoga mat. Squeeze the legs together, engage the gluts and press your palms into the floor. On the exhalation lift the legs slightly off the floor. Hold for three breaths, relax and repeat three times.
 


 

BIRDIE/EAGLE Level:
Extend the arms wider than shoulder width apart. Inhale and engage the gluts again, exhale and lift the right arm and left leg. Hold for three deep breaths and switch sides.
 


 
Counter pose: Sit back into a childs pose to stretch out your back after this series.
 

Shoulder strengthening:
Plank position with a push up:
 
An oldie but goodie, the push is a very effective way to incorporate your core and efficiently work your shoulders, arms and wrists. Place the hands directly under the shoulders, spreading the fingers as wide as possible. Pull your navel towards the spine and do not allow the low back to sink towards the floor. On your inhale, slowly lower your body until the upper arm is parallel to the floor, elbows hugging the side of your body. On your exhalation return the body to the starting position. Repeat five to ten times.
 
Tip: To modify this pose place the knees on the floor.
 

 

Next week we examine the follow through position of the swing.
 
See you on The Turn!
 
Please send me an e-mail with your thoughts at Katherine@YogaForGolfers.com
 
Related Links:

  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Katherine Roberts Video Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page


    Katherine Roberts - Yoga For GolfersEditor'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.
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    Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

    By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 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.


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    Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

    The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: http://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6PM ET


    Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

    Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

    Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.


    Notables in the field:

    Tiger Woods

    • Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

    • Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

    • Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.


    Rickie Fowler

    • The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

    • Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

    • On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 


    Rory McIlroy

    • It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

    • McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

    • Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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    Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

    By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

    CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

    Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

    ''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

    ''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''


    Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand


    Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

    Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

    ''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

    Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

    Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

    ''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

    She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

    Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.

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    Tiger's checklist: How he can contend at Augusta

    By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 8:31 pm

    PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Augusta is already on the minds of most players here at the Honda Classic, and that includes the only one in the field with four green jackets.

    Yes, Tiger Woods has been talking about the Masters ever since he started this latest comeback at Torrey Pines. These three months are all about trying to build momentum for the year’s first major.

    Woods hasn’t revealed his schedule past this week, but his options are limited. He’s a good bet to play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he has won eight times, but adding another start would be a departure from the norm. He’s not eligible for the two World Golf Championship events, in Mexico and Austin, and he has never played the Valspar Championship or the Houston Open.

    So there’s a greater sense of urgency this week at PGA National, which is realistically one of his final tune-ups.

    How will Woods know if he’s ready to contend at Augusta? Here’s his pre-Masters checklist:

    1. Stay healthy

    So far, so good, as Woods tries to resume a normal playing schedule following four back surgeries since 2014. Though he vowed to learn from his past mistakes and not push himself, it was a promising sign that Woods felt strong enough to sign up for the Honda, the second of back-to-back starts on separate coasts.

    Another reason for optimism on the health front: The soreness that Woods felt after his season opener at Torrey Pines wasn’t related to his surgically repaired back. No, what ached most were his feet – he wasn’t used to walking 72 holes on hilly terrain.

    Woods is stiffer than normal, but that’s to be expected. His back is fused.

    2. Figure out his driver

    Augusta National is more forgiving off the tee than most major courses, putting more of a premium on approach shots and recoveries.


    Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos


    That’s good news for Woods, who has yet to find a reliable tee shot. Clearly, he is most comfortable playing a fade and wants to take the left side of the course out of play, but in competition he’s been plagued by a two-way miss.

    In two starts this year, Woods has hit only 36 percent of the fairways, no matter if he was using driver, fairway wood or long iron.

    Unfortunately, Woods is unlikely to gain any significant insight into his driver play this week. PGA National’s Champion Course isn’t overly long, but there is water on 15 of the 18 holes. As a result, he said he likely will hit driver only four times a round, maybe five, and otherwise rely on his 3-wood and 2-iron. 

    Said Rory McIlroy: “Being conservative off the tee is something that you have to do here to play well.”

    That won’t be the case at Augusta.

    3. Clean up his iron play

    As wayward as Woods has been off the tee, his iron play hasn’t impressed, either.

    At Riviera, he hit only 16 greens in regulation – his fewest in a Tour event as a professional. Of course, Woods’ chances of hitting the green are reduced when he’s playing from the thick rough, sand and trees, but he also misfired on six of the eight par 3s.

    Even when Woods does find the green, he’s not close enough to the hole. Had he played enough rounds to qualify, his proximity to the hole (39 feet, 7 inches) would rank 161st on Tour.

    That won’t be good enough at Augusta, where distance control and precision are paramount.

    Perhaps that’s why Justin Thomas said last week what many of us were thinking: “I would say he’s a pretty good ways away.”

    4. Get into contention somewhere

    As much as he would have liked to pick off a win on the West Coast, Woods said that it’s not a prerequisite to have a chance at the Masters. He cited 2010, when he tied for fourth despite taking four months off after the fallout from his scandal.

    In reality, though, there hasn’t been an out-of-nowhere Masters champion since Charl Schwartzel in 2011. Since then, every player who eventually donned the green jacket either already had a win that year or at least a top-3 finish worldwide.

    “I would like to play well,” Woods said. “I would like to win golf tournaments leading into it. The years I’ve won there, I’ve played really well early.”

    Indeed, he had at least one win in all of the years he went on to win the Masters (1997, 2000, ’01, ’05). Throw in the fact that Woods is nearly five years removed from his last Tour title, and it’s reasonable to believe that he at least needs to get himself into contention before he can seriously entertain winning another major.

    And so that’s why he’s here at the Honda, trying to find his game with seven weeks to go. 

    “It’s tournament reps,” he said, “and I need tournament reps.”

    Add that to the rest of his pre-Masters checklist.