Eight Minutes a Day to a Better Swing - Address

By Katherine RobertsMarch 26, 2004, 5:00 pm
So often I hear from clients who say they want to get into shape to play better golf and to develop greater overall health. The problem is time! We are so stressed with a multi-tasking lifestyle that sometimes what we need the most takes a back seat to other people's demands on us.
For the next eight weeks put yourself first for eight minutes a day. The one constant in my life is the two hours everyday I devote to exercise (and my dogs!). My commitment is not negotiable and I often schedule my appointments around my yoga fitness time. I am sensitive to the time limitations we all face. So, all you need over next eight weeks is eight minutes a day.
Eight phases of the swing in eight minutes a day
Each week will target specific phases of the swing and the areas of the body necessary to successfully execute the swing. The biomechanical information on the eight positions of the swing can fill a library but I have modified them for our purposes. In my upcoming book I explain the biomechanics in more detail. Although I am an avid golfer (if the truth be known I am a fanatical golfer) and an expert in the biomechanics of the swing, I am not a teacher of the golf swing. Please see your PGA teaching professional for specific questions regarding your swing mechanics.
Eight positions of the swing:
  • Address

  • Takeaway

  • Top of the Backswing

  • Downswing

  • Impact

  • Finish

  • Putting Stance

    Week One - Address

    The definition of address is 'the position of your body just prior to initiating the golf swing.' At address the muscle activity is as follows:
    • Arms are relaxed but the forearms, hands and wrists are activated.

    • Core abdominals and back muscles are activated to stabilize the body

    • Lower body muscles such as quads, adductors (inner thighs) hamstrings and calves are active.
    Now let's get started on the exercises that will improve your address position...
    Crescent Lunges with upper back strengthener:

    Yoga for Golfers - Crescent Lunge

    Step the right foot forward, keeping the left heel off the floor. Inhale; raise the arms above the head, stretching from the waist, drawing the navel inward towards the spine. Exhale bending the right knee, bringing the elbows to a 90 degree angle. Focus on squeezing the shoulder blades together as you activate the muscles of the upper and middle back. Repeat this pose five times and switch sides. Note: Focus on keeping the core of the body engaged, do not allow the lower back to arch.
    Hands, Wrist and Forearms:

    Yoga for Golfers - Hands, Wrists & ForearmsYoga for Golfers - Hands, Wrists & Forearms

    PAR Level: Placing the hands directly under the shoulders spread the fingers as wide as possible. Try placing a golf ball between each fingerokay, it sounds weird but give it a try. Press the base of the forefinger into the floor and activate the muscles of the forearms. Focus on lifting out of the wrists, not sinking into the wrists. Hold for a slow count of ten. Now release and turn the hands in the other direction with back of the hand facing the floor. Be gentle and do not put your full weight on your hands. Hold for a count of five.
    PAR Level: Squeeze your hands into as tight a fist as possible, hold for ten seconds, then spread your fingers as wide as possible for ten seconds. Repeat seven times. This is a great exercise if you sit at a computer all day.
    Core Abdominal / Back Strengthener sequence:

    Yoga for Golfers - Core AbdominalYoga for Golfers - Core Abdominal

    On all fours, inhale, draw the navel inward pressing the spine towards the sky. Exhale, pressing the buttocks to the heels.
    Yoga for Golfers - Back StrengthYoga for Golfers - Back Strength

    Inhale bringing the body to a plank position on the knees, exhale and lower the body to the floor.
    Yoga for Golfers - Back Strength

    Inhale, bring the inner thighs together, engage the buttocks and lift the chest off the floor. Repeat three to five times.
    Hands to Foot pose with strap:

    Yoga for Golfers - Hands to Foot pose with strap

    PAR Level: This pose works the hamstrings, inner thighs and low back. Extend the left leg placing the strap around the left foot. Place the right foot to the left inner thigh. Be sure the hips are facing the extended leg. Fold forward over the extended leg and hold for a count of thirty. Switch sides. Remember to breathe!
    BIRDIE Level: Remove the strap and reach for the shin or foot.
    Feel free to print out the next eight weeks of content so you will develop a program specific to the eight positions. In my next series of DVDs I offer a longer sequence of exercise for the address position.
    I recommend you do these exercises a minimum of three days a week with five days a week being the optimal. Finding eight minutes a day to work on your body for the season will reap big rewards, on and off the golf course.
    Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page
    Editor's Note: Katherine Roberts, founder of Yoga for Golfers, has 20 years of experience in fitness training, yoga studies, professional coaching and motivation. Katherine welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at info@yogaforgolfers.com.
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    Ortiz takes Web.com Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Web.com Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Web.com Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Web.com Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x