Swing Faults and Fixes - Week 1

By Katherine RobertsJanuary 4, 2007, 5:00 pm
'C' Posture

Because posture is so important we will address the top two dysfunctions in posture over a two week period. Improper posture or loss of posture is prevalent in 65% of amateur golfers. As I have stated in the past, poor posture in the golf swing, effects your set-up or address position and is the foundation on which you build your entire swing, much like the building the foundation of a house. You would not purchase a house that was built on a cracked foundation and you should not build a golf swing on a foundation of poor posture!

'C' posture is one of the most common physical restrictions I see as a fitness professional. 'C' posture refers to the C shape in the thoracic spine or as some of us refer to this issue as a rounded back or slumped shoulders.
Often a result of too much sitting, aging or over training the chest muscles without proper flexibility conditioning, this physical restriction is easily resolved.

Here are a few ways a 'C' posture negatively impacts on your swing:
  1. Can cause lifting up.
  2. Restricts the arc of the swing as a result of immobility in the spine and the inability to rotate the shoulders from the hips.

  3. Limits rotation effecting consistency and power.
Golf Tip: Get your club length checked. If your clubs are too short it may cause you to stand with a 'C' posture.

Working on more mobility in the pecs, upper traps, lats and trunk supports a better spine angle at address, and stops you from losing your posture through your swing.

Fitness Tip: Breathing, deep diaphragmatic breaths, in and out through the nose is the foundation of yoga for golfers. When you see someone who practices yoga one of the things you notice is the way they stand tall, with great posture. The following tips will help you achieve the same posture.

Because this series is about posture I will coach you the way I coach all my players ' from the inside out. In yoga we begin working on posture from the base of the spine towards the crown of the head. Before you begin these exercises I want you to pull the navel towards the spine, slightly tuck the tailbone under and lift the ribcage off the waist. Now pull the shoulders blades together and down the back. Feel as if your head is being lifted off your neck.

Here we go!

Katherine Roberts

Seated neck stretch on chair: Sit on the edge of your chair, navel in and ribcage lifted. Lengthen your cervical spine and slightly tuck your chin down. GENTLY place the fingers on the top of the cervical spine and press on the head. Hold for three deep breaths, REMOVE the hands for the neck and SLOWLY lift the head. Repeat three times.

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Chest opener at the wall: Place the right foot forward and the right palm against the wall below shoulder height. On the inhalation pull the navel towards the spine and on the exhalation press the right chest away from the wall. Hold for three breaths, repeat three times and switch sides.

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Rhomboid stretch: Stand with the arms extended slightly below shoulder height. Clasp the hands together, palms facing inward. Inhale deeply and on the exhalation press the arms away from you, tucking the chin into the chest. On the inhalation, lift the head and pull the shoulder blades together. Keep the shoulders down. Repeat five to ten times.

Fitness Tip: Squeeze the shoulder blades together and hold for an extra breath to build more strength in the upper back.

Katherine Roberts

Half cow face pose arms for lat stretch: This stretch is typically used to target the triceps (which it does) but I also use this stretch to target the lats. Lift the left arm allowing the palm to fall towards the back. Place the right hand on the left elbow. Focus on lifting from the lats and not raising the shoulder. This will activate or load the lat muscle. If you want to move deeper in this pose stretch the upper body to the right. Hold for five deep breaths and switch sides.

Katherine Roberts

Spinal rotation: On your back, place the arms perpendicular to your body, palms facing the ceiling. It is important that the shoulders DO NOT come off the floor. Lift the legs off the floor and on the inhalation roll the legs to the right. On the exhalation bring the legs back to center. Switch sides and repeat this dynamic trunk stretch ten times in each directions.

Fitness Tip: This is a GREAT warm-up exercise for your pre-round work-out.

Next week we continue the series designed to give you better posture! For more information on getting better posture, check out our new DVD More Power and Distance at www.Yogaforgolfers.com. You can also sign up for our monthly newsletters on the site.

Happy New Year!

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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.
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    McIlroy gets back on track

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 21, 2018, 3:10 pm

    There’s only one way to view Rory McIlroy’s performance at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship:

    He is well ahead of schedule.

    Sure, McIlroy is probably disappointed that he couldn’t chase down Ross Fisher (and then Tommy Fleetwood) on the final day at Abu Dhabi Golf Club. But against a recent backdrop of injuries and apathy, his tie for third was a resounding success. He reasserted himself, quickly, and emerged 100 percent healthy.

    “Overall, I’m happy,” he said after finishing at 18-under 270, four back of Fleetwood. “I saw some really, really positive signs. My attitude, patience and comfort level were really good all week.”

    To fully appreciate McIlroy’s auspicious 2018 debut, consider his state of disarray just four months ago. He was newly married. Nursing a rib injury. Breaking in new equipment. Testing another caddie. His only constant was change. “Mentally, I wasn’t in a great place,” he said, “and that was because of where I was physically.”

    And so he hit the reset button, taking the longest sabbatical of his career, a three-and-a-half-month break that was as much psychological as physical. He healed his body and met with a dietician, packing five pounds of muscle onto his already cut frame. He dialed in his TaylorMade equipment, shoring up a putting stroke and wedge game that was shockingly poor for a player of his caliber. Perhaps most importantly, he cleared his cluttered mind, cruising around Italy with wife Erica in a 1950s Mercedes convertible.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    After an intense buildup to his season debut, McIlroy was curious about the true state of his game, about how he’d stack up when he finally put a scorecard in his hand. It didn’t take him long to find out. 

    Playing the first two rounds alongside Dustin Johnson – the undisputed world No. 1 who was fresh off a blowout victory at Kapalua – McIlroy beat him by a shot. Despite a 103-day competitive layoff, he played bogey-free for 52 holes. And he put himself in position to win, trailing by one heading into the final round. Though Fleetwood blew away the field with a back-nine 30 to defend his title, McIlroy collected his eighth top-5 in his last nine appearances in Abu Dhabi.

    “I know it’s only three months,” he said, “but things change, and I felt like maybe I needed a couple of weeks to get back into the thought process that you need to get into for competitive golf. I got into that pretty quickly this week, so that was the most pleasing thing.”

    The sense of relief afterward was palpable. McIlroy is entering his 11th full year as a pro, and deep down he likely realizes 2018 is shaping up as his most important yet.

    The former Boy Wonder is all grown up, and his main challengers now are a freakish athlete (DJ) and a trio of players under 25 (Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm) who don’t lack for motivation or confidence. The landscape has changed significantly since McIlroy’s last major victory, in August 2014, and the only way he’ll be able to return to world No. 1 is to produce a sustained period of exceptional golf, like the rest of the game’s elite. (Based on average points, McIlroy, now ranked 11th, is closer to the bottom of the rankings, No. 1928, than to Johnson.)

    But after years of near-constant turmoil, McIlroy, 28, finally seems ready to pursue that goal again. He is planning the heaviest workload of his career – as many as 30 events, including seven more starts before the Masters – and appears refreshed and reenergized, perhaps because this year, for the first time in a while, he is playing without distractions.

    Not his relationships or his health. Not his equipment or his caddie or his off-course dealings.

    Everything in his life is lined up.

    Drama tends to follow one of the sport’s most captivating characters, but for now he can just play golf – lots and lots of golf. How liberating.

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    Crocker among quartet of Open qualifiers in Singapore

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 2:20 pm

    Former amateur standout Sean Crocker was among four players who qualified for the 147th Open via top-12 finishes this week at the Asian Tour's SMBC Singapore Open as part of the Open Qualifying Series.

    Crocker had a strong college career at USC before turning pro late last year. The 21-year-old received an invitation into this event shortly thereafter, and he made the most of his appearance with a T-6 finish to net his first career major championship berth.

    There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore, but winner Sergio Garcia and runners-up Shaun Norris and Satoshi Kodaira had already booked their tickets for Carnoustie. That meant that Thailand's Danthai Boonma and Jazz Janewattanond both qualified thanks to T-4 finishes.

    Full-field scores from the Singapore Open

    Crocker nabbed the third available qualifying spot, while the final berth went to Australia's Lucas Herbert. Herbert entered the week ranked No. 274 in the world and was the highest-ranked of the three otherwise unqualified players who ended the week in a tie for eighth.

    The next event in the Open Qualifying Series will be in Japan at the Mizuno Open in May, when four more spots at Carnoustie will be up for grabs. The 147th Open will be held July 19-22 in Carnoustie, Scotland.

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    Got a second? Fisher a bridesmaid again

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:40 pm

    Ross Fisher is in the midst of a career resurgence - he just doesn't have the hardware to prove it.

    Fisher entered the final round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a share of the lead, and as he made the turn he appeared in position to claim his first European Tour victory since March 2014. But he slowed just as Tommy Fleetwood caught fire, and when the final putt fell Fisher ended up alone in second place, two shots behind his fellow Englishman.

    It continues a promising trend for Fisher, who at age 37 now has 14 career runner-up finishes and three in his last six starts dating back to October. He was edged by Tyrrell Hatton both at the Italian Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in the fall, and now has amassed nine worldwide top-10 finishes since March.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fisher took a big step toward ending his winless drought with an eagle on the par-5 second followed by a pair of birdies, and he stood five shots clear of Fleetwood with only nine holes to go. But while Fleetwood played Nos. 10-15 in 4 under, Fisher played the same stretch in 2 over and was unable to eagle the closing hole to force a playoff.

    While Fisher remains in search of an elusive trophy, his world ranking has benefited from his recent play. The veteran was ranked outside the top 100 in the world as recently as September 2016, but his Abu Dhabi runner-up result is expected to move him inside the top 30 when the new rankings are published.

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    McIlroy (T-3) notches another Abu Dhabi close call

    By Will GrayJanuary 21, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Rory McIlroy's trend of doing everything but hoist the trophy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is alive and well.

    Making his first start since early October, McIlroy showed few signs of rust en route to a tie for third. Amid gusty winds, he closed with a 2-under 70 to finish the week at 18 under, four shots behind Tommy Fleetwood who rallied to win this event for the second consecutive year.

    The result continues a remarkable trend for the Ulsterman, who has now finished third or better seven of the last eight years in Abu Dhabi - all while never winning the tournament. That stretch includes four runner-up finishes and now two straight T-3 results.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    McIlroy is entering off a disappointing 2017 in which he was injured in his first start and missed two chunks of time while trying to regain his health. He has laid out an ambitious early-season schedule, one that will include a trip to Dubai next week and eight worldwide tournament starts before he heads to the Masters.

    McIlroy started the final round one shot off the lead, and he remained in contention after two birdies over his first four holes. But a bogey on No. 6 slowed his momentum, and McIlroy wasn't able to make a back-nine birdie until the closing hole, at which point the title was out of reach.