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!

Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
  • Katherine Roberts Video Archive
  • Health & Fitness Main Page

    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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    Monty grabs lead entering final round in season-opener

    By Associated PressJanuary 20, 2018, 4:00 am

    KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii – Colin Montgomerie shot a second straight 7-under 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round of the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

    The 54-year-old Scot, a six-time winner on the over-50 tour, didn't miss a fairway on Friday and made five birdies on the back nine to reach 14 under at Hualalai.

    Montgomerie has made 17 birdies through 36 holes and said he will have to continue cashing in on his opportunities.

    ''We know that I've got to score something similar to what I've done – 66, 67, something like that, at least,'' Montgomerie said. ''You know the competition out here is so strong that if you do play away from the pins, you'll get run over. It's tough, but hey, it's great.''

    Full-field scores from the Mitsubishi Electric Championship

    First-round co-leaders Gene Sauers and Jerry Kelly each shot 68 and were 12 under.

    ''I hit the ball really well. You know, all the putts that dropped yesterday didn't drop today,'' Kelly said. ''I was just short and burning edges. It was good putting again. They just didn't go in.''

    David Toms was three shots back after a 66. Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia and Doug Garwood each shot 67 and were another shot behind.

    Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was six shots back after a 67.

    The limited-field tournament on Hawaii's Big Island includes last season's winners, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

    ''We've enjoyed ourselves thoroughly here,'' Montgomerie said. ''It's just a dramatic spot, isn't it? If you don't like this, well, I'm sorry, take a good look in the mirror, you know?''

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    The missing link: Advice from successful tour pros

    By Phil BlackmarJanuary 20, 2018, 1:24 am

    Today’s topic is significant in that it underscores the direction golf is headed, a direction that has me a little concerned.

    Now, more than ever, it has become the norm for PGA Tour players to put together a team to assist in all aspects of their career. These teams can typically include the player’s swing coach, mental coach, manager, workout specialist, dietician, physical therapist, short-game guru, doctor, accountant, nanny and wife. Though it often concerns me the player may be missing out when others are making decisions for them, that is not the topic.

    I want to talk about what most players seem to be inexplicably leaving off their teams.

    One of the things that separates great players from the rest of the pack – other than talent – is the great player’s ability to routinely stay comfortable and play with focus and clarity in all situations. Though innate to many, this skill is trainable and can be learned. Don’t get too excited, the details of such a plan are too long and more suited for a book than the short confines of this article.

    So, if that aspect of the game is so important, where is the representative on the player’s team who has stood on the 18th tee with everything on the line? Where is the representative on the team who has experienced, over and over, what the player will be experiencing? In other words, where is the successful former tour player on the team?

    You look to tennis and many players have such a person on their team. These teacher/mentors include the likes of Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl, Jimmy Connors and Brad Gilbert. Why is it not the norm in golf?

    Sure, a few players have sought out the advice of Jack Nicklaus, but he’s not part of a team. The teaching ranks also include some former players like Butch Harmon and a few others. But how many teams include a player who has contended in a major, let alone won one or more?

    I’m not here to argue the value and knowledge of all the other coaches who make up a player’s team. But how can the value of a successful tour professional be overlooked? If I’m going to ask someone what I should do in various situations on the course, I would prefer to include the experienced knowledge of players who have been there themselves.

    This leads me to the second part of today’s message. Is there a need for the professional players to mix with professional teachers to deliver the best and most comprehensive teaching philosophy to average players? I feel there is.

    Most lessons are concerned with changing the student’s swing. Often, this is done with little regard for how it feels to the student because the teacher believes the information is correct and more important than the “feels” of the student. “Stick with it until it’s comfortable” is often the message. This directive methodology was put on Twitter for public consumption a short time back:

    On the other hand, the professional player is an expert at making a score and understands the intangible side of the game. The intangible side says: “Mechanics cannot stand alone in making a good player.” The intangible side understands “people feel things differently”; ask Jim Furyk to swing like Dustin Johnson, or vice versa. This means something that looks good to us may not feel right to someone else.

    The intangible side lets us know that mechanics and feels must walk together in order for the player to succeed. From Ben Hogan’s book:

    “What I have learned I have learned by laborious trial and error, watching a good player do something that looked right to me, stumbling across something that felt right to me, experimenting with that something to see if it helped or hindered, adopting it if it helped, refining it sometimes, discarding it if it didn’t help, sometimes discarding it later if it proved undependable in competition, experimenting continually with new ideas and old ideas and all manner of variations until I arrived at a set of fundamentals that appeared to me to be right because they accomplished a very definite purpose, a set of fundamentals which proved to me they were right because they stood up and produced under all kinds of pressure.”

    Hogan beautifully described the learning process that could develop the swings of great players like DJ, Furyk, Lee Trevino, Jordan Spieth, Nicklaus, etc.

    Bob Toski is still teaching. Steve Elkington is helping to bring us the insight of Jackie Burke. Hal Sutton has a beautiful teaching facility outside of Houston. And so on. Just like mechanics and feels, it’s not either-or – the best message comes from both teachers and players.

    Lately, it seems the scale has swung more to one side; let us not forget the value of insights brought to us by the players who have best mastered the game.

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    Woods, Rahm, Rickie, J-Day headline Torrey field

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 20, 2018, 12:47 am

    Tiger Woods is set to make his 2018 debut.

    Woods is still part of the final field list for next week’s Farmers Insurance Open, the headliner of a tournament that includes defending champion Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jason Day.

    In all, 12 of the top 26 players in the world are teeing it up at Torrey Pines.

    Though Woods has won eight times at Torrey Pines, he hasn’t broken 71 in his past seven rounds there and hasn’t played all four rounds since 2013, when he won. Last year he missed the cut after rounds of 76-72, then lasted just one round in Dubai before he withdrew with back spasms.

    After a fourth back surgery, Woods didn’t return to competition until last month’s Hero World Challenge, where he tied for ninth. 

    Woods has committed to play both the Farmers Insurance Open and next month's Genesis Open at Riviera, which benefits his foundation. 

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    Even on 'off' day, Rahm shoots 67 at CareerBuilder

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 20, 2018, 12:36 am

    Jon Rahm didn’t strike the ball as purely Friday as he did during his opening round at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

    He still managed a 5-under 67 that put him just one shot off the lead heading into the weekend.

    “I expected myself to go to the range (this morning) and keep flushing everything like I did yesterday,” said Rahm, who shot a career-low 62 at La Quinta on Thursday. “Everything was just a little bit off. It was just one of those days.”

    Full-field scores from the Career Builder Challenge

    CareerBuilder Challenge: Articles, photos and videos

    After going bogey-free on Thursday, Rahm mixed four birdies and two bogeys over his opening six holes. He managed to settle down around the turn, then made two birdies on his final three holes to move within one shot of Andrew Landry (65).

    Rahm has missed only five greens through two rounds and sits at 15-under 129. 

    The 23-year-old Spaniard won in Dubai to end the year and opened 2018 with a runner-up finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions. He needs a top-6 finish or better this week to supplant Jordan Spieth as the No. 2 player in the world.