Swing Faults and Fixes - Week 5

By Katherine RobertsFebruary 1, 2007, 5:00 pm
Reverse Spine Angle
This week during the Buick Invitational, one of the television golf analysts evaluated Tigers swing, specifically mentioning his ability to control his spine angle at address. The analyst continued by describing how Tigers spine angle tilts slightly to the right at impact but for most of the dynamic phase of the golf swing Tigers spine angle is consistent.
For many amateurs this a challenge. An inconsistent spine angle causes many issues but primarily this inability creates the swing flaw known as a Reverse spine angle.
We define this condition as when the upper body bends backwards or bends laterally during the backswing phase of the swing sequence. When my students come to Scottsdale to work with me, I evaluate them physically as well as their swing mechanics with their PGA professional. (If you are interested in our pro evaluating your swing and putting you on a golf specific fitness program send me an e-mail and we will get your program started). I can usually predict an incidence of low back pain simply by identifying a reverse pivot in their video swing analysis.
Here are a few physical fixes for the reverse spine angle:
1. Work on increasing flexibility in the trunk, allowing the shoulders to rotate separately from the hips and increasing rotation in the lower body. Gaining more flexibility in these areas eliminates lateral or side bending.
2. The ability to turn your hips, specifically the right internal hip rotation (for right handed golfers) is critical in fixing a reverse spine angle.
3. Lastly, building the core strength to support your spine angle and reduce the risk of lumbar spine injury is advantageous.
If you are one of the lucky golfers who does not have a reverse spine angle I suggest you incorporate these yoga postures into your regular fitness routine. These poses will enhance your ability to turn, maintain a consistent spine angle and strengthen the core!
Lets get started!
Trunk flexibility

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Supine spinal twist with yoga blocks:
Place the arms perpendicular to the body, heels next to the buttocks and right leg crossed over left. Maintain a connection of the shoulders with the floor. Inhale and allow the legs to fall to the left. Exhale and bring the legs back to the starting position. Repeat this dynamic twist ten times and then hold for one minute. Switch sides and repeat.
TIP: Use the yoga blocks under the knees if your knees do not touch the floor.
Lat and shoulder flexibility with increased extension

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Revolving side angle pose:
Place the left leg forward with the knee placed directly over the ankle. Pull the navel towards the spine and bring the right arm to the outside of the left knee. Bring the right elbow to the outside of the left knee. Inhale deeply, pull the navel towards the spine, bring the palms together and lift out of the right shoulder. Focus on the stretch in the lats. Hold for five to ten breaths and switch sides.
TIP: Maintain distance between your right ear and right shoulder.
Hip flexibility (specifically internal hip rotators)

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Katherine Roberts

Quad / hip flexor stretch:
The Sanskrit (the language of yoga) this pose is called Virasana, meaning Hero pose. This is a very deep stretch for the hip flexors and quads.
TIP: Pay close attention to protecting the knees by placing a rolled up towel behind the knees and yoga blocks and towels under the buttocks. Additionally focus on tucking the pelvis under, internally rotating the pelvis so the stretch is in the hips and not a strain on the lumbar spine. Additionally this is a stretch for the top of the foot and ankle.
With the knees together sit back onto your yoga blocks or towels. With the support of your hands placed behind your back slightly lift the hips off the blocks, tuck the pelvis under and hold for three breaths. Repeat three to five repetitions.
Frog Pose

Katherine Roberts

Love this stretch for the adductors, inner thighs!
TIP: If your knees are sensitive, place an extra towel under your knees.
Separate the knees as wide as possible, pull the navel towards the spine to protect the lumbar spine and bring the elbows down to the towels or floor. Relax the neck and hold for ten breaths.
Breathe deeply in the pose, focus on allowing your body to sink deeper in the pose with each exhalation.
Core strength

Katherine Roberts Katherine Roberts

Yoga/ Pilates core strengthener with Golf Gym Balance ball:
Place the yoga block between the legs, the Golf Gym Balance ball between the hands, slightly above shoulder height. Squeeze the block and ball, retracting the shoulder, eyes focus just above the ball. Inhale, pull the navel towards the spine and articulate the upper body towards the floor. Focus on tucking the ribcage towards the hip bone. On the exhalation, roll back to the starting position. Repeat twenty times.
TIP: If you feel any strain in your neck, slightly tuck your chin towards the chest.
See you Monday nights on The Turn!
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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    Perez skips Torrey, 'upset' with Ryder Cup standings

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 2:19 am

    Pat Perez is unhappy about his standing on the U.S. Ryder Cup points list, and his situation won't improve this week.

    Perez won the CIMB Classic during the fall portion of this season, and he followed that with a T-5 finish at the inaugural CJ Cup. But he didn't receive any Ryder Cup points for either result because of a rule enacted by the American task force prior to the 2014 Ryder Cup which only awards points during the calendar year of the biennial matches as well as select events like majors and WGCs during the prior year.

    As a result, Perez is currently 17th in the American points race - behind players like Patrick Reed, Zach Johnson, Bill Haas and James Hahn, none of whom have won a tournament since the 2016 Ryder Cup - as he looks to make a U.S. squad for the first time at age 42.

    "That kind of upset me a little bit, the fact that I'm (17) on the list, but I should probably be (No.) 3 or 4," Perez told Golf Digest. "So it kind of put a bitter taste in my mouth. The fact that you win on the PGA Tour and you beat some good players, yet you don't get any points because of what our committee has decided to do."

    Perez won't be earning any points this week because he has opted to tee it up at the European Tour's Omega Dubai Desert Classic. The decision comes after Perez finished T-21 last week at the Singapore Open, and it means that the veteran is missing the Farmers Insurance Open in his former hometown of San Diego for the first time since 2001.

    Perez went to high school a few minutes from Torrey Pines, and he defeated a field that included Tiger Woods to win the junior world title on the South Course in 1993. His father, Tony, has been a longtime starter on the tournament's opening hole, and Perez was a runner-up in 2014 and tied for fourth last year.

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    Woods favored to miss Farmers Insurance Open cut

    By Will GrayJanuary 24, 2018, 1:54 am

    If the Las Vegas bookmakers are to be believed, folks in the San Diego area hoping to see Tiger Woods this week might want to head to Torrey Pines early.

    Woods is making his first competitive start of the year this week at the Farmers Insurance Open, and it will be his first official start on the PGA Tour since last year's event. He missed nearly all of 2017 because of a back injury before returning with a T-9 finish last month at the Hero World Challenge.

    But the South Course at Torrey Pines is a far different test than Albany, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook lists Woods as a -180 favorite to miss the 36-hole cut. It means bettors must wager $180 to win $100, while his +150 odds to make the cut mean a bettor can win $150 with a $100 wager.

    Woods is listed at 25/1 to win. He won the tournament for the seventh time in 2013, but in three appearances since he has missed the 36-hole cut, missed the 54-hole cut and withdrawn after 12 holes.

    Here's a look at the various Woods-related prop bets available at the Westgate:

    Will Woods make the 36-hole cut? Yes +150, No -180

    Lowest single-round score (both courses par 72): Over/Under 70

    Highest single-round score: Over/Under 74.5

    Will Woods finish inside the top 10? Yes +350, No -450

    Will Woods finish inside the top 20? Yes +170, No -200

    Will Woods withdraw during the tournament? Yes +650, No -1000

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    Monahan buoyed by Tour's sponsor agreements

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 24, 2018, 12:27 am

    SAN DIEGO – Farmers Insurance announced on Tuesday at Torrey Pines a seven-year extension of the company’s sponsorship of the Southern California PGA Tour event. This comes on the heels of Sony extending its sponsorship of the year’s first full-field event in Hawaii through 2022.

    Although these might seem to be relatively predictable moves, considering the drastic makeover of the Tour schedule that will begin with the 2018-19 season, it is a telling sign of the confidence corporations have in professional golf.

    “It’s a compliment to our players and the value that the sponsors are achieving,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said.

    Monahan said that before 2014 there were no 10-year title sponsorship agreements in place. Now there are seven events sponsored for 10-years, and another five tournaments that have agreements in place of at least seven years.

    “What it means is, it gives organizations like the Century Club [which hosts this week’s Farmers Insurance Open], when you have that level of stability on a long-term basis that allows you to invest in your product, to grow interest and to grow the impact of it,” Monahan said. “You experienced what this was like in 2010 or seen other tournaments that you don’t know what the future is.S o to go out and sell and inspire a community and you can’t state that we have a long-term agreement it’s more difficult.”

    Events like this year’s Houston Open, Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas, and The National all currently don’t have title sponsors – although officials at Colonial are confident they can piece together a sponsorship package. But even that is encouraging to Monahan considering the uncertainty surrounding next season’s schedule, which will include the PGA Championship moving to May and The Players to March as well as a pre-Labor Day finish to the season.

    “When you look back historically to any given year [the number of events needing sponsors] is lower than the typical average,” Monahan said. “As we start looking to a new schedule next year, you get excited about a great schedule with a great group of partners.”

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    Day WDs from Farmers pro-am because of sore back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 24, 2018, 12:07 am

    SAN DIEGO – Jason Day has withdrawn from the Wednesday pro-am at the Farmers Insurance Open, citing a sore back.

    Day, the 2015 champion, played a practice round with Tiger Woods and Bryson DeChambeau on Tuesday at Torrey Pines, and he is still expected to play in the tournament.

    Day was replaced in the pro-am by Whee Kim. 

    Making his first start since the Australian Open in November, Day is scheduled to tee off at 1:30 p.m. ET Thursday alongside Jon Rahm and Brandt Snedeker.