Good Posture Improves Your Swing and Reduces Injury

By Golf Fitness MagazineOctober 22, 2008, 4:00 pm
Proper posture is essential for golf performance, which is why professional golfers spend so much time correcting and practicing their posture and set-up. Without proper posture, a golfer could not get into the required positions needed to consistently keep the club on its proper path.
 
One of the most commonly diagnosed postural problems in female golfers as well as men is C-posture or rounded shoulders. C-posture occurs when the upper back is too rounded. This condition also known as upper cross syndrome was discovered by a physical therapist from Czechoslovakia named Vladimir Janda, who noticed that many people had the same pattern of muscle imbalances.
 
Although the majority of the adult population deals with some form of rounded shoulders, women are especially prone to this problem because of the lack of developed muscles especially in the shoulder and shoulder blade area.
 
C-Posture limits how much the upper body can rotate. When the upper spine becomes rounded, it restricts the movement of the vertebrae. What this means to the golfer is that to get adequate rotation, the lower body will also have to rotate. This over-rotation creates a host of problems that weaken your swing and increase the risk of injury. As more women are participating in the sport, the need for understanding of this comes into play in maximizing their performance.
 
There are a couple of main causes of C-Posture. One such cause is our environment. The human body is constantly trying to get our eyes closer to our intended object, whether it is sitting at a computer, reading a book or driving a car. If you notice, by doing these things, the body develops a distinct forward head posture; this in turn creates a rounding of the spine and shoulders.
 
Another cause of C-Postures is early childhood development. For example, a highly successful LPGA player Mi Hyun Kim suffers from this structural imbalance, but in her case it was developed as a young competitive swimmer. The constant motion of pulling her body through the water developed her muscles in a pattern not advantageous to the golf swing. She and I try to combat these issues through a variety of exercises that strengthen the weak opposing muscles.
 

 
As you can see in the photo of her while singing an autograph, even though her head is looking downwards, her shoulder blades slump forward more than a balanced posture would. Although she is plagued with this imbalance, you can see in the adjacent photo, we have been able to adequately strengthen the opposing muscles in order for her to retract her shoulder blades and create an efficient rotation of the upper body with her swing and follow through.
 

 
In order to combat the development or to correct the existence of rounded shoulders one needs to combine a combination of exercises, stretches and quite often, massage therapy into their routine. In cases that this syndrome has become enmeshed structurally, as in Mi Hyun Kim, prevention from further degeneration and risk of injury must be addressed.
 
However, to begin with, you first need to identify if you actually have C-Posture.
 
To test yourself, begin by placing your hand behind your back, you can tell that if your hand (palm facing out) doesnt reach your opposing shoulder blade you may have an imbalance. Be careful not to overdo this move you could tear your rotator cuff if done improperly.
 
If you suspect you might have C-Posture, there are several steps one can follow to help Correct C-Posture.
 
The following are a few simple exercises to create stability and create the optimal posture
A. External rotator cuff exercise with a theraband.
B. Reverse fly exercise with dumbbells.
C. Bent over DB row or seated rowing machine.
Stretches should be performed as well to stretch out the chest and front shoulder.
A. Forward chest stretch in doorway or against a pole.
B. Behind the back towel or golf club stretch.
 
Remember, that the point of these exercises is to strengthen an opposing weak muscle while stretching the shortened tight one. This will create more of a balance within the symmetry of the body. In the case of rounded shoulders, the chest muscle and front part of the shoulder are too tight in comparison to the back part of the shoulder and muscles surrounding the shoulder blade.
 
Most imbalances can be halted by taking the right corrective measures insuring the risk of injury will decrease, the body will become more stable, and an easier more repetitive golf swing can be achieved.
 

EDITORS NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFMs team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site golffitnessmagazine.com for more information.
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Kim cruises to first win, final Open invite at Deere

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 9:38 pm

Following the best week of his professional career, Michael Kim is both a winner on the PGA Tour and the 156th and final player to earn a tee time next week at The Open.

Kim entered the final round of the John Deere Classic with a five-shot lead, and the former Cal standout removed any lingering doubt about the tournament's outcome with birdies on each of his first three holes. He cruised from there, shooting a bogey-free 66 to finish the week at 27 under and win by eight shots over Francesco Molinari, Joel Dahmen, Sam Ryder and Bronson Burgoon.

It equals the tournament scoring record and ties for the largest margin of victory on Tour this season, matching Dustin Johnson's eight-shot romp at Kapalua in January and Molinari's margin two weeks ago at the Quicken Loans National.

"Just super thankful," Kim said. "It's been a tough first half of the year. But to be able to finish it out in style like this means a lot."

Kim, 25, received the Haskins Award as the nation's top collegiate player back in 2013, but his ascent to the professional ranks has been slow. He had only one top-10 finish in 83 starts on Tour entering the week, tying for third at the Safeway Open in October 2016, and had missed the cut each of the last three weeks.

But the pieces all came together at TPC Deere Run, where Kim opened with 63 and held a three-shot lead after 36 holes. His advantage was trimmed to a single shot during a rain-delayed third round, but Kim returned to the course late Saturday and closed with four straight birdies on Nos. 15-18 to build a five-shot cushion and inch closer to his maiden victory.

As the top finisher among the top five not otherwise exempt, Kim earned the final spot at Carnoustie as part of the Open Qualifying Series. It will be his first major championship appearance since earning low amateur honors with a T-17 finish at the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion, and he is also now exempt for the PGA Championship and next year's Masters.

The last player to earn the final Open spot at the Deere and make the cut the following week was Brian Harman, who captured his first career win at TPC Deere Run in 2014 and went on to tie for 26th at Royal Liverpool.

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Poulter offers explanation in dispute with marshal

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:47 pm

Ian Poulter took to Twitter to offer an explanation after the Englishman was accused of verbally abusing a volunteer during the third round of the Scottish Open.

Poulter hooked his drive on the opening hole at Gullane Golf Club into a bush, where Quintin Jardine was working as a marshal. Poulter went on to find the ball, wedge out and make bogey, but the details of the moments leading up to his second shot differ depending on who you ask.

Jardine wrote a letter to the tournament director that he also turned into a colorfully-titled blog post, accusing Poulter of berating him for not going into the bush "feet first" in search of the ball since Poulter would have received a free drop had his ball been stepped on by an official.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


"I stood and waited for the player. It turned out to be Mr. Poulter, who arrived in a shower of expletives and asked me where his ball was," Jardine wrote. "I told him and said that I had not ventured into the bush for fear of standing on it. I wasn't expecting thanks, but I wasn't expecting aggression, either."

Jardine added that Poulter stayed to exchange heated words with the volunteer even after wedging his ball back into the fairway. After shooting a final-round 69 to finish in a tie for 30th, Poulter tweeted his side of the story to his more than 2.3 million followers:

Poulter, 42, won earlier this year on the PGA Tour at the Houston Open and is exempt into The Open at Carnoustie, where he will make his 17th Open appearance. His record includes a runner-up at Royal Birkdale in 2008 and a T-3 finish at Muirfield in 2013.

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Immelman misses Open bid via OWGR tiebreaker

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:25 pm

A resurgent performance at the Scottish Open gave Trevor Immelman his first top-10 finish in more than four years, but it left him short of a return to The Open by the slimmest of margins.

The former Masters champ turned back the clock this week at Gullane Golf Club, carding four straight rounds of 68 or better. That run included a 5-under 65 in the final round, which gave him a tie for third and left him five shots behind winner Brandon Stone. It was his first worldwide top-10 since a T-10 finish at the 2014 Farmers Insurance Open.

There were three spots available into The Open for players not otherwise exempt, and for a brief moment it appeared Immelman, 38, might sneak the third and final invite.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


But with Stone and runner-up Eddie Pepperell both not qualified, that left the final spot to be decided between Immelman and Sweden's Jens Dantorp who, like Immelman, tied for third at 15 under.

As has been the case with other stops along the Open Qualifying Series, the tiebreaker to determine invites is the players' standing in the Official World Golf Rankings entering the week. Dantorp is currently No. 322 in the world, but with Immelman ranked No. 1380 the Swede got the nod.

This will mark Dantorp's first-ever major championship appearance. Immelman, who hasn't made the cut in a major since the 2013 Masters, was looking to return to The Open for 10th time and first since a missed cut at Royal Lytham six years ago. He will instead work the week at Carnoustie as part of Golf Channel and NBC's coverage of The Open.

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Stone (60) wins Scottish Open, invite to Carnoustie

By Will GrayJuly 15, 2018, 6:06 pm

There's never a bad time to shoot a 60, but Brandon Stone certainly picked an opportune moment to do so.

Facing a jammed leaderboard in the final round of the Scottish Open, Stone fired a 10-under 60 to leave a stacked field in his wake and win the biggest tournament of his career. His 20-under 260 total left him four shots clear of Eddie Pepperell and five shots in front of a group that tied for third.

Stone had a mid-range birdie putt on No. 18 that would have given him the first 59 in European Tour history. But even after missing the putt on the left, Stone tapped in to close out a stellar round that included eight birdies, nine pars and an eagle. It's his third career European Tour title but first since the Alfred Dunhill Championship in December 2016.


Full-field scores from the ASI Scottish Open


Stone started the day three shots behind overnight leader Jens Dantorp, but he made an early move with three birdies over his first five holes and five over his first 10. Stone added a birdie on the par-3 12th, then took command with a three-hole run from Nos. 14-16 that included two birdies and an eagle.

The eye-popping score from the 25-year-old South African was even more surprising considering his lack of form entering the week. Stone is currently ranked No. 371 in the world and had missed four of his last seven worldwide cuts without finishing better than T-60.

Stone was not yet qualified for The Open, and as a result of his performance at Gullane Golf Club he will tee it up next week at Carnoustie. Stone headlined a group of three Open qualifiers, as Pepperell and Dantorp (T-3) also earned invites by virtue of their performance this week. The final spot in the Open will go to the top finisher not otherwise qualified from the John Deere Classic.