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!
Katherine

Related Links:
  • Katherine Roberts Article Archive
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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.
  • Getty Images

    Davies a fitting winner of inaugural USGA championship

    By Randall MellJuly 15, 2018, 11:26 pm

    Laura Davies confessed she did not sleep well on a five-shot lead Saturday night at the U.S. Senior Women’s Open.

    It’s all you needed to know about what this inaugural event meant to the women who were part of the history being made at Chicago Golf Club.

    The week was more than a parade of memories the game’s greats created playing in the USGA’s long-awaited showcase for women ages 50 and beyond.

    The week was more than nostalgic. 

    It was a chance to make another meaningful mark on the game.

    In the end, Davies relished seeing the mark she made in her runaway, 10-shot victory. She could see it in the familiar etchings on the trophy she hoisted.

    “I get my name on it first,” Davies said. “This championship will be played for many years, and there will only be one first winner. Obviously, quite a proud moment for me to win that.”

    Really, all 120 players in the field made their marks at Chicago Golf Club. They were all pioneers of sorts this past week.

    “It was very emotional seeing the USGA signs, because I've had such a long history, since my teens, playing in USGA championships,” said Amy Alcott, whose Hall of Fame career included the 1980 U.S. Women’s Open title. “I thought the week just came off beautifully. The USGA did a great job. It was just so classy how everything was done, this inaugural event, and how was it presented.”

    Davies was thankful for what the USGA added to the women’s game, and she wasn’t alone. Gratefulness was the theme of the week.


    Full-field scores from the U.S. Senior Women’s Open


    The men have been competing in the U.S. Senior Open since 1980, and now the women have their equal opportunity to do the same.

    “It was just great to be a part of the first,” three-time U.S. Women’s Open winner Hollis Stacy said. “The USGA did a great job of having it at such a great golf course. It's just been very memorable.”

    Trish Johnson, who is English, like Davies, finished third, 12 shots back, but she left with a heart overflowing.

    “Magnificent,” said Johnson, a three-time LPGA and 19-time LET winner. “Honestly, it's one of the best, most enjoyable weeks I've ever played in in any tournament anywhere.”

    She played in the final group with Davies and runner-up Juli Inkster.

    “Even this morning, just waiting to come out here, I thought, `God, not often do I actually think how lucky I am to do what I do,’” Johnson said.

    At 54, Davies still plays the LPGA and LET regularly. She has now won 85 titles around the world, 20 of them LPGA titles, four of them majors, 45 of them LET titles.

    With every swing this past week, she peeled back the years, turned back the clock, made fans and peers remember what she means to the women’s game.

    This wasn’t the first time Davies made her mark in a USGA event. When she won the U.S. Women’s Open in 1987, she became just the second player from Europe to win the title, the first in 20 years. She opened a new door for internationals. The following year, Sweden’s Liselotte Neumann won the title.

    “A lot of young Europeans and Asians decided that it wasn't just an American sport,” Davies said. “At that stage, it had been dominated, wholeheartedly, by all the names we all love, Lopez, Bradley, Daniel, Sheehan.”

    Davies gave the rest of the world her name to love, her path to follow.

    “It certainly made a lot of foreign girls think that they could take the Americans on,” Davies said.

    In golf, it’s long been held that you can judge the stature of an event by the names on the trophy. Davies helps gives the inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open the monumental start it deserved.

    Getty Images

    Suwannapura beats Lincicome in playoff for first win

    By Associated PressJuly 15, 2018, 10:49 pm

    SYLVANIA, Ohio - Thidapa Suwannapura won her first LPGA event on Sunday, closing with a 6-under 65 and birdieing the first playoff hole to defeat Brittany Lincicome at the Marathon Classic.

    The 25-year-old Thai player is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year. Her previous best finish in 120 starts was seventh at the 2014 Kingsmill Championship.

    Suwannapura picked up three strokes over her final two holes, making eagle on the par-5 17th and closing with a birdie on the par-5 18th at Highland Meadows to finish at 14-under 270.

    In the playoff, Suwannapura converted a short birdie putt after Lincicome hit her second shot into a water hazard and scrambled for par.

    Lincicome shot 67. She had a chance to win in regulation, but her birdie putt from about 10 feet did a nearly 360-degree turn around the edge of the cup and stayed out. Next up for the big-hitting Lincicome: a start against the men at the PGA Tour's Barbasol Championship.

    Third-round leader Brooke Henderson led by two shots after six holes, but struggled the rest of the way. Back-to-back bogeys on the 14th and 15th holes dropped her out of the lead. The 20-year-old Canadian finished with a 2-under 69, one shot out of the playoff.

    Getty Images

    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.

    Getty Images

    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.