Fundamentally Fit for Your Game - Recap

By Kelly BlackburnJuly 19, 2005, 4:00 pm
Its the final week of our series Fundamentally Fit for Your Game! Next week we will begin a new series targeted for juniors. For the past 11 weeks, we have used training tools found in the Pro Shop. All Golf Channel subscribers receive a discounted price for each training tool in this series. We are using a wide variety of tools from weighted power balls to your golf cart to keep you fit for your game! This week we are doing a recap of all of the exercises we have implemented for this series. Remember to take the Fitness Analyzer before you begin to determine your fitness level of Par, Birdie or Eagle!
 
Lets begin with the GolfGym. Here are the benefits you can receive from this training aid:
 
1) Strengthen the shoulder girdle for more stability at the top of your back swing
2) Strengthen the trunk which is critical in making an effective turn
3) Strengthen the forearms and wrists for better club control
4) Strengthen the upper arms for added distance off the tee
5) Ultimately increase your overall fitness level and reduce your handicap!
 
GolfGym Exercises
Exercise 1 - Power Turn Torso
Exercise 2 - Wrist Flexion & Extension
Exercise 3 - Shoulder - Part 1
Exercise 4 - Shoulder - Part 2
Exercise 4 - Standing Row
Exercise 5 - Side Bend
Exercise 6 - Wrist & Forearm
Exercise 7 - Upper Arm Bicep
Exercise 8 - Mid Back
Exercise 9 - Standing Squat
Exercise 10 - Standing Tricep Extension
Exercise 11 - Standing Chest Press
 
Now lets work with the Stretch Trainer and Golf Cart. Here are the benefits you can receive from these training aids:
1) Improve flexibility to lower the risk of injuries and improve range of motion
2) Increase flexibility of the shoulder girdle for more stability at the top of your back swing
3) Increase flexibility of the upper legs for improved balance during your swing
4) Increase flexibility of your hip girdle for more power and club head speed
5) Increase flexibility of the lower legs for more push-off power in the downswing
6) Increase the flexibility of the trunk which is critical in making an effective turn
7) Increase the flexibility of the forearms and wrists for better club control
8) Ultimately increase your overall fitness level!
 
Stretch Trainer and Golf Cart Exercises
Exercise 1 - Low Back
Exercise 2 - Mid Back
Exercise 3 - Trunk
Exercise 4 - Hip Girdle Stretch
Exercise 5 - Tricep Stretch
Exercise 6 - Trunk Rotation Stretch
Exercise 7 - Shoulder Stretch
Exercise 8 - Chest Stretch
 

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    Editor's Note: Kelly Blackburn has traveled the PGA Tour and Champions Tour circuits as a fitness consultant and trainer for 11 years. Kelly welcomes your email questions and comments, contact her at BlackburnOnTour@aol.com. Visit KellyBlackburn.com to learn more about health and fitness for golf.
     
    POWER TURN TORSO

     
    Power Turn Torso Power Turn Torso

    Power Turn Torso

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, place your hands correctly in the training grip and assume address position with your feet.
     
    Action: Slowly raise the GolfGym to shoulder height creating tension and slowly turn the torso to one side.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and return to the center position. Repeat 8-10 times then continue to the opposite side.
     
    Tip: Strengthen the trunk which is critical in making an effective turn.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    WRIST FLEXION & EXTENSION

     
    Wrist Flexion & Extension Wrist Flexion & Extension

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, place your hands correctly in the training grip. Place one foot back and extend the arms downward.
     
    Action: Slowly bend at the wrists and flex upward.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and return to the start position. Repeat 8-10 times.
     
    Tip: Strengthen the forearms and wrists for better club control.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    SHOULDER - Part 1

    Shoulder Shoulder

    Start:> Place one foot in the loop, hold the training grip in one hand and place your feet shoulder width apart.
     
    Action: Slowly raise the arm upward.
     
    Finish: Hold at shoulder height for a few seconds and repeat. Do the same for the opposite side.
     
    Tips: Strengthen the shoulder girdle for more stability at the top of your backswing.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    SHOULDER - Part 2

    Shoulder Shoulder

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, hold the training grip in one hand and place your feet shoulder width apart.
     
    Action: Slowly raise the arm upward to the side.
     
    Finish: Hold at shoulder height for a few seconds and repeat 8-10 times. Do the same for the opposite side.
     
    Tips: Strengthen the shoulder girdle for more stability at the top of your back swing.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    STANDING ROW

    Standing Row Standing Row

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, hold the training grip in both hands and place your feet shoulder width apart.
     
    Action: Bend the elbows and slowly raise the arms upward.
     
    Finish: Hold at shoulder height for a few seconds and repeat.
     
    Tip: Strengthen the upper back for more stability at the top of your back swing.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    SIDE BEND

    Side Bend Side Bend

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, hold the training grip in one hand and place your feet shoulder width apart.
     
    Action: Bend at the waist and slowly lean to one side.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and repeat. Do the same for the opposite side.
     
    Tip: Strengthen the obliques for stronger abs at address.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    WRIST & FOREARM

    Wrist Wrist

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, hold the training grip in one hand palm down and place your feet shoulder width apart.
     
    Action: Slowly bend at the wrists and flex upward.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and return to the start position. Repeat 8-10 times. Do the same for the opposite side.
     
    Tips: Strengthen the forearms and wrists for better club control
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    UPPER ARM BICEP

    Upper Arm Bicep Upper Arm Bicep

    Start: Place one foot in the loop, hold the training grip in one hand palm up and place your feet shoulder width apart.
     
    Action: Keeping your elbow stable, slowly flex the upper arm and curl the handle upward toward the shoulder.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds, return to the start position and repeat. Do the same for the opposite side.
     
    Tips: Strengthen the upper arms for added distance off the tee
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    MID BACK

    Standing Lunge Standing Lunge

    Start: Place one foot forward in the center of the tubing, grip the handles at shoulder height and place one foot behind you elevating on the toe.
     
    Action: Bend both knees and dip downward (not forward).
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and return to the start position pressing through the heel of the forward foot. Repeat.
     
    Tips: Strengthen the upper leg area for more stability in your golf swing.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    STANDING SQUAT

    Tube Squat Tube Squat

    Start: Place both feet in the center of the tubing, grip the handles at shoulder height and spread the feet to shoulder width apart to increase tension.
     
    Action: Bend both knees and simulate as though you are sitting back in a chair.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and return to the start position pressing through the heels. Repeat.
     
    Tip: Strengthen the hip girdle for more power in your golf swing
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    STANDING TRICEP EXTENSION

    Kelly Blackburn Kelly Blackburn

    Start: Place one foot in the center of the tubing and place the opposite foot forward. Grip the handles with both hands and extend overhead to increase tension.
     
    Action: Bend both elbows and lower the forearms behind the head keeping your elbows close to your ears.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and slowly return to the start. Repeat.
     
    Tip: Strengthen the upper arms for more distance off the tee.
     
    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    STANDING CHEST PRESS

    Kelly Blackburn Kelly Blackburn

     
    Start: Place one foot in the center of the tubing and place the opposite foot forward. Grip the handles with both hands and extend overhead to create a goal post position and increase tension.
     
    Action: Leading with both elbows pull the upper arms forward across the chest.
     
    Finish: Hold for a few seconds and slowly return to the start. Repeat.
     
    Relation to Your Golf Game: A strong chest draws the arms closer together at address and keeps the relationship between the arms consistent throughout the swing, a fundamental that most instructors maintain is critical to generating maximum speed and consistency. The pecs also provide critical balance to the muscles in the upper back that must be strong and active in the swing. Astrong and flexible chest keeps a strong back properly balanced and allows for all the muscles in the torso to work as a coordinated unit during the swing.

    Par Level: 10 reps
    Birdie Level: 15 reps
    Eagle Level: 20 reps
     
    LOW BACK

    Low Back stretch Low Back stretch

    Start: Lie back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull the right leg to the chest and wrap the center of the stretch trainer around the back of the thigh.
     
    Action: Hold the stretch trainer equally on both sides and slowly bend the knee into the chest to create the stretch.
     
    Finish: Release the tension and repeat but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    Flexible low back will promote a fuller turn.
     
    MID BACK

    Strengthen Back with Stretch Trainer Strengthen Back with Stretch Trainer

     
    Start: Stand with both feet center strap of the Stretch Trainer.
     
    Action: Slowly bend at the waist towards the floor until your torso is parallel to the floor. Slowly round the back upward and pull tension on the stretch trainer.
     
    Finish: When you have reached a comfortable position hold the position and contract the abdomen. Repeat but the second time, increase the stretch.
     
    TRUNK

    Low Trunk stretch Low Trunk stretch

    Low Trunk stretch

    Start: Lie back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Pull the right leg to the chest and wrap the center of the stretch trainer around the arch of the foot.
     
    Action: Straighten the right leg holding on to both loops equally and slowly pull the leg towards the chest. Hold both loops in the left hand, straighten the opposite leg and extend the right arm to the side. Slowly drop the extended leg to 10 oclock (picture shows 9 oclock) and turn the head to the right. (picture 3 shows finish position from opposite side)
     
    Finish: Hold for 30 seconds, release the tension and repeat but the second time increase the stretch. Repeat to the opposite side.
     
    HIP GIRDLE STRETCH

    Hamstring Stretch with Stretch Trainer Hamstring Stretch with Stretch Trainer

    Start: Sit upright and wrap the center strap of the Stretch Trainer around the arch of one foot. Bend the opposite knee and place the opposite foot on the floor to create equal balance.
     
    Action: Pull tension on the stretch trainer and slowly roll onto your back extending your leg with the strap upward. Gently pull the stretch trainer towards you increasing the range of motion in your hamstring.
     
    Finish: When you have reached a comfortable position hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat to the opposite side.
     
    Tip: Do not bounce and to increase the stretch, extend the bend knee leg flat to the floor.
     
    TRICEP STRETCH

    Tricep Stretch Tricep Stretch Tricep Stretch

    Start: Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and hips rotated forward. Place the loop into the right hand and extend the stretch trainer overhead. Place the opposite hand behind the back and grip the stretch trainer.
     
    Action: Bend the elbow of the extended arm and slowly pull downward on the stretch trainer. Hold for 30 seconds.
     
    Finish: Release the tension and repeat but the second time increase the stretch.
     
    Tips: Keep the knees and abdomen flexed. Do not arch the back.
     
    TRUNK ROTATION STRETCH

    Golf Cart Stretches:  The Trunk Rotation Stretch

    This stretch helps to maintain flexibility in your trunk during play which gives you a greater consistent turn.
     
    Sitting in the middle of the cart with your back straight and your feet on the floor board, turn your torso to one side and reach for the bar across the back of the seat. Make this turn with as little hip movement as possible and feel the stretch throughout your torso . Hold the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
     
    SHOULDER STRETCH

    Golf Cart Stretches:  The Shoulder Stretch

    Standing beside the golf cart with your side facing the cart, reach across your body with your outside arm and grab the carts canopy support bar. Slowly turn your torso away from the cart to accelerate the stretch. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat the stretch from the other side.
     
    CHEST STRETCH

    Kelly Blackburn

    Standing to the side of the cart, reach out the arm closest to the cart and grab the canopy support bar. Now move away from the cart until your arm is fully extended and slowly rotate your torso away from the cart until you feel the stretch in your chest. After you find the stretch, hold it for 15 to 30 seconds before repeating with the other side.
  • Getty Images

    Lincicome thrilled by reception from male pros

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 8:31 pm

    Brittany Lincicome wondered how PGA Tour pros would greet her when she arrived to play the Barbasol Championship this week.

    She wondered if there would be resentment.

    She also wondered how fans at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Ky., would receive her, and if a social media mob would take up pitchforks.

    “I can’t stop smiling,” Lincicome said Tuesday after her first practice round upon arriving. “Everyone has been coming up to me and wishing me luck. That means a lot.”

    PGA Tour pro Martin Piller, husband of LPGA pro Gerina Piller, welcomed her immediately.

    Other pros sought her out on the practice putting green.

    She said she was also welcomed joining pros at a table in player dining.

    Fans have been stopping her for autographs.

    “It has been an awesome reception,” said Dewald Gouws, her husband, a former long-drive competitor. “I think it’s put her much more at ease, seeing the reception she is getting. There’s a lot of mutual respect.”

    Lincicome, 32, wasn’t sure if she would be playing a practice round alone Tuesday morning, but when she made her way to the first tee, Dominic Geminiani was there, just about to go off.

    He waved Lincicome over.

    “He said, `Hey, Brittany, do you want to join me?’” Gouws said. “Come to find out, Dom’s a pretty cool guy.”

    Geminiani made it into the field as a Monday qualifier.

    “The two of us were both trying to figure things out together,” Lincicome said.

    Keene Trace will play to 7,328 yards on the scorecard. That’s more than 800 yards longer than Highland Meadows, where Lincicome finished second at the LPGA’s Marathon Classic last weekend. Keene Trace was playing even longer than its listed yardage Tuesday, with recent rains softening it.

    Nicknamed “Bam Bam,” Lincicome is one of the longest hitters in the women’s game. Her 269.5 yard average drive is 10th in the LPGA ranks. It would likely be dead last on the PGA Tour, where Brian Stuard (278.2) is the last player on the stats list at No. 201.

    “I think if I keep it in the fairway, I’ll be all right,” Lincicome said.

    Lincicome is an eight-time LPGA winner, with two major championships among those titles. She is just the sixth woman to compete in a PGA Tour event, the first in a decade, since Michelle Wie played the Reno-Tahoe Open, the last of her eight starts against the men.

    Lincicome will join Babe Zaharias, Shirley Spork, Annika Sorenstam, Suzy Whaley and Wie in the elite ranks.

    Zaharias, by the way, is the only woman to make a 36-hole cut in PGA Tour history, making it at the 1945 L.A. Open before missing a 54-hole cut on the weekend.

    What are Lincicome’s expectations?

    She would love to make the cut, but . . .

    “Just going to roll with it and see what happens,” she said. “This is once in a lifetime, probably a one-and-done opportunity. I’m just going to enjoy it.”

    Lincicome grew up playing for the boys’ golf team at Seminole High on the west coast of Florida. She won a couple city championships.

    “I always thought it would be cool to compete against the guys on the PGA Tour,” Lincicome said. “I tend to play more with the guys than women at home. I never would have gone out and told my agent, `Let’s go try to play in a PGA Tour event,’ but when Tom Murray called with this opportunity, I was really blown away and excited by it. I never in a million years thought I would have this opportunity.”

    Tom Murray, the president of Perio, the parent company of Barbasol and Pure Silk, invited Lincicome to accept one of the tournament’s sponsor exemptions. Lincicome represents Pure Silk.

    Lincicome said her desire to play a PGA Tour event is all about satisfying her curiosity, wanting to know how she would stack up at this level. She also wants to see if the experience can help take her to the next level in the women’s game.

    As a girl growing up, she played Little League with the boys, instead of softball with the girls. She said playing the boys in golf at Seminole High helped her get where she is today.

    “The guys were better, and it pushed me to want to be better,” Lincicome said. “I think playing with the guys [on the PGA Tour], I will learn something to take to LPGA events, and it will help my game, for sure.”

    Lincicome has been pleased that her fellow LPGA pros are so supportive. LPGA winner Kris Tamulis is flying into Kentucky as moral support. Other LPGA pros may also be coming in to support her.

    The warm fan reception Lincicome is already getting at Keene Trace matters, too.

    “She’s already picked up some new fans this week, and hopefully she will pick up some more,” Gouws said. “I don’t think she’s putting too much expectation on herself. I think she really does just want to have fun.”

    Getty Images

    Stunner: Inbee Park steps aside for Int. Crown

    By Randall MellJuly 17, 2018, 4:00 pm

    There was a big surprise this week when the LPGA announced the finalized lineups for the UL International Crown.

    Rolex world No. 1 Inbee Park won’t be teeing it up for the host South Koreans Oct. 4-7 in Incheon.

    She has withdrawn, saying she wanted another Korean to be able to experience the thrill of representing her country.

    It’s a stunner given the importance the LPGA has placed on taking the UL International Crown to South Korea and its golf-crazy allegiance to the women’s game in the Crown’s first staging outside the United States.

    Two-time major champion In Gee Chun will replace Park.

    "It was my pleasure and honor to participate in the first UL International Crown in 2014 and at the 2016 Olympics, and I cannot describe in one word how amazing the atmosphere was to compete as a representative of my country,” Park said. “There are so many gifted and talented players in Korea, and I thought it would be great if one of the other players was given the chance to experience the 2018 UL International Crown.”

    Chun, another immensely popular player in South Korea, was the third alternate, so to speak, with the world rankings used to field teams. Hye Jin Choi and Jin Young Ko were higher ranked than Chun but passed because of commitments made to competing in a Korean LPGA major that week. The other South Koreans who previously qualified are So Yeon Ryu, Sung Hyun Park and I.K. Kim.

    Getty Images

    Na: I can admit, 'I went through the yips'

    By Rex HoggardJuly 17, 2018, 3:35 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Following his victory two weeks ago at A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier, Kevin Na said his second triumph on the PGA Tour was the most rewarding of his career.

    Although he declined to go into details as to why the victory was so gratifying at The Greenbrier, as he completed his practice round on Tuesday at the Open Championship, Na shed some light on how difficult the last few years have been.

    “I went through the yips. The whole world saw that. I told people, 'I can’t take the club back,'” Na said on Tuesday at Carnoustie. “People talked about it, 'He’s a slow player. Look at his routine.' I was admitting to the yips. I didn’t use the word ‘yip’ at the time. Nobody wants to use that word, but I’m over it now so I can use it. The whole world saw it.”


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    Na, who made headlines for his struggles to begin his backswing when he found himself in the lead at the 2012 Players Championship, said he asked other players who had gone through similar bouts with the game’s most dreaded ailment how they were able to get through it.

    “It took time,” he said. “I forced myself a lot. I tried breathing. I tried a trigger. Some guys will have a forward press or the kick of the right knee. That was hard and the crap I got for it was not easy.”

    The payoff, however, has steadily arrived this season. Na said he’d been confident with his game this season following a runner-up showing at the Genesis Open and a fourth-place finish at the Fort Worth Invitational, and he felt he was close to a breakthrough. But being able to finish a tournament like he did at The Greenbrier, where he won by five strokes, was particularly rewarding.

    “All good now,” he smiled. “I knew I was good enough to win again, but until you do it sometimes you question yourself. It’s just the honest truth.”

    Getty Images

    Koepka still has chip on his chiseled shoulder

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 17, 2018, 3:06 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Brooks Koepka prepared more for this Open than last year's.

    He picked up his clubs three times.

    That’s three more than last summer, when the only shots he hit between the summer Opens was during a commercial shoot for Michelob Ultra at TPC Sawgrass. He still tied for sixth at The Open a month later.

    This time, Koepka kept his commitment to play the Travelers, then hit balls three times between the final round in Hartford and this past Sunday, when he first arrived here at Carnoustie.

    Not that he was concerned, of course.

    Koepka’s been playing golf for nearly 20 years. He wasn’t about to forget to how to swing a club after a few weeks off.

    “It was pretty much the same thing,” he said Tuesday, during his pre-tournament news conference. “I shared it with one of my best friends, my family, and it was pretty much the same routine. It was fun. We enjoyed it. But I’m excited to get back inside the ropes and start playing again. I think you need to enjoy it any time you win and really embrace it and think about what you’ve done.”

    At Shinnecock Hills, Koepka became the first player in nearly 30 years to repeat as U.S. Open champion – a major title that helped him shed his undeserved reputation as just another 20-something talent who relies solely on his awesome power. In fact, he takes immense pride in his improved short game and putting inside 8 feet.

    “I can take advantage of long golf courses,” he said, “but I enjoy plotting my way around probably - more than the bombers’ golf courses - where you’ve got to think, be cautious sometimes, and fire at the center of the greens. You’ve got to be very disciplined, and that’s the kind of golf I enjoy.”

    Which is why Koepka once again fancies his chances here on the type of links that helped launch his career.

    Koepka was out of options domestically after he failed to reach the final stage of Q-School in 2012. So he packed his bags and headed overseas, going on a tear on the European Challenge Tour (Europe’s equivalent of the Web.com circuit) and earning four titles, including one here in Scotland. That experience was the most fun and beneficial part of his career, when he learned to win, be self-sufficient and play in different conditions.


    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “There’s certain steps, and I embraced it,” Koepka said. “I think that’s where a lot of guys go wrong. You are where you are, and you have to make the best of it instead of just putting your head down and being like, 'Well, I should be on the PGA Tour.' Well, guess what? You’re not. So you’ve got to suck it up wherever you are, make the best of it, and keep plugging away and trying to win everything you can because, eventually, if you’re good enough, you will get out here.”

    Koepka has proved that he’s plenty good enough, of course: He’s a combined 20 under in the majors since the beginning of 2017, the best of any player during that span. But he still searches long and hard for a chip to put on his chiseled shoulder.

    In his presser after winning at Shinnecock, Koepka said that he sometimes feels disrespected and forgotten, at least compared to his more-ballyhooed peers. It didn’t necessarily bother him – he prefers to stay out of the spotlight anyway, eschewing a media tour after each of his Open titles – but it clearly tweaked him enough for him to admit it publicly.

    That feeling didn’t subside after he went back to back at the Open, either. On U.S. Open Sunday, ESPN’s Instagram page didn’t showcase a victorious Koepka, but rather a video of New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. dunking a basketball.

    “He’s like 6-foot-2. He’s got hops – we all know that – and he’s got hands. So what’s impressive about that?” Koepka said. “But I always try to find something where I feel like I’m the underdog and put that little chip on my shoulder. Even if you’re No. 1, you’ve got to find a way to keep going and keep that little chip on.

    “I think I’ve done a good job of that. I need to continue doing that, because once you’re satisfied, you’re only going to go downhill. You try to find something to get better and better, and that’s what I’m trying to do.”

    Now 28, Koepka has a goal of how many majors he’d like to win before his career is over, but he wasn’t about to share it.

    Still, he was adamant about one thing: “Right now I’m focused on winning. That’s the only thing I’ve got in my mind. Second place just isn’t good enough. I finished second a lot, and I’m just tired of it. Once you win, it kind of propels you. You have this mindset where you just want to keep winning. It breeds confidence, but you want to have that feeling of gratification: I finally did this. How cool is this?”

    So cool that Koepka can’t wait to win another one.