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Back Exercise And Golf Are Synonymous

Back Exercise

Back Exercise

Back exercise and golf. Doesn’t that sound like a common denominator? Of all the injuries in golf, the low back is by far the highest one.

To explain why doing back exercise for golf is important, a golfer needs to understand why.

The golf swing is one of the most (if not the most) stressful movements on the lower back. Picture this. You’re in a static position at the start; then you try to rotate your upper body as far as you can go, while keeping the lower body as stable as you can.

This movement all by itself puts tremendous stress on the lower back. If you have a lower level of rotational flexibility, you are at HIGH RISK for low back injuries. You many have one as we speak.

Now picture having the strength to ‘uncoil’ that backswing, maintaining your golf posture at between 80-100 mph. If you have not participated in a back exercise for golf, you will not be able to generate any power at impact, therefore your driving distance is inadequate.

Does this sound familiar?

It should. I see this all the time on the golf course. Especially with the senior golfers. They have physically declined over the years and have not done any back exercise for golf and can’t generate and clubhead speed.

There is hope!

To remove the threat of low back injury and improve your ability to turn back and turn through with power, you just need to do a couple of simple back exercises for golf.

One example of a back exercise for golf that you should be doing several times a day is what I call the Lying Leg Crossover, which is incorporated in all my products.

Here’s what you do:

Lie on your back with your legs extended. Raise one leg and bend at the knee to 90 degrees and the hip to 90 degrees. Cross that leg over extended leg, while opposite shoulder stays on ground. Go until slight pull in butt and lower back. Hold and repeat once more. Switch legs and do opposite side. This is a very simple back exercise for golf and no equipment is required.

Just do this back exercise for golf religiously and you’ll see a HUGE improvement!

Golf Exercise

Components Of A Golf Exercise Program

Golf exercise program – with the exploding number of so-called golf fitness experts these days, it becomes very confusing. It’s easy for a golfer to be misled and end up in a program that will hardly have the desired objective of improving their game.

In fact the wrong golf exercise program can end up making a golfer’s game deteriorate rather than improve.

It is therefore very useful to know what constitutes a complete golf exercise program

A complete golf exercise program will tend to have the following attributes;

A) Golf specific stretch exercises Stretch exercises are a very important part of any genuine golf workout program. Stretches help improve the golf swing and correct many common mistakes and weaknesses in this area. They sometime help alleviate or even eliminate nagging back problems in some golfers. Many stretch exercises can be done in the comfort of the office or home.

B) Golf specific strength training Strength training is also a key area in any good golf workout program. Strength training usually has a dramatic effect on the quality of the game of any golfer. Dumbbells are usually used and the program for building strength for golf is usually very different from a body building program because the idea here is not to build muscles.

C) Should be able to focus on certain common player weaknesses A good golf exercise program should also be able to focus on certain common weaknesses amongst most amateur golfers with the aim of helping to improve and deal with those weaknesses. This at times may involve the use of certain golf aid equipment. However it should be very clear what particular aspects of the game are being developed by what golfing aids.

A complete golf exercise program should help any golfer improve their game dramatically and feel much more confident every time they set foot on the course.

Exercise Program

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3 Types of Handicaps

Handicaps

There are 3 types of handicaps out there. They include: (1) honest handicaps; (2) sandbagger handicaps and (3) Hollywood handicaps.

3 Types of Handicaps

 

Honest Handicap

Thankfully, the most common type of handicap is the honest handicap. This is a handicap that is determined by using a standard and accepted formula as defined by the governing golf body in a particular country. The golfer who carries an honest handicap is conscientious about keeping accurate scores, adhering to the accepted rules of golf and of considering all rounds played when applying the handicap formula.

Sandbagger Handicap

The golfer who can be considered to be carrying a sandbagger handicap goes out of his way to make sure that his “official” handicap is somewhat higher than what it should be. The reason for doing this is pretty obvious. When competing in Net Score competitions (often involving money or prizes) he can have a distinct advantage.

A proper handicap, as mentioned above, must be based on all rounds played – good or bad. One “not so subtle” way to achieve the status of an elite sandbagger is to conveniently forget to enter good rounds but to be diligent to the extreme when it comes to entering bad rounds. If the golfer is “on a roll” with nothing but good rounds being shot, it may be necessary to make the supreme sacrifice and actually purposely play a bad round. “Gee, I just couldn’t hit a fairway today!”

Hollywood Handicap

The third type of golfer is the one who carries a Hollywood handicap. This type of player is extremely interesting. This golfer has his heart in the right place – he takes the game seriously and desperately wants to improve and, perhaps more importantly, to be recognized as an accomplished player by his friends and peers. For the typical Hollywood handicap player, the handicap is everything. He would rather carry a low handicap and lose money than carry an inflated handicap and win money. A rare, but interesting breed!

To make my point, you should understand that the first step in computing a handicap using the standard USGA formula is to convert the Gross Score to what is called the Adjusted Gross Score (AGS). The AGS is equal to or lower than the gross score with an adjustment made by reducing unusually high hole scores. For example, in the US a typical bogey golfer (with a handicap between 10 and 19) cannot take more than a 7 on any hole.

OK, so you should now understand the difference between the Gross Score and the Adjusted Gross Score. Well, for the Hollywood handicap golfer, there is no difference. In fact, the concept of a gross score becomes obsolete. If the player happens to balloon to a triple bogey or worse on a par 5, he will typically say “just put me down for a double”, knowing that anything higher will not affect his handicap. And of course, the “put me down for a double” statement will have that unmistakable inflection of “surely you would not expect a player of my stature to put down a number higher than that”. Hmm, I have to wonder what would happen if Tiger, participating in a PGA event and after playing a rare bad hole, were to say “just jot down a par for that hole”. It wouldn’t be pretty.

The final interesting thing about the Hollywood handicapper is that he will enjoy a cold beverage after a round of golf and discuss nonchalantly his final score. It would never occur to him that his 9 on the eighth hole should have any bearing on the validity of the score he discusses – a result where a 7 appears on the scorecard.

Still, when all the dust settles, I would rather play a Hollywood handicapper than a sandbagger in a heads up battle. Hey, who wouldn’t?

3 Types of Handicaps

 

 

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Swing Planes

Do You Have A One-Plane Or Two-Plane Swing?

 

The concept of plane confuses some players. It also confuses some players that come to me for golf lessons. Many are unclear about what it is and what its impact is on your golf swing. Whether you understand the concept of plane or not, swinging off plane is never good.

Focusing on two points—spine angle at address and the position of the left arm on the downswing—clears up the confusion about swing plane and explains its effect on your golf swing and your golf handicap.

Several reasons exist for swinging off plane. Picking the club up with your hands or rolling the clubface open during the swing are two. The most common reason for swinging off plane is adopting the wrong spine angle at address, as I’ve often pointed out in my golf tips,

Spine angle forms the natural axis around which your shoulders should turn at a 90-degree angle. The spine angle you set at address is critical because it decides the shape and plane of your swing. It’s the reason why I focus on adopting the proper spine angle in my golf instruction sessions.

During Your Swing

If a player tilts too far over at address, the flatter spine angle causes the shoulders to “tilt” during the swing. As a result, your left arm comes off your chest during your swing, your backswing becomes upright, and your swing plane too steep. Fat shots, deep divots, and pulls and slices are symptoms of a steep plane.

If a player leans too far back at address, the more erect spine angle causes the shoulders to flatten during the swing. As a result, your left arm squeezes too tightly against your chest, your backswing becomes flatter, and your swing plane too shallow. Hitting behind the ball, thin shots, and loss of power are symptoms of a shallow plane.

Keep in mind that a taller player has a naturally steeper swing plane than a shorter person does, and a shorter player has a naturally flatter swing plane than a taller person does.

While your shoulder turn and arm swing are related, a good backswing requires a left arm swing that’s on a slightly higher plane than your shoulders. This arm angle allows your shoulders to have more of a free passage to the ball on the downswing. If your left arm swing is off, you’ll automatically be on the wrong plane with your swing will be off.

Here’s a test I use in my golf lessons to tell if a player is on plane with his/her swing. Take a club, assume your normal posture, and swing to the top. Hold that position for a second. Now, loosen your grip and let the shaft fall.

If the shaft hits you on the top of the right shoulder, your swing is on plane. If it hits you on the head or neck, your swing plane is too steep. Conversely, if it falls behind your back without hitting your body, your swing plane is too shallow.

Employing a simple move at the top of your backswing ensures that you’re taking the right swing plane as you start into the downswing. As you begin your downswing shift your weight onto your left foot while, at the same time, bringing your right elbow back down to your body. Remember to retain the angle of your wrist as you complete this move. It’s the seat of power and the key to maximum distance.

Ideal Position

As the weight shifts to the left and the elbow drops down, the club falls automatically into the right slot for the correct swing plane. This movement flattens the swing ever so slightly. It’s the ideal position from which to swing the club down at the ball, delivering the clubhead squarely to the ball.

In essence you’re actually employing two swing planes to hit the ball correctly, one slightly different than the other. The first comes from executing the correct take away. The second from dropping down your right elbow just before the downswing.

That slightly different swing plane is crucial. It runs right through the correct angle of your spine, the natural axis around which your shoulders should turn, enabling you to deliver a clean crisp blow to the ball with a square clubhead and good power. And that’s the goal of all golf instruction on swing plane.

I hope this article clears up the confusion about swing planes. If you work on taking the club back on the right plane and on dropping your right elbow down during your swing, you’ll see results. That, in turn, will help you lower both your individual golf scores and your golf handicap.

Swing Planes

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Discount Golf Vacations

Golf Vacations

Discount Golf Vacations

If you want to spend your long awaited vacation playing golf under the sun, but you cannot afford those highly expensive golf travel destination, fancy accommodations in expensive hotels, classy, resorts and luxurious golf courses, then you might want to search for a discount golf vacations.

Many people feel playing golf is one of the most splendid ways of how you can spend a vacation. Whether you are an amateur or an expert golfer, challenging golf courses will never fail your enthusiasm and interest. And, if you happen to be one of those people who dream of golfing but have never experienced it yet due to the lack of budget, then you can make your dream come true and opt for low price golf destination.

Golf Travel

There are many travel agencies and vacations organizers that offer discount golf travel packages to top golf destinations. With just a simple internet connection coupled with perseverance, you can find a thousand websites over the World Wide Web that offer golf vacations at a discounted price to premiere golf spots around the globe.

Most lower priced golf vacations are offered during off peak seasons where tourist vacations are rare. These may be because the weather is not good for certain tourist spots. However, if you are quite picky and resourceful, then you can choose a golf vacation that’s not quite expensive, but is still considered of top quality. You can opt to go to places where sunny days are around almost the whole year round.

In choosing the right type of golf vacation, keep in mind that a discount should not be equated to low quality. There are many travel packages that do not compromise low or cheaper prices with the quality or type of accommodations and golf courses although they offer up to about a fifty percent discount. Most of which however, are offered to those who book their travel as a group.

Discount Golf Vacations

 

Best Deal

The best discount golf vacations include the usual air fare and ground transportation to the golf resort, green fees and accommodations. In choosing a golf vacation location, you should check each offer that comes with the package. If the airfare is included in the package, do check the airline or the other means of transportation that’s provided. If accommodations are provided, then you need to make a background check on the hotel or the resort or the golf course that you are headed for. Make sure that the hotel or motel or resort offers top services akin to that of multiple starred hotels. A cheap golf vacation does not mean you have stay in a cheap hotel.

In addition if you do your research carefully you will find that some discount golf vacation packages offer more than just the usual. Though discounted, they come with freebies such as full-service concierge, Tee times, golf carts, caddies, group outings or tours, golf course recommendations and selection, and even vehicle rentals. It really pays to do a good job of researching each golf travel package to get the best deal at the lowest price.

Discount Golf Vacations

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Six Keys To Pitching From The Fairway

Six Keys To Pitching From The Fairway

Accurate pitching reduces your golf handicap. Turning three strokes into two by pitching close to the pin cuts strokes from your scores. Cut enough strokes and you’ll lower your handicap significantly. Learning to pitch accurately from the fairway is crucial to improving your game.

Pitching accurately from the fairway, as I mention in my golf lessons, requires good distance control. That’s not easy to achieve. The tendency is for your swing to be either too long, in which case the clubhead decelerates through impact, or too short, in which case the clubhead is jerked through impact. Either way costs you strokes, inflating your golf scores and your golf handicap.

Learning to pitch accurately from the fairway is a two-stage process. One stage involves building better technique. You can work on technique in golf lessons and on the practice range whenever you go. The second stage involves learning how to judge distances. While you can’t learn to judge distances simply from taking golf lessons or reading golf tips, they can facilitate the learning process.

Here are 6 keys to building better technique:

1.Make changes at address
2.Open the stance
3.Aim clubface at target
4.Make a shorter backswing
5.Clear the left side
6.Release the clubhead

Two subtle changes at address help with technique. Since you need to strike the ball with a crisp, descending blow, (1) position the ball at your stance’s midpoint and (2) make sure that the club’s shaft and your left arm (for right-handers) are in a straight line, ensuring ball-then-turf contact.

Also, open your stance a little at address. It enables you to clear the left side through impact. While it seems like a minor thing, it has an impact, just like the two changes discussed above. Despite the open stance, aim the clubface directly at the target, just as if your feet were parallel.

Opening your stance shortens your backswing, since it curbs movement of the lower body. Gripping down on the club also shortens your backswing, while providing increased club control. The closer you hands are to the ball, the better control you have. Nevertheless, you still need to transfer your weight correctly, despite the shorter swing,

With the open stance and the left side clear, your hands have room to strike the ball squarely. Release the clubhead freely through impact and then move smoothly into your follow-through. Use these suggestions to help build better technique.

In addition to working on your technique, you need to improve distance control. Unfortunately, the only way to do that is by practicing. The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Below are two other suggestions to remember the next time you’re practicing your pitching:

Practice the Body-controlled Method

One approach to help with distance is the body-controlled method. It’s an approach I’ve talked about in my golf tips. Assume your normal pitching address position, but place a towel across your chest and under your armpits. Choke down on the grip for added control and make short compact swings, keeping the towel under your armpits as you swing.

At the same time, vary the speed of your body turn. If you have a 20-yard shot, think in terms of turning your body 20 miles per hour. If you have a 30-yard shot, think in terms of turning your body 30 miles per hour. The longer the shot, the faster you turn your body. Try this method to help improve your distance control. Also, vary the length of your shots so you will get practice at different lengths.

Establish a “Pitching Zone”
Work on establishing a pitching zone—a safe area where you’re not only comfortable and confident pitching from. Once you’ve developed the zone, try playing to it the next time you golf. The goal is to land your shots in the zone when approaching the green, so you’ll have an easier shot.

Jose Maria Olazabal used this approach during a tournament. Having driven into trouble off the tee, he asked his caddie: “What club will give me 92 yards to the flag for my next shot.” Thinking one step ahead, Olazabal was aiming for a spot on the fairway where he was confident he could get up and down from to save par. That was strength for him. Establishing a “pitching zone” gives you a strength to play to, just like Olazabal.

Use these six keys to help with pitching from the fairway next time and you’ll be sure to start dropping shots fast.

Six Keys To Pitching From The Fairway

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