As spring and summer approach, we get out the golf
clubs. Our expectations are high. After all, we were playing rather well
at the end of last season. We should be able to pick up where we left
Sorry, it doesnt work that way. If you havent been playing
or practicing on those occasional warm days through the winter and continuing
your golf exercises on the not so warm days, STOP. Lets think about
getting back into golf shape before you make that first mighty swing and
pull or strain some unused muscles and spend the next two months trying
to swing a club in a way that doesnt hurt. Then the next two months
are spent trying to unlearn what you have been doing wrong as you tried
to protect those sore muscles.
Here are three golf exercises that should be a part of every golfers routine
every day. If you dont have an exercise routine that includes stretching,
start now. Every golfer knows the way to getting better is to practice.
Consider exercise and stretching a part of the practice routine. If you
have medical restrictions or concerns check with your doctor before starting
any exercise routine.
In open space, standing up straight with feet shoulder width apart, knees
slightly flexed, arms relaxed hanging at your side slowly bend to one
side allowing your hand to go down the side of your leg until it reaches
the knee (dont bend forward but to the side). Slowly extend your
other arm up toward the sky directly opposite the one down at your knee.
You should have a good straight line of arms from knee to the sky. You
may feel a slight stretch. Now to introduce you to some muscles you didnt
even know you had. While in this extended arms position, slowly turn your
head and look up the high side arm. Count to five and slowly go back to
starting position. Reverse the arm positions and stretch the other side.
Repeat 10 times in the morning and evening.
With your back side about a foot away from the wall, assume a good golf
stance with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly flexed and body
bent slightly forward from the waist. Bend both arms up at the elbow and
raise both hands with palms facing away as if you were going to push something
away from you. Keeping both feet flat on the floor rotate around slowly
to the right as far as you can placing both palms against the wall. Hold
that position for a count of five. Keeping your palms up, slowly rotate
back to the left, past the centered position as far around to the left
as you can. In this turn allow your right foot to pivot up onto the toe.
Youll find it easier to rotate further as the foot pivots up onto
the toe. Place your palms against the wall again and count to five. Slowly
return to the centered position and repeat this exercise ten times in
the morning and evening.
In golf everyone talks about the shoulder turn so lets work on that.
Assume a good golf stance with feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly
flexed and body bent slightly forward at the waist. While staying in this
posture extend your left arm out in front of you at an angle that has
you pointing at the ground about four to five feet in front of you. Staying
in posture, keeping your left arm straight, use your right arm as a hook
coming up from below somewhere around the left elbow.
You should be able to get the right arm hooked around the
left at about elbow to elbow position. Stay in posture, with your chin
up slightly use the right arm to pull the straight left arm slowly around
to the right until your left shoulder is pointing slightly behind where
a ball would have been.
You will find your back is to the target and if you had a club in hand
you would be in a pretty good position to make a good swing. Reverse the
roles for each arm and make this good stretch with the right arm and shoulder
to the left. Again, in this exercise you want to pivot the right foot
to a toe up position to make the turn around the left side easier. The
key in this exercise for best golf results is to stay in posture. If you
should happen to change your posture by standing up you will still benefit
from the good shoulder stretch.
Try these exercises. Understand that you are stretching muscles that you
havent used very much if at all. You might experience a slight bit
of discomfort at first. Do everything slowly and you will find greater
flexibility and a better golf swing. Have a great golf season.
Jim Meisner is is the PGA Director of Instruction at the
Midwest Golf Academy at Cozy Acres Golf Complex in Madison, Ind. Call
him at (812) 273-3137.