The secret to reaching your scoring goals is to focus on improving the weak areas common to your handicap group. You’ll find these — and the means to fix them — in the December 2009 issue of GOLF Magazine with Top 100 Teacher Tim Mahoney. The final step is to add some flexibility and mild strength training to your practice. Whether you’re a 30-handicapper looking to get to a 20, or a 10-handicapper shooting for single digits, the name of today’s game is athleticism. Following this detailed exercise program will pay immediate dividends.
Perform the stretches recommended for your handicap group three times a week, holding each stretch position for 5 seconds and repeating each stretch 10 times. If you’re not sure what your body can take, start with the 30-handicap stretches, even if you’re a low-handicapper. You can work up to the more challenging stretches. It’ll take you just 20 minutes a day to make serious improvements in your athleticism, which is the key to reaching the next level.
Some of theses exercises require elastic Therabands or an inflatable exercise ball, both of which are available at most sporting goods stores. They’re worthwhile investments if you’re serious about improving.
I need help with speed and athleticism
You feel like the act of swinging a golf club takes too much effort. You used to make athletic motions naturally. Now they feel like work.
Why It’s Happening
You power muscles and controllers such as your glutes, hips, back and shoulders have softened. Without these, anyone will struggle swinging the club on plane consistently and with ample speed.
Perform the stretches below. Start with the one matched to your handicap group.
30+ Handicap: Calf Stretch
Place the ball of your foot on the edge of a step. Lean forward while keeping your knee extended and hold. Perform 10 reps on each calf.
20- to 30-Handicap: Foam Roll Back Extensions
Lie on the floor and set a foam roll under your back just below your shoulder blades. Place your hands behind your head and extend back over the foam roll.
10- to 20-Handicap: Physioball YTWs
Place your chest on a physioball or incline bench. Then, form the letters Y, T and W as follows:
Y: Raise your arms out and above your head with your thumbs up and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
T: Next, move your arms so they are 90 degrees to your body, forming a T, and squeeze your shoulder blades together.
W: Next, move your arms so that your elbows are bent and at your side so you form a W shape. Squeeze your shoulders together.
Hold each letter for 5 seconds, and repeat the cycle 10 times.
< 10-Handicap: Diagonal Squat Lifts
While in a squatting position, hold onto a weight and raise and lift the weight diagonally across your body.