fitness, golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, sports, Ukraine

I Stink When I Drink

I recently entered a 3 club tournament and brought along my 5 wood, 8 iron and putter. I was optimistic – we were playing the Premier Course at Kiev Golf Club, where I regularly shoot in the 60’s. I felt great on the range, and drained a few chips on the practice green. Nothing but blue skies and green lights ahead. I should have known better. Joining in our foursome was a friendly Ukrainian with a bottle of single malt.

“This golf in Ukraine.” he said as he handed me a full plastic shot glass.

I never drink when I play, but what was I supposed to say to that? Good people drink good scotch, and everyone seemed up for it. So I took my drink right there on the tee box, and feeling like a cat after a good stretch, I flushed a high draw and held my finish for style points.

On the third, I chipped in for birdie to go one under par. “We drink for birdies” said my scotch toting droog. So, we threw back another as we readied ourselves on the fourth tee. From 160 yards, I knocked it stiff and canned the putt to go two under. Another birdie, another round of drinks.

On the 6th green, I four putted from 15 feet. Had to be the whisky, right? I didn’t feel drunk but the hole was definitely blurry. I held it together somewhat over the next few holes, until the English chap made a birdie which brought the bottle out again.

From then on, there were no more birdies – but that didn’t stop us from draining the bottle by the 12th tee. Your man promptly rang the bar and ordered another. We didn’t need any more whisky, but once you get started on a bender, the tendency is to take it all the way.

I made a 7 on the 13th – the easiest hole on the course. On 14 I pull-hooked my tee shot onto the 15th tee and then chunked my 8 iron. By this point I was thoroughly lit, telling dirty jokes and smoking a cigar. Who am I kidding? I’m an old hell raiser, and all it takes is one or two to get back in gear. On 15 I hit my 5 wood straight up in the air off the tee. How I made bogey there is unclear.

“The problem with your game,” my Ukrainian friend suggested as he handed me another glass, “is you’re not drinking enough. Trust me, it will help you relax.”

If you’ve ever played with me, you know that the last thing I need is to be more relaxed on the course. I’m Mr Zen himself, breathing slow and deep and throwing out sage quotes from Siddhartha to Sam Snead. Adding firewater to the mix actually produced the opposite effect.

Worst part is that my mental game went in the toilet. After a few bad shots, I lost my confidence. Suddenly I’m trying to fix my swing mid round. I’m doing swing drills on the side, trying to get it back like some rookie duffer. I never do that. It’s poison, and I should know better.

By some miracle, I ripped my 5 wood straight into the wind on the long, par 3 16th. Should have been an easy birdie putt, but I missed it badly and barely rattled in for par. I don’t remember much about 17 and 18, other than the crooked numbers. One vague memory of a bladed approach that almost decapitated a spectator. I felt helpless out there – like one of those dreams where you get in a fight and all your punches are in slow motion.

The Limey in our flight won the tournament. Back in the bar, he credited the booze for helping him keep his head down. Good for him. Turned me into an absolute hack. A frat boy on spring break with golf bag on his shoulder and a stogie in his chops. I didn’t even want to hear my score. I ignored it.

The next day I played the Premier again – slightly hungover but generally straight. One over par. Nary a three putt. Confidence restored. My mental game is so fragile, that one bad round easily undoes twenty good ones. At the same time, I missed the banter – what good is it to make birdies with nobody around to toast them?

So what’s the takeaway? Why do we play golf? To calm our nerves and find our inner Ben Hogan? Or to get twisted and laugh all the way home with our favorite degenerates? The answer for me is clearly one or the other. Certainly not both at the same time. Let’s face it, golf and whisky go together – they are easily Scotland’s two greatest gifts to the world (besides The Average White Band). But for me, a reformed hell-yeah with a fragile ego and raging desire to play scratch – I need to make sure I do them in the correct order.

I’m not a bad golfer, but I stink when I drink.

fitness, golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, sports, Ukraine

Get Ready For Power

“If you add speed to crap, it’s still crap” ~Anonymous

We know you’re ready to swing faster. It’s perfectly natural. Nearly every televised golf shot these days features launch monitor data on club and ball speed. You see club head speeds in the 120’s and you say, “I want that. I need to do some power training.”

That’s true – power training will help you get faster club head and ball speed, but your’e probably not ready for it. You’ve got to prepare the body for real power training. It takes time, a few months anyway. Let’s take a look at how to do it properly.

This article is part of our Going Full Dechambeau series. For more on what it means to Go Full Dechambeau click here. Briefly – it means getting longer, stronger and faster by three methods:

1. Power Training

2. Swing Technique

3. Club Fitting

So let’s talk about power training. First we should define our terms.

Power = Force x Velocity.

Another way to say that is to say that power is a mix of strength and speed. Golfers of all ages and abilities can benefit from power training, but if you try to get fast before you get strong, the only you’re gonna do is hurt yourself. So, how do I prepare myself?

Great question, glad you asked. The most efficient way to train an athlete is called, periodization. This means you train a certain way for a month or two, and then you change it up to keep the body adapting. If we look at a measurement of training time, say anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks – we’ll call that a cycle. When training athletes for power, the most effective method is a 3 Cycle System. It looks like this:

  • Cycle 1 – Basic Strength
  • Cycle 2 – Balance / Core training
  • Cycle 3 – Power / Sport Specific

So, a cycle can last anywhere from 4 – 8 weeks. So, if you have a 3-4 month offseason in the winter, you can set it up so that you finish Cycle 3 right as your season begins. That way, you’re as powerful as possible going into your season. Once the season begins, then you just need to maintain, which takes a lot less effort. We will follow up with an article on in season power maintenance.

So, what do we do in these cycles? Let’s take a closer look

Cycle 1.

Basic strength and mass exercises. 75% of max. 3 x 8-12 repetitions.

The Big 5

  1. Squat
  2. Hip Hinge
  3. Chop
  4. Push
  5. Pull

For more information on the Big 5 golf power moves, click here.

Cycle 2.

We take the same Big 5 movements from Cycle 1, but we take away stability, which strengthens the core and improves balance. Examples could include a squat on one leg, or doing pushups on a fitness ball. Pushing and pulling can be combined, with arms moving in opposite directions and the core working hard to stabilize the body. Our site is full of Cycle 2 exercises.

Cycle 3.

Power training, at last! Finally, we get to throw heavy medicine balls, swing kettle bells and jump onto boxes. Yes, Cycle 3 is the fun part, and we promise to give you a very special article very soon on ideas for Cycle 3. But if you don’t start in Cycle 1, you’re just adding speed to crap.

A special note. Make sure you practice swinging both right and left handed. This will balance out the body and make you faster in both directions!

To book a golf or golf fitness lesson:

+38 (096) 817-9145

fitness, golf, golf instruction, sports, Ukraine

Golf Power Training – The Big 5

All right you long drive degenerates out there, this one’s for you. So let’s not waste time and get right into it. There are five basic moves that should be a part of every golfer’s power training program. They are:

Ладно, продвигатели длинных ударов, вот Вам на заметку. Так что давайте не будем терять время и начнем заниматся. Есть пять основных движений, которые должны быть частью программы силовых тренировок каждого гольфиста. Ними являються.

  1. Squat
  2. Hip Hinge
  3. Chop
  4. Push
  5. Pull

Now, these 5 would be the same for any athlete that wants to gain power. I would recommend the same for Hockey or American Football. It also works for seniors, ladies and kids – with some adjustments depending on age. As the program advances, we will show how these 5 can become explosive, golf specific movements.

Эти 5 будут одинаковыми для любого спортсмена, который хочет набрать силу. Я бы порекомендовал то же самое для хоккея или американского футбола. Это также работает для пожилых людей, женщин и детей – с некоторыми корректировками в зависимости от возраста. По мере продвижения программы мы покажем, как эти 5 движений могут стать взрывными, специфичными для гольфа.

This article is the latest effort in our Going Full Dechambeau series of which there are two primary goals: Longer Drives and Less Pain.

Эта статья является нашей последней работой в нашей серии Going Full Dechambeau, в которой есть две основные цели: Длинные драйвы и Уменьшение боли.

For more on what it means to Go Full Dechambeau click here. Talk to your doctor before starting any new program.

Поговорите со своим врачом перед началом любой новой программы.

Golf fitness is not a one size fits all deal. You won’t see any cookie cutter approaches here at Kyiv Golf Academy, where we use the TPI Screen to assess every golfer. This helps us to personalize the workouts to suit the strengths and weaknesses of the player. Most fitness training workouts include 8 – 10 exercises, so you can add in other movements that you like. So, while there are infinite numbers of exercises and variations, these five should always be included.

Гольф-фитнес не для всех подходит. Здесь, в Киевской академии гольфа, вы не увидите “стандартных подходов” к игре, так как мы используем сканирование тела TPI для оценки каждого гольфиста. Это помогает нам персонализировать тренировки с учетом сильных и слабых сторон игрока. Большинство тренировок по фитнесу включают 8-10 упражнений, поэтому вы можете добавить другие упражнения, которые Вам нравятся. Существует бесконечное количество упражнений и вариаций, но, эти пять всегда должны быть включены.

Squat – this exercise builds strength in the legs, glutes and core.

Also known as a knee hinge. Squats can be performed a variety of ways, with bodyweight, barbells and dumbells. There is a squat at the beginning of the downswing that helps prepare the body to exert force, and pushing off the ground is one of the keys to building club head speed. The advanced level athlete can progress to various squat jumps.

Приседания – это упражнение укрепляет ноги, ягодицы и корпус. Также известное как коленный наклон. Приседания можно выполнять разными способами: с собственным весом, со штангой или с гантелями. Приседание в начале маха вниз помогает подготовить тело к приложению силы, а отталкивание от земли является одним из важных к увеличению скорости головы клюшки. Спортсмен продвинутого уровня может менять разные вариации прыжков и приседаний.

Hip Hinge – This exercise strengthens and lengthens the hamstrings, and also targets the glutes and lower back.

Also known as a deadlift, straight legged deadlift or Romanian deadlift. In addition to being a great overall strength builder, deadlifts help a golfer maintain posture during a swing, which is critical for consistent ball striking. Advanced level hip hinges and squats can be progressed into Olympic lifts like the Clean and the Snatch.

Тазобедренный наклон – это упражнение укрепляет и удлиняет подколенные сухожилия, а также воздействует на ягодицы и поясницу. Также известное как становая тяга, становая тяга с прямыми ногами или румынская становая тяга. Помимо того, что становая тяга помогает игроку в гольфе сохранять правильную осанку во время замаха, она является отличным наращиванием общей силы, но и имеет решающее значение для постоянства хорошей игры. Тазобедренные наклоны продвинутого уровня и приседания можно превратить в олимпийские упражнения, такие как толчок и рывок.

Chop -A great core trainer – this moves involves a rotation of the torso and a delayed whipping action of the arms.

The name comes from the movement of chopping down a tree with an axe. This can be done with light weights, medicine balls, cables our plastic tubes. It works the oblique muscles of the core which are a major source of striking power. It is very important to do chops in all directions, as the body operates most efficiently when movements and muscles are balanced. Advanced level chops can include throws with heavy medicine balls.

Скручивания – отличное упражнение для мышц живота – эти движения включают в себя вращение туловища и замедленное движение рук. Название произошло от движения рубки дерева топором. Это можно сделать с помощью легких грузов, тяжелых мячей, тросов или специальных резинок с рукояткой. Они прорабатывают косые мышцы живота, которые являются основным источником ударной силы. Очень важно делать скручивания во всех направлениях, так как тело работает наиболее эффективно, когда движения и мышцы уравновешены. Скручивания на продвинутом уровне могут включать в себя броски тяжелым “медицинским” мячем.

Push – This move is a basic of upper body strength with infinite variations.

Using the muscles of the chest, shoulders and arms, we push the weight away from our bodies. This can be done overhead or directly in front of the body. It can also be done with wide and narrow grips. Think pushups, bench press, or overhead shoulder press. Advanced level pushes can include clap pushups, chest passes, shot put and various throws with medicine balls.

Толкания – это движение является основой силы верхней части тела с бесконечными вариациями. Используя мышцы груди, плеч и рук, мы отталкиваем вес от нашего тела. Это можно делать над головой или прямо перед телом. Это также можно делать с широким или с узким расстоянием между рук. Подумайте о отжиманиях, жиме лежа или жиме от плеч над головой. Толкания на продвинутом уровне могут включать в себя отжимания в ладоши, пасы от груди, толкание ядра и различные броски с медицинским(тяжелым) мячем.

Pull – These muscles are very important in maintaining posture and helping to control the club.

Using the muscles of the back, shoulders and arms, we pull the weight toward our bodies. Just like pushes, pulls should be done overhead or in front of the body, with wide and narrow grips. Think about rows, like rowing a boat, or lat pull downs. Advanced level pulls can include chin-ups and various rows from plank positions.

Подтягивание – Эти мышцы очень важны для поддержания осанки и помогают контролировать клюшку. Используя мышцы спины, плеч и рук, мы притягиваем вес к телу. Как и при отталкивании, тягу следует делать над головой или перед телом с широким или с узким хватом. Подумайте о тягах, например о гребле на лодке, или о тяги на ширине плеч. Подтягивания на продвинутом уровне могут включать отталкивания и различные тяги из положения планки.

Notes on Pushing and Pulling

Pushing and pulling are the two major movements of the upper body. These movements are crucial for helping to rotate the upper torso. When we move naturally, walk, or run, we push with one side and pull with the other, while the torso rotates back and forth. Any throw or strike with the upper body involves a push with one side and a pull on the other, while the torso rotates. As your program advances – you’ll need to train this way. Also, most long drivers can pull a lot more then they can push. So, when training the movements in isolation, better to do twice as many pulls as pushes.

Отжимание и подтягивание – это два основных движения верхней части тела. Эти движения имеют решающее значение для вращения верхней части туловища. Когда мы движемся естественно, ходим или бежим, мы отживаемся одной стороной и подтягиваем другую, в то время как туловище вращается вперед и назад. Любой бросок или удар верхней частью тела включает отжимание с одной стороны и тягу с другой, в то время как туловище вращается. По мере развития Вашей программы Вам нужно будет тренироваться таким образом. Кроме того, большинство людей которые делают длинные удары могут тянуть намного больше, чем они могут толкать. Так что, тренируя движения изолированно, лучше делать вдвое больше подтягиваний, чем толчков.

Now, each of these 5 moves should be progressed over time from basic to more dynamic . It is very important to continue to add intensity and complexity to the movements over time to ensure that the body continues to get stronger. At the beginning of your training, shoot for 3×10 or 2×15 sets and reps. As you progress, try alternating or single arm/leg variants, or you can combine the movements – a squat with a chop for example.

Теперь, каждые из этих 5 движений должны со временем прогрессировать от базового к более динамичному. Очень важно со временем добавлять интенсивность и сложность движениям, чтобы тело продолжало становиться сильнее. В начале тренировки сделайте 3х10 или 2х15 подходов и повторений. По мере того, как вы прогрессируете, попробуйте чередовать варианты с одной рукой / ногой, или вы можете комбинировать движения – например, приседание с отжиманием.

We will follow up with more information about how to use The Big 5 to build a powerful, pain free swing. Of course, you can always just schedule a golf fitness workout with us, for a personalized workout program.

Мы будем дополнять информацией о том, как использовать The Big 5 для создания мощных и безболезненных замахов. Конечно, Вы всегда можете просто запланировать тренировку по гольфу вместе с нами, чтобы получить индивидуальную программу тренировок.

For a free golf fitness assessment and workout, contact us:

+38 096 817 9043

fitness, golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, sports, Ukraine

Here Comes the Sun!

It’s been a long cold lonely winter in Kyiv, Ukraine. Deep snow, icy roads and of course the dreaded quarantine. Luckily, winter never lasts forever, and today the sun is shining, the snow is melting and Spring is in the air! Time to start flexing those golf muscles.

Это была долгая холодная, одинокая зима в Киеве, Украина. Огромное количество снега, обледенелые дороги и, конечно же, страшный карантин. К счастью, зима не длится вечно, и сегодня светит солнце, тает снег и пахнет весной ! Пришло время размять наши гольф мышцы.

It seems like years since it’s been clear!

As many of you know, we have spent our winter months going Full Dechambeau. If you missed that article, click here. To sum up – we have been power lifting, speed training and preparing our bodies to be stronger, faster and longer. The goal? Increased club head speed. Hitting bombs off the tee. Reaching the green with an 8 iron instead of a six.

Многие из вас знают, что мы провели эти зимние месяцы по системе Full Dechambeau. Если Вы пропустили эту статью, нажмите здесь. Подводя итог – мы занимались пауэрлифтингом, скоростнымы тренировками, таким образом подготовливали все тело, чтобы стать сильнее, быстрее и мощнее. Цель? Повысить скорость головы клюшки. Достигать грин с 8-ым айроном, а не с 6-ым.

We’ve learned a lot in the process, and we promise to share it all with you over the coming months. We will share the basic exercises necessary to prepare the body for speed training, some of the routines we’ve used, and some scheduling information on how to ramp up the intensity. We’ll also show some of the swing drills that we’ve been using to improve our sequencing, lag and impact positions.

Мы многому научились в процессе тренировок и обещаем поделиться этим с Вами уже в ближайшие месяцы. Мы поделимся основными упражнениями для подготовки тела к скоростным тренировкам, так называемую рутину и процедуры связанные с ней. Также мы наглядно покажем некоторые свинг-упражнения, которые мы использовали для улучшения нашего замаха.

We’ve also added a launch monitor / golf simulator to our tool box, which means we can see the numbers and track our progress. Most of the top coaches in golf are using launch monitors in their lessons now, so we are thrilled to be able to offer it to all of our students. We can do club mapping – where we measure the average distance of every club in your bag, there’s a special feature for wedge play and we can play 18 holes on a wide variety of courses from around the world.

Также мы добавили в наш гольф инвентарь гольф симулятор, который позволяет нам наблюдать за цифрами и видеть результаты. Большинство лучших тренеров по гольфу сейчас используют мониторы запуска на своих уроках, поэтому мы очень рады предложить к Вашим услугами уроки на гольф стимуляторе. Мы можем составить Вашу карту клюшки – где мы измеряем среднее расстояние каждой вашей клюшки и мы можем играть 18-ть лунок в любой точке мира.

So, keep an eye on us for lots of content leading into golf season. If you’re interested in coming out to join us for a golf lesson, a golf fitness session, or if you’d just like to play on our golf simulator, hit us up while our prices are still low! See you soon on the golf course!

Так что, следите за новостями, у нас есть большое количество материала для подготовки к началу гольф сезона. Если Вы хотите присоединиться к нам на уроки, гольф фитнес тренировки или Вы просто хотите поиграть с нами на гольф симуляторе, то обращайтесь к нам, пока наши цены все еще низкие! До скорой встречи на гольф полях !

Kyiv Golf Academy – +38 096 817 9043

Here Comes the Sun!
golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, sports, Ukraine, Uncategorized

Finesse Wedges

It’s important to realize that in golf there are two swings – a power swing for big shots and another swing for performance inside thirty yards.  This swing technique we will call a finesse wedge.  With a finesse wedge we create a high soft shot with more backspin that stops quickly on the green. A finesse wedge is not only different from your full swing, but it is almost exactly opposite when it comes to sequencing. So it’s critical to practice them both.  Let’s get into the fundamentals of the finesse wedge.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 10.56.25 PM
Seve Ballesteros shows off his finesse wedge setup

Start with the setup. The feet should be close together, with the front toe facing slightly out and left of the target. This allows us to stay balanced as we turn toward the target and release the club.  Next we need to establish the low point of the swing in front of the ball. This is done by slightly rotating the chest toward the target in setup.   

Take a very light grip with the trail hand slightly on top of the club and a soft fold in the elbows and the left wrist slightly cupped.  There should be just enough hip hinge for the arms to dangle straight down from the shoulders. Lastly, we want to stack the shoulders and hips so there is no lateral bend  away from the target like there would be in a power swing.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 11.09.49 PM
Phil Mickelson demonstrates the “toe up” backswing

Keep the body rotation minimal, the backswing is done softly and mostly arms and hands. Do not take the club inside the target line, keep it on plane with the toe up In the power swing, the lower body and especially the hips are responsible for generating power. In the finesse wedge shot, their job is to create stability.

The downswing should be tension free as you let gravity pull the club down to impact position.  The shaft of the club should be close to vertical at impact as we do not want the forward shaft lean of the power swing.  The release will happen naturally if you relax and rotate your chest toward the target.  Your finish position will have your elbows slightly bent and the club in front of the chest.  The club face should point straight up to the sky.

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Fred Couples – elbows bent, left wrist cupped, club face pointing to sky

The sequencing of the finesse wedge is the exact opposite of the power swing.  With the power swing, the hips initiate the downswing and the shoulders, arms, hands and club head follow.  This sequence will not help your chipping. During the downswing of the finesse wedge, the  the club head moves first and everything else follows in reverse order, with the hips last to join in.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 10.03.58 PM
Paul Lawrie releases toward the target

As you finish the shot, your momentum will pull your head and body slightly toward the target. Let it happen, and do not try to keep your head still after impact.  Allowing your head to flow toward the target helps to ensure that the low point of your swing is in front of the ball.

Confused? Don’t be. Let’s review our Top 5 Key Points.


1. Setup with feet close together and slightly open to the target

2. Backswing on plane with toe up

3. Release the club with soft elbows and club face pointing to the sky

4. Use optimal sequence for finesse

5.  Gently allow your energy to flow to the pin

Or just watch Anna on the video and do what she does!