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

https://www.facebook.com/KyivGolfAcademy

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

https://www.facebook.com/KyivGolfAcademy

Here Comes the Sun!
fitness, golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, Ukraine

We’re Going full Dechambeau

Stronger. Faster. Longer.

But first, a few announcements.

It was an eventful summer: Lessons, School of Golf, Kids camp, four tournaments a week and lots of continuing education. No posts since spring, but it’s starting to get cold and that means great content is on the way. We’ll start with a couple news items for you.

Firstly, Anya and I have joined the PGA of Ukraine. We are honored to join and share the core value of growing the game in Ukraine – especially in the field of junior development.

Secondly, on August 8, I passed my Level 2 Power exam at the Titleist Performance Institute. The course covered the science of increasing distance and included instruction from top Golf Coaches, Doctors of Sports Medicine, Power Lifting Trainers and 5 time World Long Drive Champion Jason Zubeck.

So, we feel that we are more than ready to go Full Dechambeau.

Wait. What does that mean?

Well, if you haven’t been following the PGA Tour, here’s the quick version.

Bryson Dechambeau recently won the U.S. Open at Winged Foot – perhaps the most difficult course in Major Championship history. But even before dominating that course and his competitors, he was the talk of the PGA Tour.

Why?

Because he spent is offseason / quarantine in the gym getting bigger, stronger and faster. The Mad Scientist has a degree in physics and leaves nothing to chance. He knows the key to distance is club head speed. His playing style has recently been dubbed “Bomb and Gouge” because his 350 yard drives turn ordinary golf courses into pitch and putts. Long hitter, Bryson. Long. Works hard in the gym and on the range. Hits bombs.

So that’s what we’re gonna do – and we’re gonna share it with you – every exercise, every drill, and every new club we try.

Our plan is to improve our club head speed and overall distance over the winter using three methods:


1. Swing Technique

2. Power Lifting

3. Club Fitting

So, we invite you to join us in this process. Let’s all hit bombs in the Spring of 2021!

Сильнее. Быстрее. Дальше.

Но сначала несколько анонсов.

Лето было насыщенным: уроки, школа гольфа, детский лагерь, четыре турнира в неделю и много дополнительного образования. К сожилению, с весны не было не одной публикации, но становится холодно, так что впереди много отличного контента. Итак, вот Вам пара новостей.

Во-первых, мы с Аней вступили в PGA of Ukraine. Для нас это большая честь присоединиться и разделить основную ценность развития игры в Украине, особенно в области развития юниоров.

Во-вторых, 8 августа я сдал экзамен Power 2 level в Titleist Performance Institute. Курс охватывал науку о повышении скорости головы клюшки и включал в себя инструкции от лучших тренеров по гольфу, докторов спортивной медицины, тренеров по пауэрлифтингу и 5-кратного World Long Drive Champion Jason Zubeck. Итак, мы чувствуем, что более чем готовы к переходу на Full Dechambeau.

Подождите. Что это значит?

Что ж, если Вы не следили за PGA Tour, вот краткая инфа.

Bryson Dechambeau недавно выиграл US Open, Winged Foot Course – это возможно, одно из самых сложных полей в истории крупных чемпионатов по гольфу. Но даже до того, как он стал доминировать среди своих конкурентов, о нем уже говорили и знали в PGA Tour.

Почему?

Потому что в межсезонье / карантин он провел много времени в спортзале, становясь все больше, сильнее и быстрее. Поэтому, ему и дали прозвище – “Безумный ученый”, он имеет ученую степень по физике. Его стиль игры недавно стали называть «Bomb & Gouge», так как его драйв в больше чем 350 ярдов, превращает сложное гольф поле в последующие короткие питч и патт удары. Long hitter, Bryson. Long.

Вот этим мы и будем заниматься, и мы поделимся этой информацией с Вами – каждым упражнением.

Уже этой зимой, наш план будет состоять в том, чтобы увеличить скорость нашей клюшки, используя три метода:

1. Swing Technique

2. Power Lifting

3. Club Fitting

Итак, мы приглашаем Вас присоединиться к нам в этот спортивный процесс. Let’s all hit bombs in the Spring of 2021!



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.

Screen Shot 2019-07-15 at 10.05.56 PM
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!