golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, sports, Ukraine

Early Extension Fix (Swing flaw #2)

Most golfers know that to hit the ball with any power, you’ve got to use your hips. I knew about this for years, and I tried to use my hips in my swing but somehow I never got it right. Even worse, I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. It was at the Titleist Performance Institute, at a seminar on golf biomechanics that I finally saw the light.

I had been trying to rotate my hips toward the target, but in the process I always lost my posture and ended up standing up straight at impact. What I didn’t understand for ages, but could see clearly on video, is that your spine angle at impact should mirror the angle at address. When it doesn’t, and the hips move forward during the downswing, this is called Early Extension.

60313577_2071859239784865_2466555789167296512_n
Early Extension

Once I understood the necessity of maintaining posture throughout the swing everything changed for me.  Right away I began to get a lot more consistent.  I wish I had understood it years ago, but it just wasn’t really emphasized in the instruction that I was getting.

When you early extend, there’s no room for your hands to move through the hitting area. Your hips are in the way and you’ve got to make crazy adjustments to get the club on the ball. This results in thin, topped or bladed shots and in general, really horrible contact.  It is impossible to hit with any power with early extension.

So how do you fix it? As Anna and I demonstrate in the video above, a great fix is the Butt on the Wall drill.  Focus on maintaining your spine angle at all times, and keeping contact between your butt and the wall. 

59445600_351252215747303_2283777503061344256_n
good posture at address

Get in your 5 Iron stance and cross your arms in front of your chest.  Then back up to a wall so your butt barely touches it.  It doesn’t have to be a wall, just something stable that’s at least hip height. It could be your golf cart, a tree, a sign, or as we did in our video in Spain, you can even use a little trash bin.  Keep your spine angle and rotate your shoulders and hips, and maintain contact between your butt and the wall!

Once you get the feel for the wall drill, try hitting some balls on the range with the same feeling.  Have a friend video you from down the line and watch to see if you maintain your address posture throughout the swing. As you get better and better with the movement, you’ll begin to feel yourself sink into your right hip on your backswing, and into your left hip on your follow through. The result is more power and consistency.  Watch the video, and try it yourself!

 

golf, golf instruction, Kyiv, Ukraine

Top Ten Swing Flaws

Here are the Top Ten  swing flaws that weaken your golf game and/or cause injury.  This post is designed to help you recognize your swing flaws, because knowing what you’re doing wrong is the first step to getting better. Don’t worry, we will show you how to fix them all in upcoming posts.

60328594_2360324867520863_8575483865294962688_n
Chicken Wing

10. Chicken Wing

Chicken wing happens whe then the left elbow and wrist break down at impact, making your left arm look like everyone’s favorite beer snack. The chicken wing results in inconsistent contact, and lack of power.

Куряче крило Куряче крило відбувається тоді, коли лікоть і ліва рука згинаються під кутом, роблячи ліву руку схожою на улюблену пивну закуску )). Куряче крило призводить до суперечливих контактів і відсутності сили.

60010995_458338614567210_4281792857481674752_n (1)
C- Posture

9. C- Posture

C- Posture involves a rounding of the upper spine at address. It limits spinal rotation and can cause back injury

C- Поза включає округлення верхнього відділу хребта при початковій позиції. Це обмежує обертання хребта яке може викликати травму спини

 

60618473_2205315172854909_6326923350304096256_n
S – Posture

8.  S- Posture

S- Posture involves a large curve in the lower back, due to the tilting of the pelvis at address position. It limits spinal rotation and leads to other flaws and injuries.

S- поза включає велику криву в нижній частині спини, через нахил тазу при початковій позиції. Він обмежує обертання хребта і призводить до інших вад і травм.

 

 

60342823_2052702754857503_7739608832069861376_n
Casting

7. Casting

Casting involves throwing the club head back and away from the target at the beginning of the downswing. Casting can lead to other flaws like scooping and chicken winging, and results in weak and inconsistent shots.

Кастинг виникає коли клюшка відкидається назад  від цілі на початку закінчення замаху. Також кастинг може призвести до інших недоліків, таких як черпання і крило курки та призводить до слабких і непослідовних ударів.

60293125_310551663192244_5478222737279287296_n
Scooping

6. Scooping

Casting usually leads to scooping, in which the club strikes the ball ahead of the hands. It can also happen when the player tries to help the ball into the air instead of hitting down and through the ball. It adds loft to the club, leading to high, weak shots and inconsistent contact.

Черпання

Кастинг зазвичай призводить до черпання, в випадку коли клюшка ударяє м’яч попереду рук. Це також може статися, коли гравець намагається допомогти м’ячу в повітря, замість не потрапляння удару вниз і через м’яч. Це додає градус клюшці, що призводить до високих, слабких ударів та непослідовних контактів.

60072120_620421211758350_6800914124319490048_n
Swaying

5.  Swaying

When the right hip moves away from the target and gets behind the right foot, this is known as swaying. This takes the body off balance, far from it’s center of gravity and is almost always accompanied by reverse spine angle

Коливання

Коли праве стегно відходить від мішені і потрапляє за праву ногу, це відоме як коливання. Це призводить до не  рівноваги, далеко від центру ваги і майже завжди супроводжується зворотним кутом хребта

 

60303232_1009886892735228_2931181137885659136_n
Reverse Spine Angle

4. Reverse Spine Angle

Goes with the sway, involves the spine angle leaning back toward the target instead of coiling behind the ball. This is a major cause of low back injuries.

Кут зворотного хребта

Йде з коливанням, включає кут хребта, нахиляючись назад до мішені, а не повертаючись до м’яча. Це є основною причиною травм у попереку.

 

60025045_2315788098701543_1264520921213829120_n
Flat Shoulder Plane

3. Flat Shoulder Plane

This often goes with a loss of posture, when the player stands straight up during the backswing and rotates the shoulders in a flat plane, resulting in an Over the Top transition.

Це часто відбувається з втратою постави, коли гравець стоїть прямо під час зворотного руху і обертає плечі в плоскій площині, в результаті чого переходить верх.

 

 

2. Early Extension

60313577_2071859239784865_2466555789167296512_n
Early Extension

When the player is in good posture at the top of the backswing, but then stands straight up in the downswing, this is early extension. In this position, the hands cannot go where they need to be to hit the ball properly because the hips are in the way, blocking them. This results in thin shots, topping the ball, and inconsistent contact.

Коли гравець знаходиться в хорошій позі у верхній частині backswing, але потім стоїть прямо в downswing, це ранні розширення. У цьому положенні руки не можуть йти туди, де вони повинні бути, щоб правильно вдарити м’яч, тому що стегна в дорозі, блокують їх. Це призводить до thin ударів, перевищення м’яча і непослідовного контакту.

 

60084775_1484480305022309_5902765277937926144_n
Over the Top

1.Over the Top

At last, the number one swing flaw, seen on every driving range and fairway around the world… When the player throws the hands forward and away from the body at the beginning of the downswing, instead of down and inside of the swing plane, this is Over the Top. This produces a swing that comes across the ball outside to in…This movement will produce one of two shots, a pull hook, or most often, THE SLICE! 

Нарешті, дефект номер один, що бачиться на кожному range полі та fairway по всьому світу … Коли гравець кидає руки вперед і далеко від тіла на початку замаху, а не вниз і всередину  коливання. Це створює rоливання, які потрапляють на м’яч назовні, щоб … Цей рух призводить до одного з двох ударів, гачок для підтягування, або найчастіше, THE SLICE!

COMING SOON: How to fix all these flaws!!!! 

 

 

 

 

golf, Kyiv, Ukraine

Course Review: Kyiv Golf Center

59301230_465393400870017_4033342936576950272_nThe sun is finally waking up, and at last, it’s time to get out of  the gym and onto the driving range. (It’s been a long cold golfing winter). So we hitched a ride across town and spent our Saturday afternoon at the Kyiv Golf Center in Obolon. There is a driving range, a cafe and a bar called Golfist where they serve whiskey.  And what’s the point of Saturday golf if there’s no whiskey after? 

There’s plenty of green green grass, and distance markers up to 200 yards, but anything over that flies off the range and onto a crowded walkway along the river. I hooked a 5 wood that one hopped into the river, and a guy appeared and told me not to hit anything past 200 yards.  So, if you’re long, you’re stuck hitting irons, which isn’t the end of the world. If you’re a newbie or a short hitter, it doesn’t affect you at all.  (If you like to bomb your driver, you’ll need to find another spot) What I really like about the range, is the variety of flags and distance markers, which makes for good target practice. 

59445600_351252215747303_2283777503061344256_nWhen the range isn’t open, you can arrange it so you can play a few short holes, and they’ve also got a chip and putt area that you can rent, cause we all gotta work on our short game.  So, as a practice facility, it’s got most of what you need. Right now, Kyiv Golf Center is only open on the weekends, but they may open up more when the weather comes around.

Igor Oleksyn is the Head Professional out there, and he’s legit.  He was finishing up a lesson when we got there, and a bit later he got his irons out and launched some gorgeous high draws down to the end of the range.  He’s also fun to talk golf with, which is kinda rare in this country. Overall, the staff is friendly and everyone I met out there spoke English, so it is definitely foreigner friendly. 

57303427_10215987699098727_3817162874493599744_o
whiskey by the river

We got two large buckets of balls for 760 hrn, which is on the high end of what you might pay in the states. Afterward we relaxed a bit in the outdoor cafe, took in the sites around the river, and sipped some whiskey . Overall, a great afternoon of golf inside the city limits. We definitely will be back.

Here’s a little drill for you golfers out there to help you take the club away from the ball and avoid the dreaded flat shoulder planeAnna breaks it down in the second half of the video in Ukrainian language. It’s called the broom drill, and if you practice it often, you’ll take it away like a pro… and as any pro will tell you, that’s half the battle.

 

fitness, golf, las vegas, sports

How to Generate Power?

This question has dogged me since my youth. My little brother seemed to figure it out, and he was longer than any of us. He couldn’t explain it to me in a way that I understood, though. Nor could any of my other friends who were low handicappers. I couldn’t get much out of the golf magazines I read either.  So I played round after round of golf with the same results: high weak fades that were fairly consistent. My short game became my focus, but I always knew there was something about the game that I was missing.

So now, I finally understand it, I’m hitting it farther than I ever have before, and my clients are getting it too! I will do my best to articulate in the simplest way possible. 

Power in the golf swing is created by sequencing. That is to say, a sequence of movements resulting in a powerful shot. This sequence begins with the lower body, continues into the upper torso and finally moves into the hands and the club face. This act of sequencing is the key component to creating lag. If you can improve your sequencing and create lag, you will improve your power. No matter if you are a junior, senior, mens or ladies golfer. 

The Sequence, beginning from the top of the backswing:

  1. low body/ hips 
  2. Upper torso/ arms
  3. hands / clubface 

 

Sounds easy, right? Get the low body going, then the upper body, and finally the hands and at last the club face.  Now try doing it. It’s not so easy, at least it never has been for me or my clients. Why? Because we tend to move our upper and lower body simultaneously.  So how do we fix it? We must first learn to move our hips and shoulders separately. 

How do we do that?

Practice exercises where the shoulders are stable and the hips are rotating.  Then  practice moves where the hips are stabilized and the shoulders turn. Once you’ve learned to turn your hips and shoulders independently,  it’s time to move on to sequencing drills. 

So, instead of jumping right into sequencing – here’s your first movement on your quest for prodigious power.  This move is called side step up with medicine ball. As Anna demonstrates, the movement mimics a slight lateral weight shift onto the lead leg combined with a pelvic rotation toward the target. At the same time, the shoulders are stabilized and held back by the medicine ball position. Practice this move on both legs and you’re half way there! Combine with last week’s single leg push pull, and you have got hips and shoulders that turn independently. 

Here’s the new video, as well as a repost of last week’s move. Next week: Dynamic Sequencing Drills! 

NEW

Side Step Up w Medicine Ball (internal hip rotation)
Use a step slightly under knee height.

 

LAST WEEK

1 Leg Push / Pull (torso rotation)

use with 2 cables or cable & DB

 

 

fitness, golf, las vegas, sports

Happy 420, Golfers!

Golf has a long history with smoking, and what better time to talk about it than 420 weekend? In the classic golf comedy Caddyshack, it isn’t just Carl Spackler, the demented  greenskeeper who smokes onscreen. It’s Ty Webb, Dr Beeper, Lacy and Spaulding, Danny Noonan and all the caddies.  Is everyone in golf high?  Sure, Caddyshack was just a movie, but big news stories this week about NBA players playing high and an elite distance runner sponsored by a marijuana edibles company.  So what with weed and sports?

Seeing as how recreational cannabis is legal in the State of Nevada, we can be open about it. Why do so many athletes smoke cannabis? Why do golfers drink alcohol or smoke tobacco?  What are the healthiest options and best practices?  Let’s discuss.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 2.36.41 PM
The Most Interesting Golfer in the World

It’s pretty common to see golfers smoking. Miguel Jimenez is cigar aficionado,  Ben Hogan loved his cigarettes and Harry Vardon straight up puffed on a pipe throughout his round. So why all the smoking in golf? I’d say it’s because golfers want to relax, and the ritual of smoking helps them stay calm and break the tension and pressure of the game.  Actors often smoked on screen for many of the same reasons.  Knowing what we know now about the risks of tobacco, it makes you wonder if there’s another way.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 3.03.28 PM
Ben Hogan and Arnold Palmer on a smoke break

So now, in 2018, what’s the thinking man’s choice? After weighing all the risks and benefits, I’ll tell you what I’ve come up with. I don’t smoke for reasons, but I sometimes get anxious on the course, so I vaporize a cannabidiol hemp oil, or CBD that has no THC.  CBD is legal, safe and approved by the World Health Organization.  I get the ritual of smoking without the harm and because there’s no THC, (the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis), I don’t get high. I do get medicinal benefits:

  1. Anti – Anxiety
  2. Pain Relief
  3. Focus
  4. Anti Inflammatory
Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 3.20.39 PM
CBD Oil from Reakiro

You can also get a CBD/ THC hybrid, which is nice if you’re that golfer who wants to party during your round. You’ll get high, and you still the keep medicinal benefits.

I see people smoking weed on the course all the time, but I don’t think it’s actually legal in public spaces, and it may make the people some uncomfortable, especially if there are kids around. The reason I don’t use THC on the course is that I start to get a little too internal, that is to say – I get in my head too much. This can lead to dumb shots, mental errors and worst of all – doubt.

I play my best golf when I’m more external, focusing my thoughts on the target and the course conditions.  It’s a more positive mindset, and a CBD with no THC gets me there.  If I miss some shots or start to get some bad thoughts going,  a few drags on my vape pen helps out right away.  I’m able to stop thinking, let things happen and be the ball.

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 4.07.47 PM
Be the ball, Danny

This is also how I cope with slow play, which has ended more of my rounds of golf than darkness. How many times have you had a round going and suddenly, it’s that par 3 over water? There’s a group on the tee and another waiting. The guys on the green are squeezing two foot putts. You sit forever and watch a few shots go splash until its finally your turn.  Out of rhythm and anxious, you chunk one into the lake and and your round goes into the toilet. Or is it just me?

Screen Shot 2018-04-22 at 3.27.16 PM
WHILE WE’RE YOUNG!!

Here in Vegas, if I have to wait between shots, I just grab my vaporizer pen and chill out with CBD. No matches or lighter needed, which is nice on windy days.  It doesn’t bother anyone else because we’re outside, and there’s no ash or smoke. I’m telling you, the citrus flavor oil is screaming with an iced tea. Now, I wouldn’t suggest sitting out there tugging on the pen all day, but it’s nice to have it when you need it. When its finally my turn to hit, I want my mind and body relaxed and ready.

I’ve also had success taking a few CBD capsules before my round. Anna does the drops in her coffee, and she’s starting to experiment with edibles. There’s also a topical cream that you can rub directly into sore joints. We’ll experiment with all the methods and keep you readers posted.

This is my third post, and if you’ve made it this far, I just want you readers to know – I appreciate you, so here’s a great exercise to help you with core strength and torso rotation. Lunge Stance Push/Pull (why Anna hits it so far)