Fore of my go to stretches… a Gimmie and a Mulligan

Mobility is one of the big buzz words in golf at the minute, but still many of us turn up to the 1st tee half swing the 7 iron a couple of times then whip out the driver and wonder why it doesn’t pan out very well.

Ever wondered why you start playing better golf 2 or 3 holes in? it’s more than likely because you’re now warmed up. Long story short, more blood going to the muscles, along with more oxygen available to the working muscles, means better performance.

 

The Benefits of Golf Stretches

Muscle strain and sore muscles are common among golfers. Stretching regularly will improve your flexibility and increase your range of motion. In turn this will relax your swing, improve accuracy, increase confidence and the ability to swing faster with less effort. We all love that effortless swing with a clean connection, well stretching can be the difference.

With that said before every game try and go for a ten-minute walk around the practice area take a wedge with you and knock some balls about. Maybe do some putting (we all know you need the practice).

Now we’ve got the blood flow going give these five stretches a go, probably a good idea to do these in the locker room.

 

Kneeling hip flexor stretch
  1. Kneel with your left knee on the floor and your right leg at a 90-degree angle in front of you.
  2. Put your hands on an upside-down golf club placed vertically just inside your right foot and keep your back straight.
  3. Keeping your left knee pressed to the floor, lean forward into your right hip while squeezing the muscles in your left buttocks.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

 

Seated Glute Stretch
  1. Sit down in a chair and sit as upright as you can.
  2. Cross one leg over the other so that the outside of your foot is resting on your other knee.
  3. Lean forward keeping a straight back until you feel a good stretch in your hips and glutes.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

 

Hamstring and lower back Stretch
  1. Hold your golf club behind your shoulders. Stand next to a bench. Put your right foot on the bench and bend your right knee slightly.
  2. Keeping your back straight, you should feel a comfortable stretch in the back of your right hamstring.
  3. Maintain this stretch while rotating your back and shoulders to the right and to the left.
  4. Repeat on the other side.

 

Back stretch
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, holding an upside-down long iron vertically pressed into the ground.
  2. Hold the club with your arms outstretched in front of you.
  3. Holding on to the club and keeping your back straight, move your body down and away from your hands until you feel a stretch near both armpits.
  4. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat.

 

The Gimmie
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and fold your arms across your chest.
  2. Bend your knees and lean forward as you would your normal golf swing.
  3. Slowly rotate the core through your backswing range of motion.
  4. Continue from the top of your backswing position to your follow-through with a slow and controlled tempo.
  5. Repeat this drill for 60 seconds.

 

Injury Prevention Strategies

Conditioning and proper swing mechanics are both essential in helping to prevent golf injuries. A lot of injuries happen early in the season when we’ve had most of the winter off (those who don’t play winter league) and those who fail to warm up properly. Often, it’s the younger golfers with the faster swings that find themselves injured due to the extreme pressure inflicted on the body without a proper warm up.

 

Here are my top tips before heading out:

  • Always warm up the muscles.
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking water every couple of holes, your muscles perform better when hydrated.
  • Allow for a cool-down period and perform gentle stretches after playing golf. Getting a pint after the game isn’t a cool down.
  • Include aerobic fitness training to help prevent fatigue, the fitter you are the better you’ll play.
  • Adding regular strength training will help the swing feel more effortless.
  • Improve flexibility all round but lots of time spent on shoulders and core.

 

The Mulligan

A guy on vacation finishes his round, goes into the clubhouse. The head pro says, “Did you have a good time out there?”

The man replied “Fabulous, thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” said the pro. “How did you find the greens?”

Said the man: “Easy. I just walked to the end of the fairways and there they were!”

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