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Impact: Training with isometrics

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Golf’s vitally important “Impact Position” is one of the most difficult areas to isolate and work on. This is due to the dynamics of the motion and the fact that golfers are passing through this area of the swing at great speed. I would like to introduce you to some isometric exercises that will help improve your impact position, as well as increase your speed and flexibility.

TOOLS

I am using a swing trainer that is equipped with a golf club grip, but a simple exercise resistance band and piece of nylon rope work great as well. Make a loop and double up the knot so that it can be inserted above the door hinge between the door and the door frame. Once the door is closed, the resistance band will be secured between the door and door frame.

ROUTINE

Perform 10 reps of each exercise, 2-to-3 sets. Hold each position for 8-to-10 seconds. Holding static positions under the stress of the resistance band will allow your mind and body to process much more information and attain better alignments once you put your swing into motion. Isometrics are also a cornerstone for improving speed and flexibility in all types of sports.

trans 1 txt 600.

Exercise 1

Insert your resistance band above the door hinge at its highest point. From here, we will work on properly sequencing our pivot from the top of swing position into the downstroke.

Photo A illustrates areas that you should be aware of when moving through your transition.

  • Lower body supporting the upper body and a strong sense of pressure in your feet as you use the ground for leverage.
  • The trail arm stays in front of the hip.
  • Higher-handicap golfers should feel like they are moving laterally, as well as diagonally.

Photo B illustrates a common fault of lower-handicap golfers.

  • Pushing off of the right side too early, causing the arms to get caught behind the trail hip.
  • The club flattens too much.
  • Sustaining the line of compression becomes difficult.

impact 600

Exercise 2

Insert  your resistance band above the middle door hinge. From here we will work on delivering the club from waist high into our impact position.

Photo C illustrates areas that you should be aware of when moving into your impact position.

  • Hips open, head behind the ball.
  • The weight is predominantly forward, with the lead leg straightening.
  • The club swings left (for a right-handed golfer), as the hands get pulled past the ball location. The lead shoulder moves up and back.

Photo D illustrates a common breakdown of the impact position for higher-handicap golfers.

  • The trail shoulder gets too high, and the weight is stuck on the back foot.
  • The lead wrist cups and the trail wrist flattens too early, as hands are directed at the ball location instead of beyond it.
  • The club shaft leans backwards.

Speed 600

Adding Speed

Begin introducing the golf ball and speed to your stroke by starting at the proper impact position as described in above Photo C.

  • Hit 10 shots taking the club back to waist high, then contacting the ball (Photo E).
  • Hit 10 more starting at impact and taking the club back to shoulder high.
  • Hit shots from your standard address position and swing to a full finish, passing through your improved impact position (Photo F).

Band 600

Above: An example of a resistance band and simple door hinge attachment.

Training

Isometric exercises are done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion. The “Hold” and “Form” portion of each rep is very important, so perform your routine in front of a mirror or camera/video camera the first few times to insure precision. Isometrics are low-impact, quick-recovery exercises that can open up a whole new world of impact sensations and improvement for you.

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Michael Howes is a G.S.E.B. authorized instructor of "The Golfing Machine" - Director of Instruction "Carter Plantation Golf Course" Springfield, La. - Director of Instruction "Rob Noel Golf Academy at Carter Plantation. - Golf Channel Academy Instructor - SPi Instructor of the SeeMore Putter Institute - Featured Writer GolfWRX Teaching philosophy: "We will work together on adding the all-important elements of power and consistency to your game while maintaining the individualism and art of your swing." Work on your swing from anywhere in the world - NO software needed. www.howesgolf.com www.youtube.com/cedarstreetgolf

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Jeff Kerr

    Feb 2, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    Good stuff Mike!

  2. Jonathan

    Feb 2, 2014 at 12:27 am

    Thanks for the exercises, Michael. Going the resistance band route, it seems like it would be beneficial to tie it to a a cut off grip to make it similar to your G4, right? I have plenty of old irons that i could cut off a few inches below the grip. Thanks, again.

    • Michael Howes

      Feb 2, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Just PLEASE make sure your device is safe & secure. These exercise create a ton of resistance & pressure, so you do not want to be doing anything unsafe. Always check your bands before training. Look for weak spots and never use old, dry bands or tubing.

      • Jonathan

        Feb 2, 2014 at 11:07 pm

        I’ll be safe, but if I don’t attach a cut off grip, how would you go about holding the resistance band? Just grip the actual band like you would a club? Also, out of heavy, medium, and low resistance bands, which do you recommend using? How much resistance should we feel? Thanks for the reply.

        • Michael Howes

          Feb 3, 2014 at 12:17 am

          Yes Jonathan, use your golfing grip & place the band so that pressure is being applied to the trail hand index finger. Start with a flex that you are able to reach the positions & hold. Move to higher tension bands as your training progresses. Keys are Form & Hold.

  3. Kammer

    Jan 31, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    Wonder if I could get forearmtats that would help with grip alignment. Huh hmmmm

  4. Keith

    Jan 31, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Good stuff! What’s the name of the trainer you’re using?

    • Michael Howes

      Feb 1, 2014 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks Keith.
      The trainer is the G4, which Tom Lehman used to endorse. I do not think they make it anymore. Try the resistance bands, they work great too.

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Instruction

Golf 101: How to play golf (with Jake Hutt)

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Yes, you read that right. We’re talking about how to play golf. We at GolfWRX pride ourselves in not only supplying info to the golf junkies out there but to also help along the new golfers that just want to get started.

No, we won’t be discussing “tour issue” head weights or “shallowing” the club in transition. This is a BASIC look into how to play golf—how a new golfer would walk to the first tee, for the first time, and have some fun. If you dig deep that is the spirit to GolfWRX.com as a whole. Enjoying the game.

I’ve brought in some help on this one: A coach who I think has whittled down the basics to their core. Jake Hutt., look him up on IG, it’s “golf for dummies” for basically every type of player out there. Jake, like George Gankas and some others, has what I would call the “voice of the new generation.” It’s the fun, laidback, non-traditional style that my kids will be learning from in years to come. So why not introduce him to the WRX community now?

More bio: Class A PGA Professional Jake Hutt teaches out of The Stanford University Golf Course and currently lives in San Carlos, California. He can be found on Twitter, Tik Tok, Instagram, and YouTube under @Jakehuttgolf.

We are doing this breakdown of how to play golf in a very simple way. Yes, people will chime in about what we missed and explained incorrectly but hey, it wouldn’t be a real post without it.

We will do a checklist of the basics: Posture, grip, and an ABC of the motion for a full swing, chip, and a putt.

How to play golf

Posture

Stand straight up, put your arms on your legs, and tilt forward until your fingertips touch just above your knee caps. Let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders. This will feel similar to the posture when shooting a free throw in basketball.

Grip

How would you pick up a suitcase with your left hand? Now replace the suitcase with a golf club. That’s how your left hand goes on the club. To figure out where to put the right hand get in you golf posture and clap your hands together. Now without moving your left shoulder and letting your right arm bend move your hands so they’re just to the right of your right pant pocket. The left arm should be parallel to the ground. Now look at the position of your hand. The palm will either face the ground, the horizon, or the sky. Where the palm points here is where the palm should face when holding a golf club.

Swing

All a golf swing is is throwing the club around your body without letting go of it. If you hear it swoosh, it’s a swing. Once you learn to swoosh the club the next step is learning to hit the middle. To train this spray foot powder on the your clubface and observe where impact is after your attempt to hit the ball. If the ball mark shows up on the toe of the club try and hit the opposite part of the clubface (the heel) on the next shot—repeat the same process for the opposite miss (mark shows up on heel of club). Over time, you’ll need less exaggeration to hit the middle of the clubface. With enough training, this skill will become learned and will require no conscious thought.

Chipping

Stand with your feet close together, the ball off your trail foot, and the handle off the left leg. Lift the heel of the club slightly off the ground so the handle of the club is more vertical. Now make a longer, faster feeling putting stroke. The ball should pop in the air land on the green and roll. The less lofted the club the lower the ball will go and the more it will run. The more lofted the club the higher the ball will launch and less it will roll.

Putting

The most important part of putting is hitting the middle of the clubface. The faster you swing the putter the further the ball rolls. The slower you swing the putter the shorter the ball rolls.

how to play golf putting

How to play golf: Putting. Hitting the center of the putter face is the most most important thing.

The ball starts where the putter face is pointing whether it be straight right or left. To get a feel for speed imagine the effort it would take to roll a ball to the hole. Use that feel to create a putting stroke. Putting greens are not flat the ball will curve left or right. To help figure out which way a green rolls stand halfway between the ball and hole. Ask yourself which foot has more pressure on it. If you feel more pressure on your left foot the putt will break left and more pressure on the right foot means the putt will break right. If the putt breaks right the putter face should point left of the hole at impact. If the putt breaks left the putter face should point somewhere right of the hole at impact.

We’ll be back with more of this entry-level discussion of how to play golf. Let us know in the comments if there are any areas you’d like Jake to dive into!

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Clement: The best video for beginner golfers ever

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One of the deep expertise we have is knowing what side you need to be swinging from to enjoy your best golf. Sometimes it’s both sides like me! So many professionals on tour are including left-handed swings (for the right-handed player) in their warm-up routines and practice routines as a great way to create muscle confusion. Our fabulous kinesiologist, Munashe Masawi, confirms this through his studies and personal training for his grueling sport of football.

But there is always one side that fires better, feels smoother, and has the potential for a lot more than the other for many golfers. Which one are you?

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Clement: Important video on grip! (dare we say “historic!”)

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We so much love being historically correct! Back when I started teaching 35 years ago, when I looked at what the top 5 coaches were teaching, I knew I had to forge my own way. Not only did it not make sense anatomically, it did not make any sense neurologically either! Fast forward to today and we talk about ground forces and how to let the hips turn in the backswing and grip? WHOA, DID THEY MISS THE BOAT THERE!!

This video really takes the cake and REMOVES ALL QUESTIONS AND DOUBT ABOUT GRIP; where to hold it, grip pressure and IN OUR OPINION, THE FIRST TIME IT HAS BEEN REVEALED IN IT’S FULL ANATOMICAL FUNCTIONALITY.

This will end all debates about the “weak grip vs strong grip” argument!

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