Palm Desert, Calif.
Henceforth, when I am asked my opinion about the 21st century golf swing, I will have a new answer: “See your fitness professional, then see your golf professional, and make sure these two people are best of friends.”
I have seen the future of golf, and it is the synchronization of the fitness pro and the golf pro.
Rob Mottram opened my eyes. The former physical therapist for both the U.S. Ryder Cup and U.S. Presidents Cup teams, Mottram owns a Palm Desert training facility, Golf Health & Performance Center. He counsels several touring pros, including Masters champion Mike Weir.
As I watched Mottram work with various amateur golfers, several in their 50s and 60s, I realized how much misinformation has been passed down to golfers through the years:
If an instructor ever urged you to implement a swing move that continually felt uncomfortable, the explanation may have been purely physical. Perhaps your body, because of insufficient flexibility or strength, couldn’t accommodate the move.
If you were told not to exercise because it would alter or destroy your timing, you were misled. Tiger Woods showed the world that golfers can work out and be better ...
(This is the latest in a series of articles by nationally known PGA of America instructor Mike Malaska in the “Skilled Player” section of Golfweek Preferred.)
By Mike Malaska
It is impossible to underrate the importance of having a consistent, goal-oriented practice routine. People who are successful in business, or in any field, have a routine. We can be talking about surgeons, dentists, doctors, lawyers or car mechanics – all have checklists of things they go through. And if one part doesn’t work, they don’t go on to the next part. They spend a little more time on it.
When I watch most people practice, there’s no rhyme or reason for what they do. They just stand and hit balls. If it goes right, they aim left. If it goes left, they aim right. People want to be more consistent and want to hit the ball farther, but too many don’t have a structured routine.
Start with a goal. Ask yourself why you are practicing and how the routine ties into that goal. Then make sure you warm up before you hit balls. That means stretch – something for the neck, shoulders, hips, hamstrings, ankles and feet – just ...
At one of the first PGA Teaching & Coaching Summits in the early 1990s, the irreverent Mac O'Grady listened to a presentation on training aids by Gary Wiren and Wally Armstrong, then announced, "These guys ought to be arrested."
O’Grady was no fan of training aids.
In the past decade, the popularity of training aids has grown substantially. Commercials and infomercials for training aids are omnipresent. Leading golf instructors, recognizing a steady stream of income, endorse these products almost beyond the point of believability.
But, as Wiren points out today: “Training aids wouldn’t be accepted by the golfing public
if they didn’t work.”
Wiren had a lot to do with the growth of the product category. A little more than 15 years ago, he moved his small training-aids distributorship, called Golf Around the World, from his home to a warehouse in West Palm Beach, Fla. His son Dane came aboard as CEO. Together they established the first major training-aids company (www.golfaroundtheworld.com) and offer about 200 products.
Gary Wiren, a noted golf teacher, served 13 years as director of research and learning for the PGA of America. It was then, in the 1970s and early 1980s ...
For all the upgrades in putting equipment in recent years, one easily overlooked improvement can be found in the putting surfaces themselves. In the past 30 years, greens have gotten faster, smoother and more uniform on courses. On the PGA Tour circuit, green speeds also have become more consistent from one course to the next. The result is better ball roll and a more predictable playing surface. That means golfers can make a more uniform putting stroke, with fewer adjustments for surface conditions.
Proof of this comes in data from the U.S. Golf Association Green Section, which started indexing the relative speed of greens in 1977 for a prototype of what would become the Stimpmeter. Speeds of 5 and 6 feet were commonplace, with 7 feet exceptional and 8 feet a rarity. The Stimpmeter (pictured) is an angled metal ramp from which a ball is rolled onto a flat area of the green. Depending upon how far the ball rolls, a "Stimp" reading is determined.
Inverrary Golf & Country Club in Lauderhill, Fla., measured 6 feet 5 inches when Jack Nicklaus won the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic in 1977. That same year, Winged Foot West in Mamaroneck, N.Y., measured ...
ANAHEIM, Calif. – If you as a golfer do not pay attention to the overall strength and condition of your body, you probably are adding strokes and losing driving distance.
Whether you are a man or woman, a lack of flexibility or strength can easily lead to unwanted compensations during the golf swing.
These were key messages from the four-day World Golf Fitness Summit that ended Oct. 19 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Trainers and researchers from 10 countries were uncompromising in their belief that poor fitness is a major contributor to poor golf.
The good news, according to these experts, is that most physical limitations to a more efficient and powerful golf swing can be overcome with a sustained exercise routine.
This is the same conclusion reached by Phil Mickelson.
Among the speakers at the summit was Sean Cochran, a 36-year-old strength and conditioning coach from San Diego who is Mickelson’s fitness instructor.
Somehow, American golf fans are stuck on the idea that Mickelson woke up one day in 2006 and decided to remake his body. The simple thinking is that he stopped eating Twinkies and substituted 20 pushups per day.
Oh, if life were so simple. The reality ...
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