5 Minutes A Day To More Distance & Consistency
By Michael Gish
I am asked in just about every lesson. “I want to hit it farther and more consistently.” My answer is always two very important things. Practice with a purpose. Stretch and work your core strength. The pros hit the ball far and consistently, because their bodies are trained and conditioned. Tiger Woods didn’t become the best player in the world sitting on the couch watching TV. His flexibility and core strength are by far the best on tour.
Posture & Body Motion
Get in your normal address position and cross your arms across your chest (using weight is optional) Feel your lower abs pulling in this keeps that arch out of your lower back, putting less tension on the lower back. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds. (A)
The wind up into the backswing starts by trying to create a stretch between your lower half and upper half. We want to start our backswing with big muscles, back and shoulders. In this position your weight should be on the inside of your back foot. (B) Too much lower body turn or slide back will cause you to lose balance and power. (C) The upper body should move laterally over the inside of your back leg. Your the head is allowed to move a bit laterally. Once you have found your limit hold this position for 10-15 seconds.
Most players focus on something in their lower body – legs, knees, hips – these are the igniters to our downswing. This is our second stretch and I refer to it as the rubber band stretch. The lower body starts the downswing creating more tension or stretch in the body like a rubber band. The more you stretch it, the farther it flies. The upper body unwinds after the lower body starts the downswing. (D)
The fundamentals at impact are consistent through out all the best players. The lower body should be open to the target, driving off the back leg with the shoulders pointing at the target. This is the opposite of the backswing. You should still have your head behind the ball and your weight shifted into your front leg and foot. Our arms move with the torso. Finish the position is a direct result of the previous moves. (E)
The hips or belt buckle should be facing slightly left of your target with 99% of your weight on your front foot. BALANCE. Swing as hard as you want if you can keep balance. We want our body to unwind into this position as a result of a good back swing and downswing. Your upper body should be tilted toward the ball with your back shoulder facing the target.
Hamstrings & Legs
Your hamstrings and legs lead right into your lower back. Your basic hamstring stretch is important but we are going to add a lower back stretch to this. Stretching your right arm to your leg is great for the hamstring in addition to this we are going to take our left arm and grab our right calf. The leg doesn’t have to be straight there can be slight bend now you are going to try and pull your upper body or chest to your knee, keep your head up and feel the stretch. Switch legs and repeat. No bouncing just hold and breath.
No one enjoys doing sit ups, some people just can’t, so here is an effective way to work those abs using your own body weight. Start by laying on your stomach, put your elbows on the ground forearms flat and pick up onto your toes HOLD this for 30 seconds or longer. Then roll to one side keeping your body off the ground on one elbow and forearm the other arm stretch up to the sky this works your oblique’s or side abs HOLD. Then switch to the other side holding and squeezing your abs tight.
The Superman Drill
Lie on your stomach and lift you right leg and left arm off the ground and hold for 10-15 seconds you will feel this in you lower back. Then switch left leg right arm. This is very simple but effective way to strengthen your lower back.