Winter Golf Tips for Women

 By Connie Gregor

My personal mental cure to the short, gray days of winter in the Northwest is regular and selective exercise. In addition to making me feel better, proper exercise happens to have the added advantage of improving the mechanics of my golf swing. Of all the women with whom I have given lessons, I've noticed three weaknesses that tend to plague them consistently. My article this month will highlight those weaknesses and outline recommended strategies for overcoming each.

wrist curlWeak forearms and wrists: Many women don't possess enough strength in their wrists to keep the club in proper position throughout the swing. This contributes to improper mechanics and forces us to compensate in other areas. Suggested exercise: Wrist curls - Use dumbbells with whatever weight you feel comfortable. Do two sets of at least 8 curls with each hand, changing the direction your palm is facing for each. (See photo's #1 & 2) As you progress, try and increase the number of sets. Be aware that correct form is important when performing any exercises and wrist curls are no different. In order to best benefit from your efforts, make sure your elbow stays stationary during the curl. Remember, you are working your forearms and wrist, not your biceps.

Too much movement: By movement I mean swaying back to front as well as up & down while executing the swing. When watching tour players on television, notice how still they all remain during their swing. Their head and body hardly move and this allows for cleaner and more consistent ball striking. Suggested Exercise: I recommend taking a Yoga or Pilates class. Your focus should be directed toward stretching, isolating, strengthening and breathing exercises. These all contribute to better center of balance, internal focus, muscle control and range of motion. All huge attributes when trying to clear the mind and quiet one's swing.

Skewing the spine angle: Most women I work with struggle with proper shoulder and torso rotation. Incorrect body rotation during the backswing is the biggest contributor to lack of distance and overall loss of power. Suggested Exercises: Since rotation is mostly hindered by a lack of abdominal strength and back and torso inflexibility, a regiment of sit-ups or stomach crunches along with virtually any flexibility exercises can go a long way in improving your body rotation. Push-ups represent another exercise that is easy to do in home at your leisure and will add upper body strength which also promotes a more powerful swing.

posture too close 225a     posture too far 225a     posture too hunched 225a     posture 225a 

        Hands too Close                                    Hands too Far                           Too Hunched                             Ahhh.....Just Right

These are just a few suggestions for basic exercises that can improve not only your golf game but your overall quality of life as well. There are a number of additional exercises or athletic activities that can help improve your swing and overall game. The important idea is to choose those activities that you enjoy and STICK TO THEM! Regularity and repetition are the keys to success. In short, shape up your body to shape up your swing.