The Thirty-A Review November 2020

t u r f t a l k

Golf Swing Speed Training b y To m F i t z p a t r i c k

I n golf, as well as tennis and baseball, there is an arm component and a body component to generating club speed. Athletes try to get the body moving as athletically as possible to generate the most torque and swiftness. Regardless of your ability, as we age it’s critical to have a ‘Fitness Maintenance Program’ in place. Bernhard Langer credits his amazing longevity to just that. Playing in pain does not offer much enjoyment. By developing your body’s flexibility, you can begin to add zip to your swing. Make these cornerstone gym exercises a part of your Swing Speed program. Core Pivot Warm Up So much revolves around our core middle area to play sports. A strong core equals a strong swing. Place a four-foot wooden pole behind your neck. You can find this at any hardware store. Now place a pool noodle under your front foot, and maintain downward pressure on it throughout this drill. Rotate your right hip behind you as you point your left shoulder and pole to the ground. Feel the right shoulder stretch open. Now go the opposite direction—while pressing down hard onto your front foot, rotate to only a ¾ follow thru. Keep your feet mostly in place for the most stretch. Backswing Stretch A simple band can be so effective in activating key golf muscle groups. Affix one near the bottom of a leg post. Stretch the cord back. Feel the pressure in both thighs going downward into the ground. The right shoulder and hip open up and float behind you. Single Arm Downswing Stretch Isolating each arm promotes the pulling and pushing forces needed to increase speed. At chest height, pull the band with your

left arm to directly in front of you. Then change hands and extend the right arm through. A big theme is to feel your shoulder lats engage as the thighs resist. Your left hip should ideally get to no more than 28 degrees open at impact. Speed Drill Try one of the light weight Speed Stick training aids. They have found that you can simply increase your swing speed by doing five successive fast swings. That means all out—as fast you can possibly swing. Increasing your swing speed by one mile per hour equates to three additional yards off the tee. The incentive to train is well worth it. What’s our focus on the golf course? Create a wide backswing

Core Pivot Warm Up

Backswing Stretch

arc. The right arm stays more on top of the left arm initially. Then ‘Feel the Arm Stretch’ to the top. Your tempo is smooth back, followed by a speedy downswing. Make your swoosh loudest just after impact and watch it fly further than ever!

Tom Fitzpatrick is a David Leadbetter certified instructor and an active realtor with Scenic Sotheby’s Intl Realty. Contact him at (850) 225- 4674 or tom@scenicsir.com

Single Arm Downswing Stretch 1

Single Arm Downswing Stretch 2

Tom Fitzpatrick

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