tofino golf exercises

Tofino Golf Exercises for the Long Beach golf course

by Chris Kennedy

Many golfers rush through their work day so that they can finish early, rush home and change, drive at breakneck speeds down the highway while talking on the cell phone and drinking a fifth of scotch, hurl themselves out of the car and pop the trunk and then run to the first tee with their clubs. They will then try and make a nice, graceful and even tempo swing whilst they feel frazzled, harried, tense and a little loopy. The ball usually ends up short of the 150 marker under a Salal bush, a plant with a primitive instinct to conceal the golf ball as though it were some rare dinosaur egg. The round starts with a lost ball and two-stroke penalty. If only, thinks the golfer, I could hit the ball with the same power and accuracy with which I throw the club after making a terrible shot.

Well, help is on the way with the following exercises that you can use at home, in the office, telephone booths and out on the driving range:

The Take-Away or Move-Away or Back-Swing or Loading-Motion:

Many golf experts and instructors are in conflict as to what you should call this move, but they are unanimous in emphasizing its importance. Some ridicule those who call it The Take-Away for making it sound as though the start of a golf swing is similar to the quick and abrupt motion of a purse-snatcher. In turn, they tell those taunting them that The Move-Away is what they wished their critics would do, preferably to a different continent. Both groups are so rattled by this conflict that they practice The Loading-Motion at the nearest bar, until they get tanked enough to take a Swing at someone, and they get thrown out of the back door.

A good way to practice the initial move back is to place a golf ball about 8 inches behind where you normally address the ball (assuming that you haven't moved away). Remember, you're trying to take the club back low and slow. This is a good drill to practice in the rec room or living room, just so you get used to hitting the ball on your initial move with the back of the club, and initiating your swing slowly and evenly. Ideally, the ball should only roll a few feet back on a direct line to your target. If the ball rockets off the back of the club on a weird tangent angle and kills a small family pet, you are probably swinging back a little too quickly.

The Start of the Down-Swing or Thru-Swing or Forward-Swing.

Again, the so-called experts can't get into agreement about what to call this move, and by this time are so agitated at one another that they threaten each other with pistol duels at dawn. They forego the bloodbath when they agree that the downswing move is usually the cause for most golfers losing power and accuracy. The problem is that the amateur golfer starts his swing forward to the ball too soon by casting the club out. Here's an easy fix: Take your normal quick and jerky backswing in a room with a low ceiling. Try to get your hands as high as possible at the top of your swing.

Now that you have created a nice hole in the ceiling tiles, you are ready to start this drill. Take a nice easy and relaxed backswing, allowing the club head to fit neatly into the slot in the ceiling at the top of your swing. Now, feel your weight shift to your left side while the club remains inert (and lodged) in the ceiling. That's it! You are letting your body initiate the forward swing! (Note: this exercise won't work outdoors, even if you bring the ceiling tile out to the course with you.)

Impact position

A nifty exercise to practice the proper position at impact is club throwing. Yes, all those years spent throwing clubs in a tantrum have actually developed a better swing! If only you had known, and not waster your time wrapping clubs around innocent trees, which now watch you warily and patiently plot their revenge.

Here's how it works. Take your normal grip, take your normal swing, and release the club at the impact position. If you do this right, the club will fly far and straight. If you do it wrong, your neighbour will give you a dirty look when you ask him if you can borrow his extension ladder so you can remove the golf club that's stuck in his chimney.


Although these types of exercises are heartily recommended by all kinds of golf and fitness experts, surprisingly few golfers actually indulge in basic stretches that would be of great benefit to their game, not to mention their overall health. Personally, I find that watching Caribbean workout of great personal help. Although I don't actually do any of the exercises, something about watching lithe and attractive women in shorts and Danskins stretching and contorting leave me feeling refreshed, yet oddly enervated.

Here are some other exercises that will help your power and coil movement:

1 Stick the Club Under your Armpits (seriously). The club is set under your arms, parallel to your feet, not vertical to the ground. Cross your arms across the club, and rotate back as you would do on your backswing, feeling the coil and loading of your weight onto your right leg. This exercise is best done in private, because it looks silly.

2 Stick the Shaft of the Club in your Navel (seriously). This is a good drill to practice a one-piece takeaway. Grip down on the club, and stick the shaft against your navel and practice the move back. Although this is a great exercise to practice a smooth and integrated takeaway it is not recommended if you have a pierced belly button ring.

3 The Half-Swing Drill. Try practicing shots out on the range, just allowing your club to go from parallel to the ground on both your backswing and forward swing. Try to concentrate on accelerating through the ball, and feeling the release of the club head at contact. Although only a half swing, try to make certain that your hips rotate, and that your hands and arms extend well. If executed properly, you will be pleasantly surprised at the distance you can achieve with such a truncated swing. You will ask yourself why you bother trying a full swing when you can achieve such accuracy and distance with such an easy and abbreviated swing. Like many of the questions we ask ourselves, there is no definite answer.

Chris Kennedy is a golf pro and instructor at the Long Beach Golf Course in Tofino. Visit the Long Beach Golfcourse website at Chris can be reached by phone at 250.725-3332.
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