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
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.
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.
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.)
A nifty exercise to practice the proper position at impact is club
throwing. Yes, all those years spent throwing clubs in a tantrum have
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
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
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
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 www.longbeachgolfcourse.com Chris can be reached by phone at 250.725-3332.