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Easy Golf Exercises, Better Golf
Nick Dougherty

You don't have to spend half your life in a gym to exercise and develop the muscles that you need to make a good golf swing.

If you can find ten minutes just three or four times a week to rehearse the exercises you see me demonstrating here, you will notice a difference in your performance on the course.

1) Whether you play regularly or once every couple of weeks, you I will do your game a huge favour if you set aside just a few minutes two or three times a week to rehearse these golf-specific exercises.

All you need is a golf club and sufficient space in which to make a swing. I often kick off with this arm-and-shoulder stretch, using my right arm to pull the left fully across the chest, and holding this for a few seconds.

Then I repeat it on the other side. Ten of these - left and right -loosens the rotator cuffs nicely.

2) Because I stretch on a fairly regular basis, I can cross my I legs and bend over fully to touch my toes quite comfortably.

You may find that it takes a while to reach this level of flexibility, so don't worry if at first you cannot quite reach.

Go at your own pace.

Crossing your legs and bending from the hips stretches both the calf and hamstring muscles in the legs, and improves the suppleness of your body generally.

3) More leg work. Stand up straight and simply bend your I knee and pull your foot up behind your body like this.

Pull and hold the stretch until you feel the burn.

Repeat this five times and then switch to exercise on the other leg. This really gets the blood flowing, pepping up the legs to provide the athletic foundation to your swing.

4) Fly turns. This is a take on the basic-pivot exercise. Holding the I club with your arms out-stretched like this gives you a terrific sense of making a big shoulder turn.

The key - as always - is to sense that you turn your upper body against the resistance in the right knee and thigh.

Hold this position for a second or two and then unwind to a nicely balanced finish.

5) This is a great exercise to do at home in front of the TV - and one that will really develop the strength in your wrists and forearms.

All you need is a club, which you then grip either up near the butt or further towards the middle of the shaft, depending on your own strength level.

Naturally, the higher up the grip, the heavier the head feels as you rotate the club to trace a semi-circle. Stabilise your arm with your free hand, and repeat five sweeps back and forth.

6) My warm-up sessions usually end with this back-and-through pivot drill. I pull a club tight across the back of my shoulders and simply work on the quality of my turning motion.

I try to get the left shoulder through 90 degrees in the backswing (left) and the right shoulder through 90 degrees as I unwind into the follow-through. I am also very much aware of turning my hips, particularly as I unwind.

Making the left hip rotate and disappear behind me encourages good downswing moves.

7) Once I have limbered up, I often begin my practice sessions with this 'pre-set' drill. It's a terrific way of getting the feeling for a solid swing without thinking too much about the mechanics involved.

Using a 6- or 7-iron, the first thing you need to do is establish a good set-up, your body nicely poised with your weight on the balls of your feet. Creating and then maintaining these angles is key. From here, the idea is to then hinge up your wrists to pre-set a full wrist action.

Keep your arms and body as quiet as you can as you hinge your wrists to angle the club up and then simply turn your upper body to complete a solid backswing.

Believe it or not, that easy two-step move gets you into a perfect position at the top - wrists fully hinged, shaft nicely supported, the arms and body in harmony. From here, re-rotating the left hip back towards the target initiates the downswing, and you can unwind all the way to a balanced finish. Check that your weight is on the left side, belt buckle left of the target, right heel up off the ground.

As you begin to feel confident, hit shots with this drill.


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