Benefits of Stretching to Increase Flexibility before Golf

By John Elliott

Aging and Your Golf Game

You know when you start getting older like I am, I am a little over 60, making a good golf swing and maintaining the ability to turn as you get older and your neck and your shoulders start bending and folding forward and you get a little protrusion here in front, you can see I am very sensitive about my body, but when those changes start to occur it is really important to try to work on your flexibility to keep your body moving so that your body can still produce a nice solid full rotation back and forth.

Flexibility and Rotation

That rotation in the long run is going to help you hit the ball a greater distance but even more importantly more solidly. The reason that I always have a minimum of three poles when I am out on the tee teaching is because I use these constantly to help people stretch out and I basically use them two different ways. I take the pointed end and have them put it to the left of their left side and just stand up straight. I ask them to show me their early morning turn and I will see about this. That is not a bad turn but then as we keep on doing it you can see that this turn has gotten a lot larger from the initial couple of turns. That means that I am winding the clock if you will. Winding me up a little more. The tighter I tighten the spring the faster it un-spring through the ball, well that is your power. If you are making a turn that is only this large you have not stretched the muscles at all so for you to have power you are going to have to be really lucky.

Wind Yourself

But when you wind yourself up, so this is the back wind and this would be the forward unwind. When you do a good unwind a couple of things will happen. One you will feel a tremendous amount of pressure on the outside of your left ankle. In fact all of the pressure goes to the outside of that left ankle simply because it is the point you are rotating around. Let me show you that again. I am back here and there is no pressure on this leg at all now but when I conclude and my right leg has caught up to my left there is a tremendous amount of pressure on my left foot, even to a point where it has lifted my left foot off of the ground. Let me show you that again, here I am turned and here I am un-turning. All the pressure is now on the outside of my left ankle.

Shoulder Rotation

My shoulders have un-turned more than 90 degrees, this would be 90, I have about 105 degrees of un-turning. Tiger Woods has about 130 degrees of un-turning. When you wonder where some of that power comes from he has a great coil turn and then he has an even greater un-turn or un-coil and I use the poles to help people do that. The second way I use these is I have them grip them. You take a split grip and you hold the pole in front of you. If you think swinging a golf club is difficult try swinging a pole because the pole with its weight will help you learn to turn more fully. It also slows down a fast swing and if you ever want to see where you are supposed to release the club watch where my hands and arms turn over. Way over here in front of me. Those of you who do not hit it very far your hands and arms are releasing and turning back here. That is hard to do with this pole because it gets really heavy, but when you are using it properly with a good pivot you can hear the swish over here, you can see the release over here, but most importantly you saw two things, a good coil and a good uncoil. Keep coiling.

About the Instructor