Yesterday may have been Groundhog Day, but it’s no time to be slacking if you want lower golf scores this season. That means you can’t be hibernating like that groundhog!
There are many things you can do to improve your golf game in the off-season. What I want to focus on today is FLEXIBILITY.
If you are like me, you HATE stretching. It doesn’t feel good at all while you are doing it, but man, the benefits are pretty significant. Here are some significant benefits to stretching.
I would venture to guess that the average golfer over 50 probably hasn’t done any legitimate stretching since gym class in high school. Sure, you may loosen up before the round, but that won’t provide you with long term improvements in your flexibility.
If you want to increase your flexibility, you need to set aside about 45 minutes at least two days each week, and preferably three. That’s how long it takes to hit every important muscle group from the neck on down to the ankles.
For your golf swing, you already know that increased flexibility can only help. And, it can allow you to play the game at a fairly high level at an advanced age.
One of the greatest golfers of all time, who remained very competitive at an advanced age was Sam Snead. He was so flexible, that he could kick the top of a doorway into his 70s.
Look at Gary Player. He can still make a pretty full swing and he just turned 81 a few months ago. Wouldn’t it be cool to still play some pretty decent golf at that age?
If there is one muscle group that you MUST stretch regularly, it’s the hamstrings. Tight hamstrings are known to be a significant factor for many people who have back issues. The hamstrings are also critical in the golf swing for maintaining your posture in the swing.
This photo shows you an easy way to stretch your hamstring, particularly if you already have some back issues. Remember, it is critical that there is no bend in the knee. Once you get the foot in position as shown above, focus on pushing the center of your chest toward your knee. Take it to a point where it feels uncomfortable and hold that position for 15 seconds. Then try to take a little further, and hold for another 15 seconds. NEVER EVER bounce while you stretch. That is a sure way to cause an injury.
Ultimately, you’ll want to improve the flexibility in your neck, shoulders, chest, back, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calfs, and you’ll also want to be sure to work on loosening those important joints in the hands, wrists, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. You can find an entire stretching routine here.
As we age, it gets harder to stay flexible. That’s just a fact of life. But, if you work at it, you can slow down that process and still play some good golf at an advanced age.
Get to it!