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Publication: Today's Golf
Baby, It's Cold Outside

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          GOLF TIPS - Friday, December 7, 2007
 "Tips... News... And More... All For The Love Of The Game"

Fellow Duffers,

It's hard to think about golf when there is a foot of snow on
the ground but somehow we all manage to do it none-the-less.
I find myself watching the golf channel looking for any kind of
competition taking place in any corner of the world. My wife is
nice about it and indulges me. Boy do I love her.


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Wrist Flexor Stretch
By Ramsay McMaster

OK, the first exercise is to stretch the wrist flexors and I
want to point out a few areas that tend to go wrong with this
exercise. First of all when people do this wrist exercise
they will tend to bring their shoulder around, shrug the
shoulder over. We want to make sure that the shoulder stays
stable and everything is plumb lined.

So same as the golf swing, everything is working centrally,
stabilizing centrally while we are doing a peripheral 
movement and just bringing the fingers back, making sure that
we stretch all the way through, that there is no bending. The
other mistake that people make is that they do the wrist 
extension in the four fingers but they never do the thumb.
You can see that the thumb obviously has a big effect on the
golf swing, we want to bring the thumb back.

Now some people have smaller fingers, we can either bring them
all back together or you can do the four fingers and then just
do the thumb on its own. Just make sure you are not over
extending the thumb putting pressure through the joint. But the
thumb really needs to be stretched out too. I would tend to 
stretch the thumb, hook it around and pull the finger back
rather than pull on the finger itself. Pull on the base of the
thumb so that you are actually stretching the flexor rather 
than pulling on the top of the thumb.


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Wrist Extensor Stretch
By Ramsay McMaster

The second exercise is the wrist extensor flex. Once again we
set the shoulder blades and make sure the posture is right
first. A lot of people make the mistake of not stabilizing
first and just moving the hand peripherally and they probably
will do that in their golf swing as well. They will be armsy
or have a pure core position as they set up.

Everything you do should be shoulders down, belly button in,
make sure the trunk is stable first. You see Denis is bringing
his fingers back but he has also wrapped the thumb in with it,
a lot of people tend to bring the hand back and leave the thumb
out, but you have to stretch it every way.

The other thing that tends to happen and people don’t tend to
realize that these muscles go over the elbow and as they
stretch they bring the shoulder up or bend the elbow. I see a
lot of people in this bent elbow position and usually they are
very tight, in other words the muscles, soft tissue and the
nerves are tight, and if they are in this position when they
are stretching there is a fair chance that they will cause a
lot of damage to the neck and their arm because they have not
prepared their arms in a flexible position for golf.

Once again holding those stretches, do right and left, making
sure you keep the shoulder position, holding for 15 seconds on
either side. Working these exercises will make it easier to
get the desired fold in the right wrist and a little bit
flatter in the left wrist, but essentially if you lack movement
in your right wrist you are going to struggle to fold the wrist
back and flatten the left wrist out. Once again, if you are the
sort of player that has a open position at the top of the swing
where the left wrist is a little too cupped and the right wrist
is a little too straight and the clubface a little too open,
this will help you get that clubface into a slightly squarer,
less open position.


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Tight Chipping Lies
By Mike McGetrick

When you are playing golf a lot of times you have to hit chip
shots off tightly mowed grass or off the fairway. There are
two common shots that you usually have as a golfer: one is
that low bump and run and the second one is where you have to
get it up in the air off of a tight lie. When you do that I
am going to show you two techniques in the takeaway that are
going to help you.

For a low shot, when I swing the club back on my backswing, I
want very little wrist hinge. That keeps the club hooded when
I go back and then when I come through the handle leads the
clubhead, hitting a low shot. So I have a lot of arm swing
with very little wrist hinge.

Now if I want to hit it higher I do the opposite. When I set
up I will open the clubface according to how much height that
I want on the ball. Then on my backswing I will have more
wrist hinge and less arm swing. By hinging the wrists it gets
the club more upward, allowing it to work down off that tight
lie to pop the ball up in the air.

I am going to demonstrate the low shot first, I will set up
ball back, hands forward, and when I go back I have very
little wrist hinge and that gives me the low bump-and-run shot.

To go higher I am going to set up and open the face a little
more. On this shot I am going to hinge my wrists on the
backswing with very little arm swing going back. That gives me
a steeper angle of approach for hitting the ball up in the air.
So the next time you go out and practice you should practice
off of tight lies, hitting low shots and high shots to improve
your short game.

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