SwingFree: 3 Simple Steps to Better Golf
By Richard Zokol
Richard Zokol is a two-time PGA Tour champion and member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. This golf drillfrom Richard will help you attain and maintain golf specific flexibility, strength and awareness – all essential elements in making and repeating an effective golf swing.
Predator Ridge Resort recently appointed Richard as Executive Director, Golf Development. Zokol brings to Predator Ridge his wealth of professional golf credibility and personal experience to further enhance the many products & services at Predator Ridge. You may understand the mechanics of the perfect golf swing inside and out, but if your body will not let you transform that knowledge into a smooth motion, you are fighting a losing battle. Only with flexibility, strength, and coordinated motor skills specific for the golf swing – will you achieve the consistency needed for real improvement.
STEP 1 – The Starting Position
It is important to always use an actual golf club. This is what you will be using when you play – with its characteristic heft and feel – so it should be what you use when you are training. To start, adopt your usual stance before swinging. The following fundamentals are:
● Keep your knees bent and directly over the balls of your feet (not over your heels or toes)
● Bend at the waist, with your back flat and spine straight (this creates your spine angle)
● Set your feet approximately should width apart
● Weight should be on the balls of your feet (this is a natural starting position of most all athletic positions)
STEP 2 – The Completed Backswing Position
This is the complete extended position of the backswing whenyou have 75% of your weigh over the instep and ball of your right foot. If you are left-handed golfer, reverse the instruction. The fundamentals are:
● Maintain spine angle from Step 1 and rotate your torso entirely so that your back is squarely facing your target
● Keep your right knee slightly bent (do not straighten right knee).
● Left shoulder should have rotated under your chin
● Extend and stretch your hands out as far as you can (this increases your swing arch)
● Hold and breathe in this position for 20 seconds, become aware and control your centre-of-gravity
● Stop, shake it off and relax for a short period.
● Repeat from 1, three times
When you put yourself in this position, your body will not like it and it will let you know by its tight feeling and in it being difficult to maintain. After doing this drill your heart rate will increase, you will start to perspire and your breathing will shorten – all indicators of physical work.
Keep in mind, if you don’t train your body and mind for these positions, you will not be able to achieve these positions when you swing the golf club. The goal of the drill is to be able to achieve these positions automatically.
STEP 3) The Finished Follow-Through Position
After your final repetition of the Completed Backswing Position of Step 2, swing into your follow-through. Following the steps of a new proper Finished Follow-Through Position:
● Transfer your weight from the ball of right foot of Step #2 to the ball of your left foot. (be sure not to shift weight to the toes or heels of left foot)
● Simultaneous with 1, Rotate torso to the follow through while maintaining spine-angle. Most people will experience some restriction, tightness or even discomfort through holding the spine angle in this position. This is an indication that attention to stretching and centering in this position is most important
● 90% of your weigh should be on the ball of your left foot (maintain spine angle)
● With your torso and hips facing the target (maintain spine angle).
● Hands stretched out and high as possible (maintain spine angle)
● Hold and breathe this position for 20 seconds. (become aware and control your centre-of-gravity)
● Stop, shake it off and relax for a short period
● Repeat from 1,three times
The important part of this training is to become aware of your centre-of-gravity in each step. As you train each of these positions, the end result is to transfer and control the centre-of-gravity for each of these steps in a fluid golf swing motion.
Success in the drill comes from your commitment to investing in your golf swing. The freedom and power you will gain in your golf swing is the reward.
Healthy Weight Loss: A Naturopathic Approach
Dr. Ray Lendvai, Naturopathic Physician
Many people find reducing weight to a healthy level very difficult. They look for the “right” diet or supplement however it usually takes more than eating right or taking a pill. There is a lot of research on weight reduction and this research indicates that a combination of factors is required to be successful. This article outlines a program I suggest in my practice.
Successful weight reduction depends on the presence of all of these components: proper nutrition, adequate exercise, the correct natural support for the body and a positive mental attitude. A positive attitude is key to setting realistic goals, (for instance a safe reduction of 1-2 lbs per week) and more importantly fuels the commitment and creativity required to be successful. As a preparatory measure, I recommend doing a 1-2 week cleansing program. Cleansing gives the body a fresh start, and frees up energy to channel into weight reduction; it also eases the transition to healthier eating.
The ideal diet is high fiber, low calorie and includes:
- fresh fruit & vegetables – full of vitamins, minerals, and live enzymes, they naturally increase energy and are cleansing due to their fiber and water content. Organic is always the best.
- adequate protein – from plant sources and cold water fish. Protein builds lean muscle, lean muscle “burns” fat.
- whole grains – provide sustained energy, reducing the craving for sweets.
- flax seed oil – 1-2 tablespoons a day to provide essential fats.
- purified water - 6-8 glasses per day.
- no caffeine
- no soft drinks
- limited alcohol
Eat regular meals and stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime. If you need a snack, have fresh vegetable juice, a salad, or a piece of fruit. Always eat slowly and enjoy your food.
- Take a glass of warm water with half a lime or lemon on rising.
- Sip hot water throughout the day. This has a deep cleansing effect and boosts metabolism
- Take a sauna 2-3 times per week. This is especially beneficial in winter.
- When starting a weight reduction program, it is often helpful to have one liquid meal per day. There are many excellent meal replacement products or you can make your own by blending together soya milk, a cooked grain like brown rice or rolled oats, fruit of your choice, flax oil and the contents of a multivitamin/mineral capsule.
Research shows that it requires a minimum of 20 minute of aerobic exercise at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate to raise metabolism for a sustained period of time. For significant weight reduction to occur you need to exercise at this level 5-7 days/week. Always consult your physician before starting an exercise program.
Choose activities you enjoy and plan for variety to keep your interest. It’s helpful to have a few sessions with a personal trainer: they can tailor the exercise program to your fitness level and suggest modifications as it improves.
Natural Aids to Metabolism:
- L-carnitine, pantothenic acid and CoQ10 work synergistically to convert fats to energy.
- Lipotropic factors choline, methionine and inositol improve liver function and promote fat metabolism.
- Hydroxycitric acid from the Malabar tamarind (Garcinia cambogia) has been shown to inhibit fat production and to reduce appetite.
- Chromium picolinate balances sugar levels, decreases carbohydrate cravings and promotes lean muscle growth.
- In hypothyroid conditions, supplement with kelp, bladderwrack or iodine. Glandular extracts of pancreas, pituitary and thyroid can also be helpful.
There are many more possibilities for supplements than can help in weight reduction these are only a few examples a naturopathic physician can help you to create a plan specific for you.
A positive mental attitude will keep you motivated to achieve your goals. If you make a real commitment to yourself and your health and use the suggestions in this article you will experience excellent results.
Win a Girls Wellness Getaway at Sparkling Hill
Our new Girls Wellness Getaway is the perfect spa break for you and your girlfriends. Ditch the cell and forget work, it’s time to kick back.
The Girls Wellness Getaway includes:
● 2 nights accommodation in a Deluxe Lakeview room
● Tote Bag & Waterbottle for each guest
● One $100 KurSpa credit per person
● One two-course dinner for two guests
● Welcome cocktail for two guests
● Resort and spa orientation tour
Visit the Sparkling Hill Facebook page and enter to win now!
Mothers Day Brunch May 13th
Celebrate Mother’s Day with a brunch in PeakFine Restaurant. The extended breakfast menu includes house-made pastries and breads, additional hot items and lighter options.
More details online>