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Tuition

Yoga

In the Bag

The experienced pros of Four Seasons Golf Club provide simple tips to score better on the golf course

Our expert shows you a few simple poses which are bound to strengthen your lower back muscles.

We give you a preview of Diablo, the latest driver and fairway woods from Callaway, and new, stylish offerings from Oscar Jacobson.

MAY 2009 Middle East Golfer 51


RAISEYOURGAME

How to avoid a putting breakdown Jason Froggatt of Four Season’s, MEG’s Instructor of the Year, works his short-game magic ONE OF the most common faults I see with poor putters is inconsistent contact at impact, generally caused by the breakdown of the left wrist. I recommend the following simple drill to help stabilize the wrists through the stroke. Practice Drill: Place a ball on the ground, grip a little further down the handle of the putter than normal with the left hand and lodge another ball between the handle

and your left wrist. Add your right and set up to the ball on the ground - you might have to bend your knees a little more than normal as a result of gripping further down the handle. Now make the stroke. Any breaking down of the wrists will result in the upper ball dropping to the ground. Once you putt repeatedly without causing the ball to drop, you’ve cracked it. Take the lodged ball away and continue with the same action.

RIGHT: GROUNDED Notice how the ball rolls immediately off the putter face resulting in the ball adhering to your chosen line of putt.

WRONG: LIFT-OFF With the shaft leaning back at impact your will see the ball off ground, this resulting in the bouncing ball rolling and most probably off line at the stage.

52 Middle East Golfer MAY 2009


U-swing, or the V-swing... MOST amateur golfers I know come to me for a lesson in the belief that longer and straighter shots off the tee will make all the difference to their game. While powerful and accurate driving is a key part of any golfer’s armory, the long game will not automatically lead to a reduction in handicap. An improvement in a player’s

short game will, however, have the desired effect, and at a much quicker pace. Using your levers correctly will help control your trajectory. A lot of mistrikes we see stem from very active hands, so a little leverage with will help with more air time against less leverage in the wrist.

THE V-SWING: Feeling your arm and shaft almost as one unit will result in a lower flight

THE U-SWING: A little more wrist cock in the backswing will produce a higher flight for those tighter pin positions

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Look like you mean business Good posture and a neutral grip are common in all good golfers. I cannot empahsize enough how important it is to iron out any flaws in your set-up. Setting your spine correctly will make your body more stable and allow you to turn your upper body in the

RIGHT: Here I have set my posture correctly, I have tilted forward using my hips, allowing my lower back to remain straight. My arms are now hanging in a relaxed position.

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correct manner, one of the keys to consistant ball striking. Below I have used a wooden pole to show how to set your spine angle, however you can get the same effect by using a golf club.

WRONG: Meet “sloppy Joe�, instead of tilting from the hips, I have mearly crouched over the ball bending from my waist. Poor posture will only result in poor strikes.


RAISEYOURGAME

Maintain your spine angle Once you have set your posture, you can now focus on keeping the same angles throughout the swing. Again using the pole, it is easy to feel the correct movement required in the backswing where the shoulders rotate around a perfect posture.

GOOD ROTATION: See how my upper body has wound up over a resisting lower body. My shoulders have rotated fully into a powerful coil. This is only achievable with a good posture

An easy way to achieve this is to ensure that your shoulders work “around and down� during the backswing, see the good and bad examples of this below. (RICHARD SHERIDAN is a teaching professional at Four Seasons Golf Club and current leader of UAE PGA Tour)

BAD ROTATION: Due to my hunched posture I am unable to rotate, my swing becomes hands and arm dominant and I am now in a very weak position

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RAISEYOURGAME

Playing away from trouble Pick your Tee spot better, Take a moment to look at the hole layout and identify where trouble comes into play for you. Just walking up to the tee and putting the ball on

a peg and hitting away may bring some trouble into play that could have been avoided. (RICHARD DUMMLER is a teaching pro at Four Seasons)

TAKING THE RISK: Here is an example of allowing trouble to come into play just by teeing the ball in the wrong place. This allows the water on the right to come into play even if you hit a great shot.

PLAYING SAFE: By moving to the right side of the Tee Box or the side that trouble is on, you will be hitting away from the trouble rather than at it. Great shot or a bit of a miss from this position will allow the ball to stay in play resulting in the ball staying in play and fewer penalty strokes

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RAISEYOURGAME

Playing away from trouble Your aim in both situations is very important as well, the tee box may not be aligned at where you want to hit the ball so once the trouble is identified and tee spot selected, check your aim.o’clock position. Finally, try the complete

swing. Of course, do try the 8 o’clock to 4 o’clock as well, and the dainty 7 to 5. With every different swing, keep an eye on the distance you carry with both the sand and the pitching wedge.

FAVOURABLE: Here is an example of your vision avenue “V” when you tee on the side of trouble and hit away from it. Visually you see less water and more grass resulting in a more relaxed swing attitude and most likely a better shot, which can lead to saving a stroke or two

LESS FAVOURABLE: Teeing the ball from the left side of the box gives a vision avenue “V” of more water than grass putting more pressure on your swing production

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RAISEYOURGAME

YOGA FOR LOWER BODY STRENGHT

Increasingly, amateur golfers around the world are realising the necessity for adhering to a regular exercise regimen at least thrice a week to ensure two things – that they stay clear of injuries; which are bound to happen as you play, and to strengthen their bodies in order to increase their on-course performance. Before we go into the exercises, let’s understand a little bit about exercise physiology. There are basically three types of exercise models – isostatic (mainly yogasanas and other holding exercises), isometric (simple movement exercises such as squats) and isokinetic (movement exercises done on specific complex machines). Modern research has proven that a combination of isostatic exercises with free-weight isometric exercises is the best to create a lean, toned body without a risk of injury or making you age rapidly! In this article, we review a series of yogic postures designed to strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and gluteus muscles. People who suffer from knee and ankle problems need to consult their doctor, physiotherapist or a qualified yoga therapist before embarking on this routine. If there is pain in the joints, stop immediately and resume exercising only when the pain has gone. Enjoy yoga! Enjoy golf!

One of the areas of the body that most golfers would like to have more strength in are the legs. It’s the legs that provide the base balance and stability as you go through your swing. If your lower body is weak then you can be sure that you will feel very tired as you come to the end of your round. A strong base also helps you generate more power. Now you can strengthen the legs with a few simple Yogic Asanas (physical yoga postures).

NATRAJASANA

TADASANA

(LORD NATARAJA POSE)

(PALM TREE POSE)

• Stand with your feet far apart and your hands on your waist. • Bend your knees, keep your back straight. Make sure your knees are turned outwards and your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. • Stretch your arms straight above your head and join the palms. • Hold the posture for 30 secs, then start practising 15-25 wide-leg squats.

• • • •

Keep feet in line with your shoulders. Distribute weight equally on both feet. Raise the arms over the head. Breathe in, stretch the arms, shoulders and chest upwards. Bring your palms together. • Raise the heel and stand on your toes. Fix the eyes at a point to keep your balance. • Hold the posture for 30 secs, then start practising 15-25 calf raises on each leg.

UTKATASANA (CHAIR SITTING POSE)

LOCATION COURTESY: EMIRATES GOLF CLUB

• Stand straight with feet shoulder-width apart. • Slowly bend knees until thighs are almost parallel to floor. Keep hips low. • Hands can be stretched out in front, with palms together or raised towards ceiling. • Hold posture for at least 30 seconds. With practice, you can hold this for 1 minute. Tip: After holding Utkatasana for 30 secs – 1 min, immediately start practising 15-25 Squats.

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EK PAD UTTANASANA (ONE LEG RAISED POSED)

• Stand straight and keep focussed on a point. • Place your hands on your hips. • Inhale and slowly start to raise your left leg upwards and hold the position for 30 secs -1 min. Breathe normally. • Slowly bring the foot back to the floor. • Repeat on the other leg.

VEERABHADRASANA (WARRIOR POSE)

• Stand straight with legs wide apart and hands on hips. • Turn one leg and upper body to one side and bend front knee. • Raise arms straight up over head, palms together. • Lower hips and bend backwards as much as possible. • Be aware of the muscles of thigh, calf and foot. • Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat with other leg. Tip: After holding Veerabhadrasana for 30 secs – 1 min, immediately start practising 15-25 Lunges on each leg.

VYAGHRASANA (TIGER POSE)

• Kneel down and place palms on the floor. • Look straight ahead. • Raise one leg straight up and keep it parallel to the floor. • Inhale and bend the knee of the raised leg. • Slowly raise the knee as high as possible. • Contract the hamstring and hip muscles as tight as you can. • Maintain the posture for 30 seconds to a minute. • Repeat on the other side. Tip: After holding Vyaghrasana for 30 secs – 1 min, immediately start practising 15-25 leg raises (gluteus) on each leg. Tip: After holding pose for 30 secs, start practising 15-25 squats. Manish Pole is the Director of Instruction at Yoga-for-Sports, which is a one-of-its-kind sports fitness and well being initiative founded by Dubai-based Alok Khanna dedicated to the various sports disciplines. The Yoga-for-Golf clinics are created by Yoga Guru - Bharat Thakur, and are taught at leading golf clubs in the UAE. To find out more, contact: info@yogaforsports.net, or text Y4G to 050 3641613

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Raise Your Game