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To Improve Your Golf Swing Power, Be a Tree!

Proper balance is probably the most overlooked key to a powerful golf swing. Although most instructors teach their students about good balance, the student can take this concept a step further through the study of the martial arts.

I trained for eight years in the martial art of Pai Lum Kung Fu, and proper balance was stressed throughout my training, from my days as a beginner student, and even beyond when I attained 1st Degree Black Belt. However, in our training, we focused on every possible detail regarding balance, from the feet, to proper stance width, posture and center of gravity. These are all important keys to developing power in our Kung Fu techniques, and they are important keys to helping golfers develop more power in their golf swings as well.

In describing the swing of J.B. Holmes, noted golf instructor David Leadbetter has this to say…” Starting down, his legs get into a squat position, which lets him use the ground as resistance and create an unbelievable energy flow from his legs, up through his shoulders and down into his arms and the club.”

Using the ground as resistance and the creation of energy flow from the legs are two important components we focused on for generating power in our techniques at the kung fu school.

To increase the power in our punching techniques, my teacher often stressted getting our feet rooted into the ground. We devote an entire breathing exercise that lasts about five minutes to this concept of rooting. Later in our training, we were taught to focus on a specific spot on the bottom of our foot where our balance will be rooted into the ground. This spot will also draw energy from the earth into our body, and then we learn how to transfer this energy into our technique. When you develop this ability, you become capable of generating incredible bower with minimal movement.

To locate this specific spot on the bottom of your foot, take a moment to sit down, and take off your shoes and socks. On the bottom of your feet you will notice thick pads, that are often described as the balls of the feet. The biggest of these pads is under the area beneath the big toe. Next to this large pad is an area that looks like a small hollow. Take your thumb and push into this hollow firmly. If you feel a nice jolt of pain, you have found the right spot! If not, keep searching until you feel that bit of pain. In Chinese medicine, this spot is known as Kidney Point 1, and it is viewed as a very significant healing point, even for a heart attack victim.

Now that we have identified this point, we want to take this information and transfer it into our golf swing. So, with your shoes off, find a spot on a hard floor and get into your golf stance (without a club of course). As you get yourself set into your golf stance, focus hard on these specific points in the bottom of your feet. These are the points where you should focus your balance.

Now I want you to feel a sort of corkscrewing motion, starting with that spot in the bottom of your feet, then feel it up into your knees, then into your hips. You should feel as if you are trying to screw the bottom of your foot into the ground, and then the hips tuck under your torso, and maybe move forward a little bit (we also refer to this as a curling of the hips). Practice a few times at home with your shoes off, then try getting that same feeling with your golf shoes on (preferably not indoors or you will have some damaged floors!). At the start of your downswing, it is critical that you engage the hips first. Engaging the hips in this manner will help them clear out the path for the golf club more quickly, generating more power.

Posture also plays a significant role in developing proper balance. Although we want to feel as if we are rooted into the ground like a tree, we certainly do not want to stand straight up in our golf stance, nor do we want to be bent over too far in our stance. Generally speaking, if we draw a straight line up from the ground to the sky at the back our hips, we then want to be bent at the hips so that our spine is angled about 30 degrees from that straight line. Find a photo of Tiger Woods’ stance and you have a perfect picture of what I describe. This stance allows the arms plenty of room to swing freely in the golf swing.

Finally, it is important to maintain a low center of gravity throughout your golf swing. You will often hear football announcers describe how a running back is difficult to tackle because he has a low center of gravity. The martial artist looks to develop that low center of gravity as well, in order to generate power in his punches. The golfer will lose power by rising up in his/her golf swing.

To make sure you keep your center of gravity as low as possible, it is important to learn how to relax your abdomen during the golf swing. In other words, let your gut sag instead of sucking it in! This will require you to learn how to breathe so that you fill up all three levels of your lungs (lower, middle, upper), rather than just the upper level of your lungs. By learning how to breathe in this manner, you will learn how to maintain a low center of gravity even while holding your breath at the beginning of the swing (you should learn how to exhale during the downswing).

If you can learn how to develop proper posture and balance in this manner, you will have success in improving the power of your golf swing.

Copyright (c) 2009 Scott Cole

A Few Benefits to a Golf Simulator

Maybe bad weather has prevented you from playing, or you simply are too embarrassed to get out onto the course when it is busy. Whatever the situation, a golf simulator will enable you to develop and perfect your swing and technique before getting outside and doing the real thing. Certainly, there are many different golf simulator benefits, so let’s look at these now.

Most golf simulators on the market can be set up anywhere within your house, assuming the area is large enough to hold the entire playing enclosure. This enclosure will feature a green carpet and a large screen that will display one of the many courses available. The simulator uses a variety of sensors to realistically portray where your ball will end up, as if you were playing on a real course.

Certainly, one of the main benefits of using a system like this is the fact that you will be able to play many of the best golf courses around the world. If you have ever had an itch to play at St Andrews, or would like to take a shot at Pebble Beach, then one of these simulators can take you there. You can put yourself into the action no matter where you live.

You can also create perfect conditions when you play on a simulator. As you know, golf is affected by many different variables such as wind, rain, sun, time of day and length of grass. Within the simulator, you can control all these variables and can create perfect conditions to really help practice your game.

In addition, it is an excellent tool that will enable you to improve your game even when you are injured. Perhaps you are unable to actually make it out onto the course? No matter, you can simply fire up your simulator and continue to work on your game anyway.

Of course at the same time you will be able to use your own personal clubs and can develop your club selection. Due to the fact that you will be playing on a simulation of a real course, you can take the same shot over and over again, and this will help you to work out what club is best for what distance and situation. As such, your decision-making will also be developed.

As a side benefit, you will also be able to use the simulator in order to entertain your friends and family. They will be impressed by the fact that you have a golf simulator set-up within your home, but they will really love the fact the simulator doubles as a home theater, with an HD projector and giant big screen.

All in all, anyone who wants to improve their golf game and give themselves the opportunity to practice whenever they desire, should really consider one of these simulators.

Accessories To Play Golf Indoors

Playing golf is one way that you can relax your mind and escape from your hectic and busy life. Seeing the green backdrop and beautiful landscape will surely help in calming the tension that you feel inside. But sometimes, you really do not have time to go into faraway golf courses to enjoy the game of golf. But for an avid golf fan like you, you do have some ways for you to be able to play the sport even at home. Indoor golf is such a nice idea for sure. What you need to do is to buy the accessories and equipment needed to play the game well indoors. There are some tips that will guide you on what to pick for this activity.

INDOOR PUTTING GREEN

One of the most important that you need to consider is an indoor putting green. It will replace the vast and wide golf course filled with grass, trees and sand traps. The good thing about this is, it is still colored green that can help relax your mind. But before you buy an indoor putting green, you have to make sure that the available space at home or the office will be measured. Make sure that the one that you will buy can fit in inside.

PUTTER POOL

A putter pool is one tool that is not really an item for golf but it is very much similar with both pool and golf. This one is very fun to play with. So if you want o have an adventure and fun filled house, you can get a putter pool and play it with your friends and family.

SET OF GOLF CLUBS

Even if you are at home, you still need golf clubs to play the game with an indoor putting green. A new set of golf clubs will help you practice your swing while at home. A new set may include irons, woods and putter. The good thing here is that you can use these clubs indoors as well as outdoors. If you will be able to find time, you can bring this set in a real golf course and play with real golf players too. One thing that you just need to remember is that the golf clubs must match your size. Thus, you have to compare the clubs with your height and arm length.

INDOOR SWING GROOVER

Your swing is very vital in hitting the golf balls accurately. Thus, you need to practice it with an indoor swing groover. It will help you improve the way you swing the golf clubs. There are electronic indoor swing groover that you can buy if you have extra cash to spurge.

Not all the time will you be free to go to real golf courses and play golf. But it does not mean that you can never experience the fun and excitement of golf every day since you may buy indoor golf tools and accessories. To choose the best, make use of the tips mentioned. These will surely guide you on what to choose.