While that bucket-list golf vacation is temporarily benched, golfers can still play the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links via an online simulation and sharpen their skills with tips from a renowned golf pro.
To help golfers keep primed for their return to the course, Laird Small, director of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy at Pebble Beach Resorts, has shared some simple tips that can be done from the comfort of home. But before getting started, set the scene by tuning into Pebble Beach’s live cam that captures the crashing surf and spectacular mountain backdrop surrounding the 18th hole – the most famous finishing hole in golf.
· Maintain rotational flexibility – The tension created in this exercise opens up the chest and can help add much needed rotation to your swing.
1. Face the doorway to your bathroom.
2. With your shoulders back, extend your right arm out and place your right hand flat against the door frame. It should be at shoulder height.
3. Hold your hand in place and turn your upper body to the left. Your trail arm will stay behind you.
For the left-handed golfer:
1. Face the doorway to your bathroom.
2. With your shoulders back, extend your left arm out and place your left hand flat against the door frame. It should be at shoulder height.
3. Hold your hand in place and turn your upper body to the right. Your trail arm will stay behind you.
· Keep your head down – This exercise will train you to keep your body in position throughout your swing and keep your head down from back swing to follow-through.
1. Get a hand towel from the bathroom and fold it three to five times.
2. Stand facing a wall in your hotel room and get into golf posture. You should be at least one foot from the wall.
3. Lean forward and place your forehead against the wall, cushioned by the towel.
4. Cross your arms over your chest, with the fingertips of each hand touching the opposite shoulder.
5. Proceed to make turns back and forth, starting with your left shoulder down and your right shoulder up.
6. Continue for 30 seconds to one minute while keeping the towel in place.
· Add width to your swing – A simple exercise like this will assist in arm extension and position you for the top of your back swing.
1. Stand in the middle of the door frame to the bathroom.
2. Take your golf posture
3. Reach for the top of the door jamb
Of course, stretching is key, too. Here are a few ways to stay nimble on the road, according to Small:
· Joint Caps
1. Place your left arm straight across your chest, pointing to your right.
2. With your right arm, reach underneath the left elbow and pull into your chest
3. Hold for five seconds.
4. Be sure to keep the left shoulder down, preventing it from shrugging up toward the left ear.
5. Repeat on the right arm.
· Shoulder Blades – In golf, all the forces are pulling away from you. It’s therefore important to strengthen your back so it can support the stress exerted by the rest of the body.
1. Extend arms outward on each side, creating a letter “T” with the body.
2. Get into your golf posture, keeping your arms extended outward.
3. Position your hands with your palms down and your thumbs pointed forward.
4. Pull your shoulder blades together and down, as if you were trying to put them in your back pockets. This is called “scapular retraction.”
5. In this position, do 30 to 40 arm circles.
6. Once completed, rotate your hands with your palms up and thumbs pointed behind you.
7. Do another 30 to 40 arm circles.
· Hips and Lower Back
1. Sitting on the floor, extend your left leg straight out in front of you and cross your right foot over your left knee, placing it on the floor next to your knee cap.
2. Place your left elbow between your right knee and your chest, and place your right hand flat on the ground directly behind you.
3. Twist the body to the right, using your left arm to push against your right knee. Ideally, your left shoulder will be pointed in the same direction as your left leg, which is extended in front of you.
4. Hold the position for five to 10 seconds.
5. Complete the same stretch using the opposite leg and arm.