Archive for the ‘Recreation’ Category

Golf Column: Use the ground for leverage

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Your Pros Corner 300x155 Golf Column: Use the ground for leverageYour Pro’s Corner

By Ron Parish, PGA Director of Golf, Lone Tree Golf Course

I passed on a quote I heard from the great instructor Jim Flick at a training seminar in last months article, “Golf demands you learn the game on it’s timeline”, well worth reflecting on if you seem to be practicing hard and not having much in return. Remember, trial and error are part of the game and part of learning.

Tributes to Mr. Flick continue this month and one thing he would strongly emphasize in his teaching was “Use the ground for leverage”. I find this focus is very worthwhile for many reasons but in particular, I think the average golfer benefits more from this emphasis then some of the mainstream current Tour Pro concepts.

For starters, realize that this is an idea that the great Jack Nicklaus embraced (Mr. Flick worked with Jack regularly) and used in his own game to be one of the most powerful hitters in his day and of all time. What does this mean, use the ground for leverage? Well for starters, where are the biggest muscles in your body? They are in your legs and “tuck-us”. So if we are going to get power effortlessly doesn’t it make sense to use these muscles and not just the hands, arms, and upper torso? Especially for your average Joe who can’t get to the gym everyday. To understand using the ground for leverage, here are some other sports’ motions where the legs are used that are worthwhile comparing to and can help shed understanding for how this power can be created:

  • A field goal kicker using his “plant” leg

  • A baseball pitcher shifting off the mound

  • Snow skier shifting into the next turn.

  • Hockey player shifting or stopping on the edge of their skate

  • A hip throw in judo

All of the above utilize the body’s weight shifting with the strength and leverage that the legs and lower body can balance, store, and transfer. And when it transfers, it is amazing what power can be generated no matter what your size (fyi: Jack Nicklaus isn’t that tall or big). So above are some analogies, now some drills for you to try and go out and see if you can discover and dial into this concept:

  1. 1/2 and 3/4 wedges with leg work. It’s like learning to dance. Got to start slow and small before you get going to fast. Hit half a bucket of balls and vary the distance on your wedges, only hitting anywhere from 40% to 80% your full wedge distance. Vary the distance on every shot. I recommend a sand wedge. As you do this. Just listen to your legs and how the weight shifts back and forth. If you do it right, you will find that the rest of your body (the torso turn, the arms and hands swinging) will synchronize with your legs. Hit it a little fat or thin? Out of synch I will bet you. As you continue with this, keep the grip pressure light and really try and power the shot with the shift of your weight. I bet you will learn something.

  2. Step drill. Tee up a ball with a 7 iron. Set up to the ball with a normal stance but before swinging, bring the front foot all the way back to the back foot so that you are standing with feet together. Keep the knees flexed. Then start the swing back. Going forward, to hit the ball you are going to have to “step” off the back foot to get to the ball. You will really learn about the role of the back leg and foot here. Also a lot about timing. If the ball goes let of your intended line, you will have started the forward swing with your upper body. If your ball goes right of your intended line (not many do this) the lower body will have pushed to hard to start the forward swing or have started too soon. However, You are going to have to “step” forward before you completer your backswing. Play with this. Step earlier one time then the other. You will learn a lot. Allow your hands to have some hinge while you step forward. This is called loading or lagging and Guys like Sergio Garcia and Greg Norman used this to generate power. Great drill, but only do it for a portion of your bucket. I’ve found if it gets over practiced you can develop too much of a lateral motion.

  3. Heal lift” on the driver drill. Ok this one is fun. To use the ground for leverage, the weight has to coil and shift to the back leg during the swing. I think this drill really teaches that. Take the driver and set up to a teed up ball as normal. Before taking the club back, lift up the heal of the front/target foot. As soon as the heel is up (the weight will naturally shift back to your back foot) start the swing and go ahead and hit the ball. What you are going to notice is that you “really” get into your back leg this way. And if you get into it on the backswing, you are going to be able to shift off of it for the forward swing and understand what it is to use the ground for leverage.

Hey, you are going to have some swings on drill #2 and #3 that get out of synch, so don’t beat yourself up if you send one or two off line or thin/fat. That is all part of the learning. But if you pay attention, you are going to figure out what it means to use the ground for leverage and how to generate power from this concept. One last point, the key is to synchronize it. What’s that mean? Everything is in balance and working together. You will start to notice this more and more. One thing I think helps is to keep in mind that when Jack was asked what he wanted to do to hit one really big, he would always say, “I would take more time to swing”. Notice he didn’t say he would swing faster or harder, he just took more time to complete his swing and use his powerful legs

Thank you for all you do for Golf and for Lone Tree Golf Course and Event Center. Please help grow the game and invite someone new to join you in 2013! The game needs you ……and them.

Your Pro,

Ron Parish, PGA

If you are interested in reviewing other articles from Coach Ron go to www.lonetreegolfcourse.com under “The Course” tab.

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Late Night Adult Skate Night at Paradise Skate Roller Rink this Saturday

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

March9thParadiseSkate Late Night Adult Skate Night at Paradise Skate Roller Rink this Saturday

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Boating course to be taught in Antioch in March

Saturday, February 2nd, 2013

Sailboats on the Delta 6 04 1024x768 Boating course to be taught in Antioch in March

Diablo Sail and Power Squadron – America’s Boating Course. Experienced people helping YOU be a safe boater.

March 16th and 23rd – A Two-Day Course.  Classes are open to the public and designed for ALL BOATERS.

BOAT HANDLING AND ELEMENTARY SEAMANSHIP; REGULATIONS, EQUIPMENT, AND SAFE OPERATION; NAVIGATION RULES and AIDS TO NAVIGATION; ADVERSE CONDITIONS, MARINE RADIO OPERATION AND COMMUNICATIONS.

For more information on America’s Boating Course and the Diablo Sail and Power Squadron, call (925) 377-BOAT (2628).

Online registration is available at www.diablosquadron.org

Location: Bridge Marina Yacht Club

20 Fleming Lane, Antioch, CA.

COST: $68 includes text and educational materials as well as lunch

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You’re invited to join the MaxMuscle Running Team

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

MaxMuscle RoadRunner Youre invited to join the MaxMuscle Running Team

How will you achieve your goals in 2013? Start with our Max Muscle Sports Nutrition Brentwood/Antioch Running TEAM!  We have teamed up with Road Runner Sports, the home of the world’s largest selection of running and walking gear. In a little more than one week from now, we will be holding a BY-INVITE-ONLY running clinic for the running enthusiasts!  LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE!  You MUST contact us and be confirmed in order to participate Inbox us or email MaxMuscleBrentwood@yahoo.com if you are interested!

*** LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE ***

MaxMuscle is located at 5887 Lone Tree Way, Antioch.

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Dynamic balance in your routine at address and through the swing

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Dynamic” according to Webster’s Dictionary, definition #3: of energy, motion, or force in relation to force.

Your Pro’s Corner

By Ron Parish, PGA Director of Golf, Lone Tree Golf Course

Ron Parish golf column 300x158 Dynamic balance in your routine at address and through the swingHave you ever made a swing and it seems like you have to strain with your hands and arms to get enough power for the shot? Or you get stuck on the way down and then slap at the ball? You don’t end in balance and the ball doesn’t go as you intend. I see a lot of beginning and intermediate golfers trying to be perfect and under the misconception that locking or straining your muscles, giving a feeling of control is what you are supposed to do to make a good swing.

The concept of dynamic balance and being synchronized can help address this misconception (Important Note: with this discussion there is the assumption that the grip, alignment, and ball position fundamentals are all in place). To understand dynamic balance and its role in the golf swing, let’s start with some analogous comparisons with other sports.

Tennis: When waiting to receive and return a serve, what do top tennis players do? They’re in the ready position with feet shoulder width, knees slightly bent and in balance, spine aligned, and they are ready to move. They start shifting their feet right before the server launches their serve. Baseball: Stealing second base. Runners getting ready to make the jump to second shift their weight back and forth between their feet. It is very small, subtle and quick, but if they don’t do this they will be slow on the jump or get stuck. Playing catch. Two players throwing a ball back and forth stays in constant motion and balance; think about it. Snow skiing: Right before launching from the starters gate snow skiers move their skis back and forth to get the whole body working together, legs working with torso, and arms.

All of the above are references at the start of the given motions and each are “athletic positions” and “dynamic” or “of energy, motion, or force in relation to force”. A good concept to convey to the golf swing. I always remember Jimmy Connors shuffling his feet before receiving a serve. Why do Jimmy and other athletes do this? Because the last thing they want is to be stagnate or stuck with their body motion; if that happens, only parts of their body can make the move and not the entire body working together. The little shifting back and forth allows them to move with their whole body working together and in balance. Watch really good golfers up close and you will notice this. It is in a more subtle manner, but they have honed their routines so that they stay athletic and “in motion” and “in balance” (better to notice in person then on television). A great player to watch who you can see stay athletic despite television, is Tom Lehman on the Senior Tour. Watch his set up and routine. There is a smooth rhythm to it, several looks to the target which is a good thing, a little shifting back and forth that keeps the muscle supple, ready, all in tune with the body’s weight shifting, followed by a great, powerful athletic move.

To learn a feel for this dynamic balance and motion try the following:

  • Work on and know your routine. Hit balls on the range and practice just like you play on the course, start from behind the ball and walk into each shot; learn your routine and what you feel comfortable with and always stay in motion. Take this routine to the course, it will help.

  • Know and develop your trigger. As you start your swing, learn what it is that really starts it. This will take time. It is different for everybody. Ernie Els uses a press of his hands and arms towards the target. Sam Snead had the same thing but tied it into his feet and legs. I trigger with my feet and legs. Gary Player kicked in his right knee. Jack Nicklaus the turning of his head and a firming of his left side. A trigger is a little shifting of weight towards the target and the subtle recoil from that shift starts the swing consistently and in balance (sounds “dynamic” doesn’t it?).

  • Over the top drill. Take a seven iron and tee up a ball. Instead of starting the backswing with the clubhead directly behind the ball, hover the clubhead over the top of the ball, swing the clubhead forward towards the target 18-24 inches and then flow back into a backswing but pass over the top of the ball on the way back (fyi: this is teaching you a trigger); from there, hit through the ball as normal. This drill teaches dynamic balance and motion better then any in my opinion. It is Jack Nicklaus’s favorite drill.

  • Hit these two balance points. Hit balls on the range and notice your balance 1) on your back leg and foot at the top of the backswing and 2) at the finish. Be balanced with both and I will bet you hit a good shot. Swing only 70% power and just really stay in motion but in balance at these two points.

  • Line drill. Tee up five balls in a row on the range two inches apart. Take a seven iron and start making practice swings back and forth and work your way towards the line, and start hitting right down the line one right after the other. Never stop swinging and after you hit a ball, flow into the next backswing but inch your way towards the next ball and hit it on the way through inching as you go. To work into each ball you will have to keep dynamic balance.

Like all aspects of the game, a little experimentation and trial and error is necessary for you to understand dynamic balance, but give the above a try and I think you will further your understanding of this important concept for your game and improve with that understanding. Good luck and have some fun with it.

Thank you for all you do for Golf and for Lone Tree Golf Course and Event Center.

If you are interested in reviewing other articles from Coach Ron go to www.lonetreegolfcourse.com under “The Course” tab.

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Antioch Police Activities League to hold free Cosmic Bowling for kids age 10-15 on December 14

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

2012Bowling Night Antioch Police Activities League to hold free Cosmic Bowling for kids age 10 15 on December 14

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Kiwanis present Antioch’s 36th Annual Holiday Run and Walk for Health next Saturday, December 8

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Holiday Run 12 12 Kiwanis present Antiochs 36th Annual Holiday Run and Walk for Health next Saturday, December 8

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Enjoy Los Vaqueros Watershed programs in November

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Valley View Hike

Saturday, November 17, 8 a.m.

Meet at County Line Staging Area Next to South Watershed Entrance Kiosk

Join Naturalist John Mottashed on a moderately strenuous, hilly, south watershed hike that will offer excellent views of the reservoir and Livermore Valley. You’ll need drinking water, sturdy hiking shoes, hat, snacks and sunscreen.

Directions: Take the new Vasco Road toward Livermore, turn right onto Los Vaqueros Road and drive to the entrance kiosk.

For information, call (925) 688-8010 on weekdays and (925) 240-2440 on weekends.

Parking fee is $4 per car for CCWD area residents, $6 for non-residents, and $5 for non-resident seniors.

Post Black Friday Hike

Saturday, November 24, 10 a.m. to Noon

Join Naturalist Briana Moore on a moderately strenuous, 5-mile loop hike to work off your Thanksgiving dinner and holiday stress. Meet at the Interpretive Center and plan to climb some hills. Bring at least 2 liters of water, sturdy hiking shoes, hat, snacks and sunscreen.

Directions: Take the Highway 4 Bypass through Brentwood and turn right on Walnut Boulevard before you drive onto new Vasco Road. Continue driving on Walnut Boulevard 2 miles into the watershed and to the end of the road, next to the Los Vaqueros Dam.

For information, call (925) 688-8010 on weekdays and (925) 240-2440 on weekends.

Parking fee is $4 per car for CCWD area residents, $6 for non-residents, and $5 for non-resident seniors.

For more information visit www.ccwater.com/losvaqueros.

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