Building on progress
Editor’s note: Each week, The Union tracks the progress of Lake Wildwood resident Vince Mutascio’s golf game as he works with Steve Madden, certified trainer and owner of Performance Sports Golf. This is the fourth in a six-part series.
With a few weeks to go on Vince’s golf fitness program, it was time to add some new exercises and raise the bar a bit.
Training of any kind has to be progressive if the player or athlete is going to make continuing development.
With the basic exercises having the desired effect, I decided to add a few elements of complexity and increase the difficulty – plus a new drill to begin training his hands, arms and shoulders to have muscle memory for a good release of the club.
The “toe-up-to-toe-up” drill is a common exercise designed to help the golfer get the feel for rotating the clubface to a square position at impact and continuing the rotation to the top of the follow through. The movement requires a good deal of strength and coordination in the hands, wrists and forearms. The drill is designed to train the movement, as well, and develop the muscle to move properly.
The big focus for Vince remains flexibility and range of motion in the mid-section for the backswing and follow through. I performed another hip and low-back flexibility test and discovered that while he is making good progress, he still has room for improvement. His posture and setup position is looking very good and once we get to a range of motion, when Vince needs to swing with more power he will be getting a nice increase in distance.
He reported to me that his accuracy has improved mostly from a better tempo and a more relaxed approach to the ball. He said his regular playing partners have noticed a change in the way he plays and that he seems more relaxed and less anxious about making good shots.
The last thing I did was to update the flexibility exercises we are doing to include a low-back stretch and hamstring stretch he can use before practice sessions, before playing and during his workouts. So far, all of the stretches I have prescribed are also good for the golf course during a round to loosen up tired muscles as well as during workout sessions.
Vince is having a lesson this week and I am very anxious to see how his improving fitness makes the learning process easier and more productive.
In addition, we are planning to get out on the golf course next week for a little social time and I am looking forward to seeing the new and improved Vince out on the links.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.