A golfer's body

Ridenour said the exercises he does at the club “all relate very much because a lot of the golf swing is the flexibility and the mobility.” Ridenour said that when he started, a simple body turn meant that the upper body and lower body were moving in unison — something that is counterproductive to a good golf swing.

“Now I can separate upper and lower body,” said Ridenour, demonstrating his improved flexibility. “Most of the exercises are geared to your golf swing.”

One of the exercises Ridenour calls especially helpful is called “The Open Book.”

“You're laying on your side, and then you open to try to flatten your upper back while your hips are on their side, so your hips are vertical and your shoulders are horizontal,” Ridenour said.

The professional athletes who tend to be good golfers, Post said, are those who know how to use their upper and lower torso in unison: pitchers, quarterbacks, hockey players and kickers.

“They have separation,” Post said. “If you can move your upper body but have your lower body stay still, or move your lower body but have your upper body stay still. Most people can't.”

Post says he sees more of his regular members during winter than during spring, summer and fall, when they're out playing.

“Right now, we're going into our tough time of year,” Post said. “If it's 70 degrees out and beautiful sunshine, and you have a chance to work out or play golf, what are you going to do? You're going to play golf. It's hard for me to tell people, ‘Hey, I guarantee if you get your body better, you're going to be a better golfer. So you don't have to practice as much on your golf; you have to practice more on your body.' It's a hard thing to convince people to do.”

Post certainly would have a difficult time convincing Damien Fullard. A self-professed “golf addict” since taking up the game three years ago, the 31-year-old Baltimore caterer doesn't have time for working out because he is playing “three or four times a week on somebody's course.” Then there are the tournaments and golf instruction shows he watches on television.

But even Fullard concedes that he changes his diets to help his overall conditioning and works out with rubber resistance bands to strengthen his arms, shoulders and chest.

“I want to be able to hit it further,” said Fullard, who last week drove to Raleigh, N.C., to pick up a new set of clubs off Craigslist.

Jeff Tignall, a contractor for Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. from Arbutus, is just starting to get back into the game. He took a lesson with Kardash last week and hopes to be playing as regularly as he did a few years back.

“If I was doing it right, I didn't know what I was doing. If I was doing it wrong, I didn't know how to fix it,” Tignall said with a laugh.

Tignall isn't especially concerned about getting hurt.

“That's why I'm probably playing golf,” he said.

don.markus@baltsun.com