How to Play (Even Better) Golf While Pregnant
Getting pregnant doesn’t mean you have to hang up your clubs—in fact, with the right setup changes, you can keep playing until your due date. Your “pregnant swing” tweaks may work so well that you’ll want to hang on to them forever.
By Gia Bocra Liwski
Staying active during pregnancy is key to your well-being. I know this because I just gave birth to my third child, a daughter, after having a set of twins just over two years ago. While the idea of “remaining active” can mean different things to different women, I took it to mean trying my best to maintain the type of lifestyle I had been leading pre-pregnancy. Both in terms of my daily routine and exercise, knowing I may not make significant advances in my activity level over the next nine months, my goal was simply to not fall too far below my current baseline.
With golf, it was no different. Golf allows us the flexibility to play pretty much through every stage of our pregnancy. And whether walking, pulling, or riding a cart, the game can adapt to our body’s limitations as we trade the weight of the bag for the child we’re carrying inside us. Playing pregnant, however, does not come without its unique challenges. While some men may take years to grow (and grow accustomed to) the bellies they swing around, the shape and size of our pregnant bodies can often change dramatically from one round to the next.
As our babies grow, we need to alter our setup to accomodate the corresponding growth of our bodies. Adapting to a change in your swing should not be drastic, but as you begin to see a decrease in flexibility, for example, you may also begin to incorporate a shortened backswing. This can actually be a very good thing, and something you might want to keep incorporating after the baby is born. (Wink, wink!)
Having discussed playing pregnant on more than one occasion with other LPGA Teaching professionals who are moms, such as Krista Dunton, Senior Instructor at Berkeley Hall Club in Bluffton, S.C., common problems seemed to reside in the short game. Getting our arms to move around the baby belly is often a hinderance to our short game, and our motion around the greens. However, as well all also agree, with only a few minor pre-swing adjustments, any pregnant golfer can adapt to her new body and still play golf well (and sometimes even better).
Here are three adjustments I recommend:
1. GROUND YOUR FEET
As you get into your setup posture, your belly weight may push you onto your toes a bit. Try sitting more into the balls of your feet and get a good connection with the ground.
2. BEND FORWARD MORE
By hinging a bit more forward from the hips than usual, you will help your arms to hang better from your shoulders allowing for nice arm movement. This will also help clear your arms from your belly.
3. DROP YOUR NON-TARGET FOOT BACK
Once your feet are grounded and your a bit more bent over, move your non-target foot back about six to 10 inches. Go ahead and make a swing. Dropping your foot back allows for more flexibilty to make a good turn away from the ball in the backswing.