This is an article I wrote a couple of years ago after completing the Gray institues course for treating golfers. The course was run with Nike and was an invaluable experience in what I learned to help this group of people.
We don't get the longest season for golf here in Calgary so its vital to make the most of it and not let pain and inefficiency hold us back! Hope you enjoy it!
If you were going to jump as high as you can what direction would you move in first? The opposite direction! Would seem a little strange to explain to someone who has never performed it before but it comes naturally to us. The reason we are doing this is because we want to load against gravity before exploding and launching as high up as we can. If the load is off then the jump isn’t going to be as efficient and as successful as possible.
The same can be said for the golf swing, the importance of the back swing cannot be undermined. If you can load the backswing as proficiently as possible this is going to transpire into success, getting the most from your game and not cause certain areas of the body to overwork. We all know that golf can be the most frustrating game, and at times believe that Mark Twain was onto something with when he said, “Golf is a good walk ruined”.
There are 3 main influences to the golf game, physical, defined by the environment i.e. are we hitting from the rough, bunker, or fairway. Biological, this being how the body is working- are you able to move your joints to the optimal degrees to load the body effectively? And then the Psychological aspect, be it the water hazard that gets into your head or the confidence that you’ve hit this shot plenty of times and you can visualize it bouncing comfortably onto the green! As a graduate of the NG360 Golf performance course I am working to improve the Biological aspect of the golf game.
I am looking to achieve this through improving, not the technical aspects of the golf swing, but the efficiency. The major power centers in the hips for a right-handed golfer for example would be the gluteals on the right leg and the hip flexors and adductors on the left leg. When analyzing this facet of the swing I am looking to see a few things, firstly are those muscle groups being loaded? If not why? Does it suit the body to perform this way? Are there areas of the body that are at their max in terms of range of motion when trying to achieve this load? The last question for me is the most important, and can be the reason why a lot of golfers have an Advil at the start of the round. Everyone has done it! If certain joints in the body are at their max then what that means to me is that other areas of the body are overworking to achieve as successful a swing as is physically possible. A treatment plan in this situation would be to treat these specific areas, go through exercises focused to what is needed with the goal to allow the body to perform this task as a unit, working together, taking excessive load off of other areas.
Golf is for me an extremely fun game, yes it is inevitable the ball is going to fall in the bunker and every now and then there is going to be the odd uninviting splash from the water. If we can achieve you feeling more confident in your swing, know that you’re not going to have to pay for playing a round for two days after, then you can work on lowering that score, decreasing the number of times those hazards come into play and we’re both onto a winner.