Since golf is played during the warmer months, the best time to train for the upcoming season is during the colder months. If you stay up to date on the latest headlines of PGA Tour golf, you know that the best players in the world all have a team of professionals supporting them. This includes a swing coach, physical therapist, chiropractor, nutritionist, sports agent, and physical performance trainer. In this article I am going to focus on the performance trainer and physical therapist roles. I’ll explain how important they are to help maintain and accelerate the golfer’s performance out on the course. This knowledge can be applied to anyone that plays and enjoys this frustrating sport.
One of the biggest roles the physical therapist plays when it comes to the health and wellness of the golfer, is not only the rehabilitation of injuries that occur throughout the season, but also the prevention of injury in the future. Since physical therapists are musculoskeletal experts, they understand that limited joint range of motion, lack of flexibility, and muscular imbalances often lead to injury down the road and can be attributed to decreased swing speeds. Lets face it, anyone that plays golf wants to lower their scores and not be the shortest hitter in the group. Therefore, possessing adequate flexibility, muscular control, strength, power, and speed are the key ingredients to playing this game well for a lifetime.
Golf is a physically violent rotational sport that can place increased stress on the spine. Often I see golfers with complaints of low back and/or hip pain, and come to find out they have significant flexibility loss throughout their upper back and/or hips. This is one of the most common patterns I see and, fortunately, am able to correct relatively quickly. The other common pattern I see in golfers is that they are unable to hit the ball consistently on the center of the clubface. This can be due to their inability to maintain their posture/spine angle throughout the swing, which is often caused by a lack of lower body muscle control leading to standing up during the swing.
If you pay attention to the top 10 players in the world, they are driving the ball over 300 yards off the tee, and have swing speeds upwards of 115-130 mph. How do they do this? They possess adequate flexibility, muscle control and stability, strength, power, and speed. One of the biggest attributing factors to this increase in performance is that they have some of the best performance trainers working with them. At the beginning of every week, each golfer will be put through a series of physical tests which reveals their measurements in regards to flexibility, range of motion, and muscle control and stability. Once the player understands their limitations they will then focus on those key areas during the week leading up to the tournament that weekend. Understanding the human body and how it relates to the golf swing can give even amateur players a leg up on their competition.
I have had the pleasure of working with golfers in the area and have found that some of the most simple adjustments in their workout program can give them a 5-13 or more mph swing speed increase in just a few weeks. Did you know that for every mile per hour increase on your driver you will gain an average of 2.6 yards of carry distance? So if you could increase your swing speed by 10 mph you could gain 26 yards of carry distance off the tee. That is huge when you are hitting 2-3 club lengths closer. So, if you are a golfer that desires to see why you are experiencing adverse symptoms during golf, or why you haven’t been able to hit the ball further, make sure to find a Titleist Performance Certified Professional on www.mytpi.com/experts. They can help discover what could be holding you back physically and help you play your best round of golf!
Here’s to a great 2022 season ahead!