Strength, Conditioning and Golf
It's that time of year, so I figured I'd share an old article I wrote about the importance of strength and conditioning in modern golf.
Up until about 20 years ago, golf was a very different game. It revolved around three components.
1. Instruction which included various aspects of the game like the fundamentals and shot making etc.,
2. The mental game which included handling the stress of the game
Mastery of this 3-pronged approach was believed to be all it took to manufacture the ultimate golfer.
Then Tiger Woods popped on the scene and seemed to change everything…
A new, more comprehensive approach was devised. Instruction was broken down into three subcategories. Instruction then became basic instruction (grip, stance etc.) shot making skills and course management. The mental side of the game remained the same with maybe a little more emphasis on visualization, as did equipment remain as is. But then a huge addition was made. Enter serious physical conditioning.
Physical conditioning in golf
Physical conditioning along with understanding how to most efficiently swing a golf club became an integral part of the game. When I say efficiency, I don’t mean swinging the club like an Adam Scott or a Rory McIlroy. I mean swinging the club most efficiently based on what you can physically do while still maintaining the good swing characteristics necessary to strike the ball where you want it on a consistent basis.
That seems to be an issue. Everyone wants to swing the club like the pros, but most of us aren’t moving functionally at a high enough level to get anywhere near what those guys do.
This is where the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) namely, Dave Phillips and Dr. Greg Rose saw an opportunity. They believed if you can assess a person’s swing and connect the swing to how a body functions, you can identify limitations of movement and dysfunction. By identifying and hopefully fixing those limitations, a golfer has the potential to play much better, more consistent, pain free golf.
How did they do this?
They quite simply found the 12 most common characteristics or faults in the average golfers swing and correlated each characteristic or fault to a mobility and/or stability issue.
Each of these 12 characteristics can be identified through video analysis of the swing from face on and down the Each mobility or stability issue can be identified by 16 different screens or assessments. Through these screens we can identify physical limitations of causes of the characteristic or mistake in the swing. Stay with me here…
Each limitation found in the screen has corrective exercises that will help alleviate the limitation and help the golfer be more functionally stable, mobile and ultimately more efficient.
Video analysis is not just for the pro’s!
To coincide with the video analysis, these guys have taken it a step further and gone 3D with graphic analysis to figure out how efficient the golfer is in his/her swing by measuring the speed at which the hips, torso, arm and club accelerate and decelerate and in what sequence in order to determine power and efficiency.
I know probably you’re thinking this is a bit too much. I only play on the weekend, but this approach has revolutionized the game of golf for not only professionals, but for the once or twice a week golfer. Using this approach, along with some golf instruction, has proven to drop handicaps and allows players to enjoy the game for longer.
If you would like a video analysis of your swing and a physical screening, go to mytpi.com and find an expert in your area. I promise it will be worth it and if you have any questions feel free to ask.