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Is Your Golf Swing Efficient?

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By Jeremy S. Hoy, Titleist Performance Institute Certified Golf Fitness Professional (TPI1)

It’s easy to watch the British Open or any major professional golf tournament and be amazed at how effortlessly (most of the time) the golfers seem to hit the ball and how much control and consistency they have during the rounds.

None of this happens by accident.

Occasionally we also get to see a golfer break down over the course and become less consistent, or never really find the groove for that day.

None of this happens by accident, either.

According to the Titleist Performance Institute, with 1000s of hours of analyzing the worlds top golfers, there are three things that lead to efficiency breakdowns:

  1. Poor Mechanics—teaching professionals use video swing analysis to isolate mechanical breakdowns
  2. Poor Physical Conditioning—golf fitness coaches/professionals use physical screens to isolate any limitations in the body.
  3. Poor Equipment—use club fitting to determine the best specifications for the player

The Titleist Performance Institute certified golf fitness professional is responsible for utilizing specific physical screens and working to prevent efficiency breakdowns.

An efficient swing, or one of the main keys to great ball striking, is a good kinematic sequence. This is the correct sequence or pattern of the hips, torso, arm, and club, firing in that sequence at point of contact or ball strike. This is the sequence for an efficient swing, which is crucial for consistency and accuracy.

Additionally, for great ball striking, you will need good segment stabilization (stability in each segment during the sequencing), and square face contact of the club.

Inefficient movement, poor kinematic sequencing, and/or lack of stability all can directly contribute to one of the major swing characteristics (or faults).

It is the job of the Titleist Performance Institute certified golf fitness professional to screen for physical limitations that could create inefficient movement, poor kinematic sequencing, and/or lack of segment stability. Once these limitations have been identified, a customized program can be created to work to correct these issues, and help create a more efficient golf swing.

(I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book, even if you are able to meet with a TPI certified golf fitness coach–lots of great information about how the body works specific to golf!)

For information about specific golf fitness programs offered at Finish First Sports Performance, you can reach us at admin@finishfirstsports.com.

Please stay tuned for more articles about the swing characteristics and different physical screens that are used to correlate with each characteristic.

“I would highly recommend Finish First Sports to anyone who is looking to improve their sport specific performance and overall physical conditioning. I was looking to make my golf swing more efficient and was extremely satisfied with the workout programs and results. My core strength, flexibility and kinesthetic movements all improved which has positively affected my ball striking, balance and endurance. The workouts are tailored to you and really focus on what is important and what you are trying to achieve. If you are serious and not looking for the easy way out, Finish First is for you.

–Drew Bohn, PGA Professional

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5 Surefire Ways to Unlock Your Hips and Improve Your Golf Game

Is this your Golf Swing? (Picture of Adam Sandler in the movie Happy Gilmore)

By Brandon Monin, Athletic Performance Specialist, MS, CSCS, TPI GFC

I often get asked: What can I do in the gym to improve my golf game?  At first it was difficult to say because every golfer is different and has different needs.  After I thought about it, the most common physical limitation I’ve found in golfers is their hips.  Whether it is a lack of mobility, lack of strength/power, or a combination of the two.  So I came up with five surefire ways to unlock your hips and see instant improvement.

  1. Use Corrective Exercises– These are exercises designed to teach your muscles how to work as well as increase their flexibility.  They can be utilized before, during, and after your workout–As well as while you’re sitting around reading the newspaper or watching TV.
  2. Use Full Range of Motion Lower Body Exercises- A common misconception is that weight training will make you tight or less flexible.  This is false… weight training through a full range of motion will open up your hips and force you to be more mobile.  I would suggest doing lower body exercises both double and single leg, and be sure that you perform single leg movements in different planes of motion (think forward, backward, side to side).
  3. Use Rotational Exercises- These are essential to increase rotational power and add distance to your game.  A common mistake I see with golfers is that they will perform these exercises with little to no hip action (all arms).  Be sure to focus on a full rotation reaching back–then start with your hips and turn them all the way through so your hips are facing your target (just like you would with your golf swing).  It’s not the exact same motion as a golf swing but it mimics the kinetic sequence and will have a high carry over to it.
  4. Use Stretching Consistently- This is the easiest of the five to do.  I’ve found that most golfers sit a lot, whether it is for school or work.  When you sit your hip flexors (the muscles in the front of the hips) are contracted that entire time.  Over time that causes them to become very tight, greatly limiting the mobility in your hips.  If you can make a conscious effort to get up from your desk or workspace and stretch your hips you’ll see big improvements.  Also after every time you train or exercise use a total body stretching routine, whether it consists of simple static stretches or an engaging stretching routine using bands.  Be sure to pay extra attention to your hips (stretch in all directions).
  5. Use Exercises to Improve Core Strength- Improving core strength will allow your body to stabilize or stay stationary and your hips to move independently.  This is essential to the golf swing.  The inability to separate the torso from the hips will not allow for a proper kinematic sequence.  This causes an inconsistent swing and/or a loss of distance.

After reading this you might be thinking, “I know my hips are tight and I swing just fine.”  That just means you are probably compensating well for your tightness and those compensations can eventually lead to injuries.  You are asking parts of the body that normally act as stabilizers to possibly try to produce force or execute movements, placing unwanted stress in these areas—which increases your risk of being injured.

Lastly, think about how much better your swing will be and how much further you’ll be able to hit the ball if you could only turn your hips all the way through and gain the advantage of a greater range of motion in your swing!

If you’re interested in finding out how a comprehensive specific golf fitness program could help you improve your golf game, please complete this form.

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