The first major of the year has been and gone, golfers everywhere are gearing up for the summer season and looking forward to making this their best season to date. Much anticipation, along with re-gripping and replacing of golf clubs, buying new season apparel, upping time spent on the course and the range, and booking of lessons with the local pro usually accompany this period. However I think I have one more thing to add to that list: A physical screening.
Golf fitness is not about doing endless cardio on the treadmill or even, about lifting weights. It’s about getting your body into, and through, dynamic positions in the golf swing with greater speed, power and efficiency. With this in mind, everyone we coach online or in the gym is put through a movement assessment to identify individuals weaknesses in these movement patterns, help develop appropriate programming in order to improve mobility, strength, stability and power and ultimately best benefit their golf swing. After all, you wouldn’t go on a road trip without mapping out the route you want to take beforehand. So why would you jump into an exercise program to improve your golf game without knowing exactly what areas you need to work on?
A physical screening for golfers should give information on areas such as:
– the ability to disassociate the upper body from the lower
– shoulder mobility, particularly external rotation
– thoracic spine range of motion
– glute strength
– core strength
– power output
– hip mobility, particularly internal rotation
– hip flexor/hamstring/calf flexibility
The physical assessment can be an invaluable tool in improving your swing mechanics, as it can rule out physical factors that might be causing a swing flaw. If an individual test poorly for a particular component and presents a swing fault associated with it, removing the physical deficiency will often improve the swing fault. However, if that individual tests well for a particular deficiency, but presents with a swing fault that typically correlates to that deficiency, we can equate the fault to poor swing mechanics and/or bad habit. This would require work with a teaching professional, so that the inefficient motor skill can be corrected and the neuromuscular pathway reset.
So whilst your getting ready for this summer of golf, consider a physical screening and really start playing your best!