The Secret To Longevity In Your Golf Game
There’s one thing I’ve noticed since I started working with amateur golfers…they are all injured! Well, not all, but the majority of golfers I’ve worked with have some sort of nagging injury. Each year up to 41% of amateur golfers report an injury and 31-90% of professional golfers report an injury annually.
This highlights how susceptible golfers are to injury but also begs the question: how do we lower these injury statistics so that golfers can enjoy the game for longer?
Traditionally, golf has been viewed as a leisurely game that requires much more skill than athletic ability to be good. The misconception here lies in what the golf swing requires of the body!
I saw a great example of this conundrum first hand when I played in a recreational softball league with some buddies. Every week I’d watch the guys on my team show up at least 30 minutes early and spend time warming up before the game. But those same friends would show up to the course that weekend 15 minutes before tee time, hit 20 balls on the range, and head to the first tee.
Now why would swinging a softball bat and standing around a field for 2 hours require more prep time than 18 holes of golf?
The golf swing is a much more athletic and explosive full body movement than people give it credit for and, as such, they don’t properly train to manage that repeated rotational stress. Not only do you need mobility in almost every joint in your body, but you also need a great foundation of stability and strength for upwards of 50-60+ swings over the course of 18 holes. If you’re playing multiple rounds of golf a week you can start to see how your overall fitness levels impact performance on the course and how overuse injuries occur.
To make matters worse, most of us sit at a desk all week feeding joint mobility restrictions and muscle tightness before we hit the course on Saturday or Sunday. This dramatically impacts most golfers performance on the course as their body is forced to compensate to complete the golf swing.
Most players will look back at their round and attribute their high score to a slow start saying, “It took me about 4-5 holes to get loose”. Your golf game doesn’t have to be stuck in this endless cycle!
SO WHAT’S THE SOLUTION? I’m sure you’ve guessed where this is going by now and NO…golf specific performance training isn’t just reserved for the top players in the world. Amateurs of all levels have access to this type of training and probably don’t even know it.
Playing 3-4 rounds of golf every month equals between 14 and 18 + hours that you spend on a golf course! Shouldn’t your exercise regimen reflect that time investment?
If you’re still with me, I hope I’ve made my case for a mindset shift when it comes to preparing your body for golf. Here’s a simple step by step guide designed to help you overhaul your game and start seeing actual results on the course:
Step 1: Admit that golf is a sport!
Ok….ok….maybe you’re not ready for that yet, but at least admit that golf isn’t just a “leisurely” game. Mindset is a key piece and you need to reprogram your brain to think of golf in a new way.
Step 2: Create a team
Find a Swing Coach
The first thing I recommend to all of my golfers trying to enhance their performance: find a swing coach! There is no substitute for having a golf professional look at your swing and identify mechanics that you can improve upon. This may be simple or more complex depending on the skill level of the player, but creating a good foundation with things such as set up posture, grip, take away, ball position, and impact position are so crucial to improving your game. It’s truly one of the best things you can do as an amateur golfer to get better.
Find a Titleist Perforamnce Institute Professional
Often times we as golfers have tightness, range of motion restrictions, weakness, or even pain with certain types of movements, but it’s hard to understand how that impacts our golf swing.
If your body physically can’t move in certain directions or stabilize during the golf swing it is forced to compensate, which leads to miss hits and inconsistency. TPI certified professionals are uniquely qualified to perform a golf specific movement screen that will identify these areas of restriction or weakness negatively impacting your swing mechanics. Armed with that information, we design a program to address these issues so that your body can get into more efficient positions in the golf swing.
Additionally, TPI professionals love to collaborate with swing coaches and golf pros so that the performance training supports any changes you are trying to make in your swing mechanics!
Side-note: If you are dealing with an injury that is limiting your golf swing make sure you look for a TPI-certified medical professional rather than just a TPI professional. TPI medical professionals are typically Physical Therapists or Chiropractors that can assess your specific injury and help you get back on the course quickly without heading straight for the medicine cabinet.
Check your area here for a Titleist Performance Institute certified professional.
MVMT 360 Golf operates in The Woodlands/Houston, Texas area. We offer full TPI screens and performance training to help golfers bulletproof their bodies to keep playing for years to come. CHECK US OUT HERE.
Step 3: What are your short-term and long-term golfing goals
Come up with two specific goals that you want to achieve in your golf game. One short-term and one long-term goal.Whether it’s adding 15 yards to your tee shots, eliminating back stiffness after a round of golf, or lowering your handicap from a 12 to an 8, it’s important to have clear and defined goals before you get started with a golf performance specialist.
Step 4: Commit to the process!
Whether you decide to do in-person training, virtual training, or have the TPI professional design a program for you to work on independently, commit to be all-in. To truly achieve your goals and make a significant impact on your body as well as your golf game you’ll need to be consistent.
Having worked with golfers for many years, the one overarching goal that I’ve heard the most is that they want longevity in their game. “I hope to be playing golf well into my 70’s or 80’s with my kids and their kids”. If that’s the ultimate goal for the majority of us, why wouldn’t we want to be proactive and not only bulletproof our bodies against injury, but also improve our game in the process?
If you are a golfer in The Woodlands/Houston, TX area and are ready to get started with a golf performance program, MVMT 360 Golf recently launched TEE’D FOR SPEED.
A 6-week program to jump start your golf fitness and increase distance off the tee in the process! Join our small group training 2x’s per week and uncover…
- 20 extra yards off the tee
- Less aches and pains after 18 holes
- Improvements in strength and core stability
- More mobility and flexibility
Check out more details here or call (832) 291-2267 to inquire aboutavailability!
Brian Morris PT, DPT, FAAOMPT
Sports Performance Specialist