Tiger Woods is a great example of a player who has adapted his golf swing because of physical limitations. So can you.
By Scott Graham
Is there a perfect golf swing and if so, can we all swing like that? That’s a moot point but the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) believe there is an efficient way for all golfers to swing. It’s what I would call your “perfect individual swing print” which is based on what you can do physically. This relationship between the body and golf club, known as the “body-swing connection”, is key to an efficient and repeatable swing.
Physical limitations beset most players eventually and can prevent you from achieving your ideal swing patterns. These limitations can be the result of things such as sitting behind a desk five days a week, a lack of physical exercise, a hip/knee replacement or even the result of a broken bone from childhood. Mobility and stability dysfunctions can always be improved through physical training even if this improvement is only slight. Sometimes, however, we need to make swing adjustments to work around these physical limitations.
Tiger Woods is a great example of someone who has changed and adapted his swing over the years because of physical limitations. Tiger’s swing now allows him to play efficiently without pain although his range of motion may not be the same as it once was. He is a perfect example of what happens if swing changes are done correctly; they will ultimately benefit both the longevity and repeatability of the golf swing. In Woods’ case, it helped him to a fifth green jacket.
So the question is how do you know what your physical capabilities are? For a complete picture and best results, a full TPI physical screen is recommended. In the meantime, here are simple exercises that will help analyse two key areas of your body and begin to give some insight into whether the issue surrounding a swing change/s is a physical or technical one.
Based on thousands of physical screens, the TPI identified the most common limitations occur in the “Lead Hip” and “Thoracic Spine.” Try these simple physical tests and then consider the pre and/or in swing modifications outlined to work around any physical limitations without putting additional stress on the body. — With Kent Gray
Scott Graham is a PGA Teaching Professional at The Academy by Troon at The Address Montgomerie Dubai. For help with your game, email [email protected], call +971 4 363 1209 or visit www.themontgomerie.com