What’s The Most Important Equipment in Golf?July 14, 2015
Get More Birdies Than Pain!
One of the biggest misconceptions I hear when it comes to golf is that it is a leisurely sport that requires a minimal level of fitness to play. This could not be further from the truth. The golf swing requires incredible flexibility, core strength, and endurance to repeat that swing multiple times in a 4 hour period. Not only that, it is probably one of the hardest movements to replicate consistently (which is why most of average about 4 or 5 “extra” swings when we slam our clubs into the ground after a poor shot!).
Many of us spend lots of money on the newest equipment, game improvement irons, custom fit shafts and grips, straighter flight balls that reduce spin, etc. We spare no expense thinking we just need the newest and greatest technology to help lower our scores. However, the one thing golfers never seem to address is their most important piece of equipment: their body.
The golf swing is very dynamic – requiring a large amount of flexibility and range of motion in multiple joints: the hips, low back, thoracic spine/rib cage, and the shoulders. Unfortunately, most of us have tightness in one or more of these areas. You may get frustrated watching your own swing video analysis because you cannot duplicate that perfect swing or stay on plane.
I have a lot of patients who play golf. Many have turned to the local golf pro or books for tips on proper alignment, grip, takeaway, inside-out swing, and the follow through. But the biggest obstacle I see in my patients is physical. We do not have the flexibility or muscle control of a Ricky Fowler. We try to do something we physically can’t (or can’t yet!). And that is what leads us to injury.
Seeking out a good physical therapist who understands the golf swing and can assess your mobility can often help you get better results with your swing and also help to prevent injury. So instead of spending hours at the driving range trying to figure out what is wrong, stop by your local physical therapist. There may be a reason you cannot make that proper shoulder turn and it may have nothing to do with talent or skill.