Dee here, back from another TPI certification event!
BTW…did you know that you have absolutely NO reason why you shouldn’t be on a golf fitness program?
Because there are over 4000 TPI certified professionals in the world that are ready to help you be a better golfer! Find one in your area.
Ok, the big mistake you are probably making is…stretching random muscles cause your golf instructor or personal trainer, or yoga teacher, or because you read it in Mens Health or Golf Digest! Here’s why:
As golf fitness pro’s, Tyler and I believe in seeking to gain “Mobility” in the body, not just flexibility, which would be gained if you just stretched. The difference is in the definition of Mobility, which states that, “Mobility is a combination of joint range of motion and muscle flexibility.”
So what this means to you is that you not only need to stretch, but you need to make sure that the joint that is crossed by the muscle you are stretching is mobile, aka, “free moving.” This is why I posted the tennis ball and foam roller videos, because they help the hip joints’ range of motion AND the muscles flexibility that crosses the hip joint. The result, increase mobility of the hip (and shoulder too since there is a tennis ball therapy video as well!).
To access those videos, just scroll down the page!
So, if you are making the big mistake of just stretching without making sure the joint is being addressed, you are wasting valuable time that could be making you get better quicker!
If you have questions about Mobility and stretching, just email Tyler or I, and we’ll be happy to answer any of your questions!
Now go watch those videos (don’t forget to sign up for our you tube channel) and get more mobile!
Tyler here adding my 2 cents again concerning the dreaded chicken wing. I don’t think this one is as controversial as the sway topic but I think there are some other factors to consider anytime you are addressing chicken wings.
Rotation is one of the big keys to the golf swing. If you don’t rotate your chest through the ball then you are more than likely going to chicken wing. This is one of those, don’t try to fix the chicken wing without fixing the rotation first type of things. One of your goals in the golf swing is to swing the club out toward the target after you hit the ball. You know this, I know it, and the brain knows it. If you don’t have your chest open as you strike the ball then the left arm should bend to keep the club moving toward the target (if it stayed straight then the club would swing out to the right). The one exception for this is if you are able to side bend like crazy. I’ve only witnessed one person who was good at this, and his body is paying for it.
The reason I pick on this distinction is that rotation should happen first and if it doesn’t the chicken wing is going to show up. I give lots of lessons where the golfer sees the chicken wing and immediately interrupts me with, “see, I’m bending my arm again.” I always counter with, “did you rotate?” Unless that is a yes, then I don’t care about the chicken wing, it is a cause and not the effect. Fix something earlier in the swing and the chicken wing will usually disappear…that is of course, if you are physically capable of it.
Good luck golfers, enjoy the U.S. Open this week and see what you can learn from them.
Greetings loyal readers. Tyler here, following up on Dee’s post to put in my 2 cents on the sway and possibly adding to that “other causes” section.
For me the sway is a funny move. We are taught at TPI school that sway is a sequence (and consistency killer). It definitely makes it harder to control the bottom of the swing. It definitely makes it harder to release the club the way Ben Hogan described it. And it definitely contributes to a reverse spine angle – the number 2 cause of back pain. So where am I going with this, all of these things sound bad, right?
Camilo Villegas and Vijay Singh both sway in their golf swing. You can look at some swings on YouTube and see it, but 3D motion analysis has confirmed it. They sway. Camillo is top 5 in ball striking this year and Vijay is known for being one of the best ball strikers of all time. So 2 great ball strikers sway, in my book that means that it can’t be all bad. But if we evaluate them further we can see a little bit of what makes it work.
In order to sway you must practice non-stop. Camilo has toned it down according to an interview he gave in January, but early on in his career he was a range rat – always working on it. He would work on it, but he was not very technical. He has said before that he sees his swing coach a couple times a year and gets stuff to work on, but it is mostly feel. So warning number one, unless you are willing to hit balls everyday you are going to struggle with a sway.
In order to sway you must have a scoopy release. Yes you heard me. A scoopy release. Both Camilo and Vijay have very active lower bodies and a release where the right hand works more under the left not as much around the left as is more common. In order to lean the shaft towards the target, that means they must slide their lower bodies forward to get in front. A slide with a scoop is hard to maximize distance with. Unless you are a strong athletic guy, don’t sway or you’ll have trouble compressing the ball and getting distance.
In staying with the scoop, I want to bring up one last point. If you feel/see/think that the club should be released in a scoopy fashion then a sway will help you and don’t try to correct the sway until you correct the release. If you do, you will instantly start hitting the ball worse and won’t commit to not swaying long enough to make it automatic so that you can go after the scoop. Scoop first, then sway. Got it?
In closing, there are lots of reasons that a golfer will sway so attack them in this order. First, clear the body. Dee is right, if you can’t internally rotate your trail hip, if you can’t separate, if you have ankle problems then fix that stuff first. Secondly, decide if you need to fix the sway. If you sway and have contact issues (lots of fat and topped shots) then you should fix the sway. This is easier to do on grass then inside because the contact will be one of your best forms of biofeedback. Hitting on mats will let you be sloppy with contact AND with release, be careful with this issue. Thirdly, if you are going to fix the sway, then look at the release first. If you know what you want to do with your hands, it will make a lot more sense to not sway with your body.
Good luck golfers, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s post by Dee about the chicken wing.
Tyler again, this time to help you with a metaphor for why golfers have such a tough time making swing changes. I see golfers take lessons and come back with the same swing week after week; not my students of course, but I’ve seen it. Here is what I think takes place in a golfer’s mind.
Here is how us modern instructors try to present a task.
Me: Alright Jimmy, I need you to go to San Diego, California. Are you scared by that request?
Jimmy: Uh, no. I’ve been there before.
Me: How long will it take you to get there?
Jimmy: Uh, 6 hours by plane.
Me: So when you go over Phoenix you won’t freak out?
Jimmy: No. What does this have to do with anything?
I think that most people are willing to commit to journey’s (that’s what changing a golf swing is, just ask Charles) as long as they know details about the journey. For whatever reason, golf pro’s typically don’t paint clear journeys. This would be analogous to me telling you that your goal is west. And you are simply waiting for the next instruction via walkie-talkie. Without knowing where you are heading, I’m pretty sure that most reasonable people would start freaking out around St. Louis.
It is important to explain to students – and students, it is important for you to ask if you don’t know – the big picture of what you are doing and how this small change is apart of it. I try to give all my students guidelines for practice, think of these as backup plans. You should have a backup plan for the following:
If I hit it fat, then I should try this.
If I hit it thin, then I should try this.
If I hit it left, then I should try this.
If I hit it right, then I should try this.
That is my minimum for full swing lessons. You will be much more committed to a program if you have some form of plan like above.
I’m impressed by people who can commit to running in a triathlon…just like I’m impressed by people who go through medical school to become a surgeon. It’s a daunting task either way, but they aren’t told just do this forever and eventually you should get there. Furthermore, they know the big picture of why they are doing it and how each part fits in. So if you don’t know the big picture of what you’re working on then ask your pro. Here are a couple questions you could try:
“Why am I keeping my arm straight again? O.K. got it. And if I get this down, then what are we going to work on next week?”
Remember, it is one thing to commit to running a marathon, but don’t be one of those blind fools that started running back and forth across the US in Forest Gump. When it was all said and done, they had no clue what to do next. They just followed Forest. Unlike that movie, in golf you should always know your next move.
Good luck golfers, and if you don’t have a road map for golf, check out our free downloads.
As much as the “stimulus” plan is about to take America down a path of the unknown, your golf game and fitness plan can have a direct path that leads to happiness, success, and total satisfaction!
But here’s the deal…you must work for it!
Yes, like anything in life that you want, you must work for your game and health to be at it’s best.
But here’s the deal, it can be fun! It’s a shame so many people think that exercise is so much work and no fun to go with it!
So it’s almost like “having your cake and eathing it to,” in that, when you have a golf fitness program that is specifically designed for you, not only will your game take leaps and bounds, but so will your health! And isn’t that the goal in life…be as healthy as you can for as long as you can so you can enjoy the favorite things of life (golf!) as much as you can??
Here’s the only problem though, and that is so called, “golf fitness programs” at your local gym. If the person who is putting on the program isn’t “Titleist Perfornance Institute” certified, then you need to be weary of how that program will help your game!
So make sure you find a true TPI professional to help you because they will put you through a series of screens and tests, THEN, create and teach you a specific program just for you!
If you get one of these programs (and we can provide them for you by the way!), you will:
1. Increase your distance
2. Increase your accuracy
3. Decrease the likelihood of being injured
4. Drop your handicap
5. Be more consistent
6. Beat your friends!
THAT to me sounds like an awesome “golf stimulus plan!’
Won’t you get started today?