The golf swing is one of the most complex movements in sport that requires almost every part of the body to work in harmony; it demands a lot from the body
Golf is a sport which requires numerous physical characteristics from the body (strength, balance, flexibility etc.) and it baffles me how players spend so little time doing any golf specific training. Even before heading out to play 18 holes players turn up on the tee, take a couple of practice swings and head out. It’s not surprising that 70% of players will suffer from a golf specific injury in their playing career.
There’s numerous factors which stop players from doing golf specific training and the top two reasons are usually down to a lack of time or knowledge – but any good trainer should be able to devise a quick warm up regime and educate the player on the reasons why swing drills and specific exercises are important to a players health and golf game.
Not only has the world’s number one golfer Rory McIlroy won two majors this year and been a hero in helping Europe retain the Ryder Cup he’s also done wonders for promoting strength and conditioning training.
So how did Rory turn his career around and put on over six pounds of muscle?
On the 25th of May last year, I went to Wentworth’s prestigious BMW PGA Championship but was disappointed to find out Rory hadn’t even made the cut. This wasn’t the first competition he’d struggled in, he was playing some of the most inconsistent golf of his career.
McIlroy turned to the British physical scientist Steve McGregor for help. Steve McGregor wired Rory to a set of electrical sensors to measure muscle activation during the golf swing. The results showed muscle imbalances in Rory’s body. Based on these results Rory had a training programme which consisted of core exercises, single arm and single leg exercises with the focus on the lower body (this is where the power is generated for an efficient swing).
The results of this speak for themselves, Rory can now trust that his body is in the best physical condition to be able to perform the most efficient swing. He now weighs over twelve stone and can drive the ball more than 350 yards.
On the 25th May 2014 exactly a year later Mcilroy was crowned champion at The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. Regretfully, I missed the event as I didn’t have a ticket. Of course I’m not saying that getting in the gym and lifting a few weights is going to turn us into the next world’s number one golfer, but we can’t avoid the fact that physical testing and training should be a key factor when looking to improve our golf game.
We need to stop visually comparing our golf swing to that of another. Instead what we should focus on is figuring out if our golf swing is mechanically efficient or inefficient in order to make corrective changes.
Through a simple physical screening test and 2D swing analysis we can now see if a player has any physical limitations that could be affecting them from performing the swing or putting them at risk of injury. Based on these results a simple exercise regime and warm up regime can be put in place to help rectify these limitations.
All golf coaches should be working closely with qualified fitness professionals and physical therapist in order to give their clients the best possible results
For further information or to book a full physical screening test visit my website: www.paulsabsolutefitness.co.uk/Golf.html and follow me on Twitter @Paul_Snowsell.