Why is Change so Difficult?
Wed Sep 11, 2013 by Dave Phillips
One of the biggest challenges to a golfer of any skill level is making a swing change. Often, this is due to physical limitations that can affect their ability to create the correct sequence of motion in the golf swing. As a coach or a player, it can be frustrating to try to make changes when the body is simply unable to move effectively. This is when it’s essential to have the correct team that is capable of identifying the solution to the problem. Having a qualified golf, fitness or medical professional that can physically assess you and determine if there is a physical limitation affecting your swing, is essential to developing as a golfer.
Two areas of concern that often affect golfers are poor thoracic mobility and poor hip mobility, both of which are necessary to create a consistent and powerful motion in the golf swing.
Poor thoracic range of motion can hinder your ability to rotate your spine and get your arms up in the air during the backswing. This is often highlighted by poor posture at address with a rounded upper back and shoulders that are rolled forward. This can also affect your lower body speed. When the muscles in the back are lengthened due to poor posture, they end up dissipating the transfer of energy from the ground and lead to slower movement of the lower extremities. This in turn can negatively affect your transition from the backswing to the downswing.
Poor hip mobility is one of the biggest culprits in creating injury. This is partially due to our sedentary lifestyle, which incorporates more sitting today than ever before. The sitting position creates tightness in the hip flexors and adductors. On the backswing, you internally rotate into your trail hip and on the downswing your internally rotate into you lead hip. If you have poor hip range of motion, it can cause excess lateral movement in your lower body and prevent you from creating consistent, solid contact.
In the column to the right of this article I have posted some of my favorite exercises for the thoracic spine and hips. If you feel like your body may be affecting your ability to improve or change your golf swing, contact one of our TPI Certified experts for a physical evaluation.