Longer Drivers and Lower Scores
Longer Drivers and Lower Scores
Last December I completed the Titleist Performance Institute Certification course. I have been an avid golf since my late teens. I was a decent golfer, able to shoot in the mid 80’s on a consistent basis. I lived about 5 minutes from a driving range and practiced quite a bit. Then real life happened. I went to chiropractic college, met my wife, moved to Massachusetts and stated a family and a career. Golf took a back seat. I would play the odd round here that here, but not enough to be concerned with my performance. Flash forward 20+ years and I find myself with a little time to invest in getting back to golf. I thought that with a little time on the range I would be back to my old form in no time. Not the case! My muscle memory had faded, my body had changed, and I developed some swing faults that were due to some flexibility and stability issues. My brain knew what the classic golf swing should look like, but the communication between my brain and my body could not achieve consistent results. Enter the TPI screening and body/swing corrections. I was able to learn why my body did the things it did during the golf swing. And more importantly, I was able to put together a plan to improve flexibility and stability to improve my game.
Improvement does not happen overnight.
I have played a lot of sports throughout my life, and golf is by far the most difficult. I now spend more time in our mobility center then I do the driving range. With regular chiropractic adjustments and my corrective program, I am excited about the upcoming golf season.
What I will be sharing with you over the coming weeks is the TPI Screen, the Body/Swing connection and how we can improve function to improve our game and make golf more fun.
The Pelvic Tilt Test
The pelvic tilt test is the first test in the TPI screening. As it is with all the screening tests, we go in cold, meaning we do not warm up first. With this screen we can learn a lot about 1. Our golf posture and 2. Flexibility and Stability in our hip flexors, gluts and abs. A condition known as Lower Cross Syndrome is quite common and is exacerbated by prolonged sitting. The minute we sit we create shortening of our hip flexors and inhibition of our gluts and abs. The longer we sit, the worse the problem becomes until we get to the point where we lose the ability to use our gluts and abs for stabilization. Couple that with tight hips flexors and we end up with low back pain.
We perform the pelvic tilt test by getting in to our 5-iron posture. Once there, while maintaining posture, we rock our pelvis forward, then back. A couple things we might see is flexion and extension of the spine as we are not able to coordinate movement in our pelvis. Another common fault is what we call “shake and bake”. What happens with “shake and bake” is as we are attempting to rock our pelvis back there is a shaking that happens as we are unable to rock back smoothly due to tight hips flexors. What we may see in our swing is early extension and an over-the-top move, both of which kill our ability to have consistent shot making.
The first thing we want to address here is hip flexor mobility. We can use some simple stretches demonstrated in the video below. The important things to note during the first stretch is we want to keep our hips facing forward as much as possible and our spine nice and erect. We always want to hold the stretch position for at least 30 to 45 seconds. The next stretch is a butterfly stretch where we are sitting on the floor with our feet together and knees relaxed out to the sides. Again, we want to maintain and an erect spinal posture.
Please check back here frequently as we will next be reviewing the 2nd test in the Titleist performance Institute golf screening.
If you are interested in setting up a golf screen, please call the office at 978-927-8466 and can always reach out to us through our website as well.
Yours in health,
Kevin M. Greene, DC, CCST
Titleist Performance Institute Certified.