Golfer’s have this tendency to blame themselves, or their golf skills, when it comes to evaluating their performance deficits.
“I end up using my hands too much”
“I can’t seem to get my clubface closed”
“I’m pulling my head too far off the ball”
“I’m late shifting my weight to my left leg.”
Not only are perceived skill issues rampant, but it seems that golf and back pain go hand-in-hand. So much so, that many golfers just accept it as their normal.
If I had to narrow down the greatest potential influence on both skill issues and back pain, it would be the inability of golfers to turn.
To be effective from a skill-related standpoint as a golfer, your spine must turn and your hips must turn.
To dissipate stresses AWAY from the spine when playing golf, your spine must turn and hips must turn.
In my end of the business, we call it spine rotation and hip rotation instead of turn.
I’ll give you one guess as to what the greatest motion deficits I consistently see in the golfers I work with.
If you guessed a lack of spine and hip rotation, you’d be 100% correct. Research supports this perspective showing even elite golfers with back pain substitute other extreme spine motions for a lack of turn. (See the references)
So how do get back your hip and spine rotation?
Stretch more? Swing drills? Read Faults and Fixes?
None of the above.
Yanking and pulling on muscles have never improved a golf swing. Muscles are not like leather straps or even rubber bands. They are electric with wires that go to a battery (your brain) which turns them on and off as they are needed. In an effort to simplify a very complex situation, you’ve been misled to false beliefs about how movement is achieved in golf.
If stretching actually worked, no one would have limited movements, golf would be easy, and there’d be no back pain in golf. (And I’d be out of a job!)
The reality is that achieving the ability to turn has more to do with physics than “balance” and the way you breathe more than the length of your muscles.
Over this series of blogs, I’ll break down the causes of your limitations in shoulder and hip turn (rotation) that interrupt your perfect golf swing and how you can regain it.
Until then, if you’re in Indianapolis and dealing with back pain that limits your ability to play enjoyable golf, consider taking advantage of the FREE IFAST Physical Therapy Consultation to actually see where your motion is limited and learn how it impacts your golf swing. We’ll even show you how fast your motion can change (it only takes a few seconds in many cases). It’s the perfect time to take care of it now, so you’re ready for the coming season.
Call Danny at (317)578-0998 to set up your FREE IFAST Physical Therapy Consultation today! Appointments are limited to first come, first served.
Physical Therapy in Sport. Volume 10, Issue 4. November 2009, pages 131-135
Lindsay and Horton. Comparison of spine motion in elite golfers with and without low back pain. Journal of Sport Sciences, Vol. 20, Issue 8. 2002