You’re at home watching the golf channel and Tiger Woods is on the tee. Do you find yourself looking at his setup, or his right elbow, or the length of his back swing, or his impact position and say to yourself, “that’s what I need to start doing in my golf swing!” Modeling the best golfer of our time would make sense, right?
The reality is that Tiger Woods, along with most of the players on the PGA tour, are incredibly flexible athletes. Many amateur golfers would need surgery to physically get into some of those same positions with their club and body. While most of you wouldn’t go get surgery, that hasn’t stopped you from going to the driving range and ‘trying’ to position yourself like Tiger, right?
The reason this may not be a wise decision is because by repetitively attempting to push your body to the end ranges of its available motion increases your risk of injury. Injuries can manifest themselves in areas such as disc herniations in the back and neck, injury to the rotator cuff in the shoulders (particularly the lead shoulder), and even both hips and knees. That’s not to say that someone can’t increase their motion, but doing so safely through manual therapy techniques by a physical therapist followed by specific exercise instruction is a safer approach than ‘forcing’ it in a dynamic motion like the golf swing.
Okay, so maybe you shouldn’t try to make your swing look like Tiger, but you can and should be working on your swing. Where does that leave you? Understanding the difference between swing style and swing efficiency will help:
- Swing STYLE determines how the player swings the club based on 2D analysis.
- Swing EFFICIENCY determines if a player’s swing style is ‘working’ based on 3D analysis – and by ‘working’ we are referring to what we call the ‘kinematic sequence’ -> the identical sequence of speed or energy initiation followed by an identical sequence of energy transfer.
We all want and should strive to hit the ball EFFICIENTLY like Tiger, however, all of us are almost guaranteed to have a different STYLE of getting the job done.
Look no further than the PGA tour, or even the top 10 players in the world, or Jim Furyk and Ernie Els, and you can appreciate the fact that there are many different swing styles for hitting the golf ball. While they are all different in style, they have some of the most efficient swings in the world.
As a TPI professional, we have a very simple philosophy about what the ideal golf swing should look like – “We don’t believe there is one way to swing a club; we believe there are an infinite number of ways to swing a club. But we do believe there is one efficient way for everyone to swing a club and it is based on what they can physically do.”
Basically, we feel that a player’s efficiency is much more important than their style. To say all players must be in a certain position and to teach everyone the same technique would make no sense at all. Each player has a different body and mind and should be treated like an individual.
As a TPI professional, once I determine what your body can physically do based on an in-depth evaluation, then we can begin to discuss ways (along with your teaching pro if you have one) to get your body in the shape necessary to augment your current swing that’s unique to you in order to maximize your efficiency. An efficient golf swing leaves you with not only the ability to play the game of golf better but the peace of mind that you’re setting yourself up for being able to play the game of golf we both love with reduced risk of injury for years to come.
Call 214-998-9904 today for your FREE TPI Physical Screen to see how I can help you!