Golf has many things to offer; fun with friends, exercise, friendly wagers, nature, family time, wildlife, etc. If you want to excel at the game of golf you must treat it as a sport. Golf is similar to many sports in which the human body moves in a rotary motion, such as batting in baseball, hitting a hockey puck, etc. The difference is the object is moving in most other sports, so more physical endurance might be needed to get to where the object is located. The kinematic movement to hit the object however is exactly the same. Most professional baseball players and hockey players can hit the golf ball a long way. They have developed their body to rotate with power and agility. The dynamic sequencing and squaring up of the hockey stick relates to a golf swing. Let us talk about how sports science and kinetics effect a players potential.
For some reason in golf, most people don’t warm up or if they do they only do a few toe touches. If you look at baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis, or any other sporting event, watch them get their body ready to play the game. They are doing all their warm-ups in continuous movement. By the time they are done warming up their joints are stretched, muscles are warm, and the players are sweating. Their bodies are ready to perform at the start of the event. Golfers should take the same attitude. If you have five minutes, go to the range with your friends and while they are hitting 20 golf balls as fast as they can, warm up by doing simple exercise that use motion. Use a golf club and a golf cart to stabilize yourself if needed while doing warm up exercises. Not only does this get your body ready to play, it will keep your muscles and joints warm for an extended period of time. Also, it is a fact that dynamic warm-ups help prevent injuries. Then, after every round, statically stretch (stretches that are held in position for a period of time) to cool down the body. Go to www.mytpi.com to see great warm up exercises, and cool down stretches.
Dynamic sequencing makes Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods very competitive. Their swings are very different but one thing they have in common is that they have the correct dynamic sequencing. Their body parts move in the correct order and in rotary motion. From Old Tom Morris to Rory McIlrory, from hickory shafts to the graphite shafts of today, these concepts of dynamic sequencing have held true. Ben Hogan, in his book, The Five Fundamentals of Golf, talks about sequencing in the golf swing. K-Vest, a devise that shows a player their dynamic sequencing, tells us that Hogan knew what he was talking about. Hogan says the sequence should go in this order: club head, hands, arms, chest, and hips. On the downswing the reverse happens, hips, chest, arms, hands, and club head. The energy should transfer from one body part to another in a manner that maximizes control and power. Every golfer I teach has a different dynamic sequence. My job is to speed up or slow down what body part is moving at the wrong time. During your swing your arms might be fast and your hips never move. I would have you rotate your legs and hips to start the downswing. I believe that correct dynamic sequencing is the biggest reason that PGA Tour players are playing for a living and the rest of us are watching them on TV. When a playing partners tells a player that they are really quick today, maybe they are just out of sequence. Go see your local PGA Professional and make sure you have the correct sequence.
Todd Elliott is the PGA Head Golf Professional for Hideaway Beach. Todd is TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) Certified as a golf professional. This gives him the ability to give golf specific physical screening to detect any physical limitation that might affect the golf swing. Todd is an active Student Mentor at FGCU; a volunteer with the First Tee program and was presented the 2010 and 2011 PGA’s President Council Awards on “Growing the Game.”