07 Thu

Golf Season is Coming.

Golf season is coming.

Written By: Paul Kochoa, PT, DPT, OCS, CGFI

Unless you’ve traveled to a warmer climate over the winter season, you probably haven’t played much golf in the past couple months.  But with warmer weather coming, it’s an opportune time to go over our next subject, golf and the golf swing.  As a certified golf medical professional and an avid golfer, I’ve seen my fair share of good and bad swings.  But the bottom line is that everyone has their own swing.  Even on the PGA Tour, there are different types of golf swings, some good, some bad, but they’re all out there playing professionally and earning the big bucks.  No two swings are completely the same.  But ALL good swings have one thing in common: a proper kinematic sequence.

What’s a kinematic sequence?  

Well, using data collected from 3-D motion analysis of PGA golfers’ swings, the Titleist Performance Institute has studied how top players generate their speed and power, and how they translate that energy throughout their bodies and then into the club and golf ball.  It’s the properly timed sequence of stability and mobility (see previous post: What’s a Movement Screen) that is the hallmark of all good players, regardless of how they “look” hitting the ball.

Here are some key points regarding this kinematic sequence:

1.  There is a common, ideal, and identical sequence of speed and energy generation.  This sequence is lower body first, followed by the torso, then the arm, then the club.

2.  Each of these segments and their speed build upon the previous segment, increasing the speed, up the chain of events.

golf swing3.  Each segment slows down as the next segment speeds up and continues to accelerate. The segments mentioned above are like a whip, working in an organized sequence to create the end result.  Without proper stability, you can’t have proper mobility.  Without proper mobility, you can’t generate the power and speed to hit the ball effectively.  It’s when you are able to create this kinematic chain, this sequence of events, properly that you end up with a good golf swing that is effective and, more importantly, efficient.  I specifically mention efficiency because that’s what prevents joint breakdown, pain, and/or injury.  A more efficient swing is easier to perform, repeatable, and less taxing on the body.  Think about it, those guys on TV make it look easy, why should you be swinging so hard to hit that tiny ball?  Inefficiency creates too much stress on joints that are stressed enough and this leads to injury.  And if you’re like me, playing with injury is no fun.  Sure, Mark Twain once said that “golf is a good walk spoiled”… But getting hurt can make it even more miserable.

For more information on how to improve your golf swing, please call our offices in Madison and Summit, NJ at 973-270-7417.  Professional Physical Therapy and Training also offers a golf program for individuals looking to improve their game.

Next up:  How can we make a golf swing more efficient?

Our offices are conveniently located in the Madison & Summit Area YMCAs in New Jersey.  This makes it easy for our physical therapists to create an exercise plan for our patients and to instruct them correctly using the YMCA equipment.  You do not need a YMCA membership to visit us.

Image courtesy of pat138241 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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