How to Drive the Golf Ball Straighter and Longer with Golf
By Sean Cochran
The golf swing is arguably one of the most difficult athletic
actions to perform. The golf swing requires you to draw the
golf club through a long range of motion with proper technique
and exact timing.
Any error in swing plane, timing, or sequence will cause
your golf swing to suffer, and suffer it will. Unfortunately,
the result of your golf swing suffering will be errant shots,
poor golf scores, and frustration on the golf course.
Often the amateur is at a lost for why their golf swing results
in errant shots. Countless hours are spent at the range in
an effort to improve their golf swing. Hundreds or even thousands
of dollars are spent on lessons each year, and not to mention
the purchasing of new equipment.
It all adds up to a lot of time and money spent on improving
the golf swing. Unfortunately, for many amateur golfers their
handicaps and score never improve. Leading to the question
“why is my golf game not improving?”
If this is you and this question lingers in your mind. The
answer to your question could easily be staring right back
at you in the mirror. The failure of improvement may have
absolutely nothing to do with the driver you are swinging,
the teaching pro helping you with your swing, or even your
practice routine. It could all do with you! Yes you, the physical
body swinging the golf club.
Keep in mind the golf club does not perform the mechanics
of the golf swing. Nor do the mechanics of the golf swing
execute themselves without you. It is you and your body executing
the mechanics of the golf swing. The point to make is your
body directly affects the mechanics of the golf swing.
Additionally, the golf swing requires your body to encompass
certain physical qualities to execute the mechanics of the
golf swing correctly. These physical qualities are certain
levels of flexibility, muscular strength, balance, and power.
If you are lacking the minimal amounts of flexibility, balance,
strength, and power to execute the golf swing correctly. Compensations
will occur even before you swing the golf club.
For example, let’s look at your flexibility. The golf swing
requires you to draw the golf club through a large range of
motion. The backswing requires a full shoulder turn to set
the club in the correct slot for the downswing, and the finish
position is almost a mirror image of the backswing.
In order to perform these parts of the golf swing correctly,
the muscles of your body must be flexible. An inflexible body
in which muscles are “tight” creates restrictions in movement.
Restrictions in movement in relation to the golf swing will
undoubtedly result in limitations pertaining to golf swing.
The limitation will impede you from creating a full shoulder
turn and balanced finish position. This causes compensations
in the mechanics of the golf swing.
The entire body needs to be flexible for the golf swing.
Certain muscles more than others are involved in the golf
swing, and if these muscles are “tight” they will directly
affect your golf swing. One such set of muscles is your hamstrings.
The hamstrings (back side of your upper leg) are often “tight”
and cause problems to many people, not just golfers. However,
they have a profound effect on the golf swing and it is not
a good effect. Hamstrings that are “tight” are in a shortened
position. The shortened position of the hamstrings has a direct
effect on the position of your hips. Your hips will be “tucked”,
directly affecting your posture. This in itself can hamper
the ability to place oneself in the correct position at address
within the golf swing, not to mention maintaining a proper
spine angle during the swing.
Additionally, “tight” hamstrings place an undo amount of
stress on the lower back. Large amounts of stress on the lower
back cause fatigue, soreness, and increase the possibility
of injury. If you are a golfer that has ever experienced lower
back pain you know the effect it has on your ability to swing
the golf club correctly.
A combination of a postural change and undo amounts of stress
on the lower back, just begin to scratch the surface of the
effect inflexible muscles can have on the golf swing. “Tight”
muscles change the kinematics of the body. As a result, the
biomechanics of the golf swing must be altered. These alterations
usually lead to compensations in the mechanics of the golf
swing resulting in errant shot patterns on the golf course.
And no matter what you do in terms of practice or instruction
these alterations will not go away until you address them.
Just as you address swing faults, you must address flexibility
faults. Flexibility faults can be addressed through golf stretches.
Golf stretches enhance the flexibility of your body in relation
to the golf swing. Golf stretches often times return muscles
that are “tight” such as the hamstrings to their proper length.
This results in the ability of your body to perform the biomechanics
of the golf swing correctly. If you are one of many golfers
who are not finding their golf swing improving through practice
and instruction. Take a moment and look at the body swinging
the golf club. This very well may be the root of your golf
swing problems. Fix your flexibility faults through golf stretches
and find yourself on the road to lower golf scores and more
enjoyment in the game of golf.
About the Author
Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors
in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour regularly with
2005 PGA & 2004 Masters Champion Phil Mickelson. He has made
many of his golf tips, golf instruction and golf swing improvement
techniques available to amateur golfers on the website http://www.bioforcegolf.com
To contact Sean, you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org