The reality is that most of us need to earn a living to play golf, we don’t earn a living playing golf and we certainly don’t train like the pro golfers do. The problem with spending all day behind a desk is that it can alter your biomechanics by causing stiffness in the mobile areas of the body and weakness in the areas that are supposed to be strong and stable. This can negatively affect the efficiency of your golf swing by causing you to adopt faulty swing mechanics, lose clubhead speed and increase your risk of injury out on the course.
It’s all about efficiency
At the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) training we get taught that there is no perfect way to swing a golf club, but there is an efficient way and it should be based on what your body is physically capable of doing. You have two options, one is to adapt your swing to compensate for your physical limitations. An example could be making changes to your backswing or foot position to make up for certain mobility issues. Or you can work with a healthcare or fitness professional to correct as many of your physical limitations as possible. Ultimately this will help improve your swing efficiency and clubhead speed because your body won’t need to adopt faulty swing mechanics.
Before you start
Ideally, your stretching and exercise program should be tailored specifically to your physical limitations, and the only way to determine what yours are is to get assessed by a TPI Certified professional. That being said, there are a number of strength and mobility problems that are common in recreational golfers and these stretches and exercises that I’ve discussed in this blog post aims to address those common issues.
I recommend consulting with your local GP, chiropractor, physio or other appropriately trained healthcare professional before adding these stretches and exercises into your training routine. The reps and sets that have been provided are just a guide. You shouldn’t feel any pain while performing these stretches or exercises.
Cervical Spine (Neck)
You might be wondering why neck mobility is important for the golf swing? Think about it, you need to be able to keep your eye on the ball to make proper contact. During your backswing, your thorax rotates to the right while your eyes stay fixed on the ball (if you’re a right-handed golfer). If you lack cervical mobility your head and neck will rotate with your thorax and you will be unable to keep your eye on the ball.
Levator Scapulae Stretch
Grab a towel in the hand on the same side you’re going to stretch, then rotate your head about 45 degrees towards the opposite side and tuck your chin towards your chest and gently apply pressure with your other arm.
Hold for 15 seconds on both sides and repeat 2-3 times.