How efficient is your swing

By Golf Fitness MagazineMarch 11, 2009, 4:00 pm
By Bill McInerney
 
Every once in a while there is a discovery, or technological breakthrough, in the game of golf that truly makes the game more enjoyable for everyone. Some examples are the modern golf ball, and the new hybrid golf clubs that make hitting out of the rough as easy as cutting through a stick of butter. Yes, these are all wonderful advances in equipment and golf technology. But in reality, are these breakthroughs really making us better golfers, or just simply making it easier for us to hit golf shots with the same old golf swing; a swing less efficient than what we are actually capable of executing?
 
Over the last decade, since the arrival of Tiger Woods, has come a new outlook on the game of golf. PGA and LPGA Tour Professionals are now recognized as pure athletes, as apposed to just golfers. Golf fitness has truly become one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of the game. Its great for golfers and great for the game.
 
Golf Fitness Magazine and its team of advisors continues to offer you the latest and greatest in golf- specific fitness to help you maximize your potential and further understand your body, in an effort to improve your golf game. Here we would like to offer you an opportunity to test yourself to see where you are in terms of your current physical fitness level. The following is a physical assessment screening that you can perform on your own or with a partner. This test will not necessarily tell you what you are capable of during a golf swing, but will instead help you recognize what you may be incapable of, and what faults this may cause throughout your swing. This knowledge is vital for many reasons, one being to reveal your bodys ability to produce a mechanically correct golf swing.
 
Overhead Deep Squat Test


 

Straight Leg Raise Test

 



This test will help you measure the overall mobility in your legs, ankles, shoulders and spine. If you are unable to perform this test, it is likely that you will not be able to maintain your spine angle throughout your downswing. The natural tendency is to thrust your hips toward the ball at the start of the downswing, thus pulling yourself up and out of the shot.
 
With your feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointing forward, hold a golf club directly over your head so the club is parallel with your shoulders.
 
Squat down as far as possible, keeping your heels flat on the ground and the golf club directly over your head.
 
To pass the Overhead Deep Squat Test you must be able to squat down far enough so that your legs are parallel with the ground, while continuing to look forward and keeping the golf club overhead.


 
Pelvic Tilt Test

 

This test measures the mobility in your hamstrings and lower back, but can also detect certain problems or stiffness in your hips which can limit a proper set up for your full swing shot or putting stroke. If you are unable to perform this test, you will not be able to maintain your posture (body angles) throughout your swing which will make it difficult to keep the club on plane.
 
Lie on your back, with both legs and your head flat on the ground. Have a partner place a driver shaft, perpendicular to the ground, on the outside of your right leg, halfway between your hip and knee.
 
Pull your toes toward you and proceed to lift your leg, keeping your knee straight. (Your head, hips and left leg should remain flat on the floor. A golf ball can be placed under your left knee, which will prevent you from moving your hips or back). Complete this motion three times.
 
Youve passed this test if your ankle is able to lift up to, or past, the driver.
 
Repeat this test with your left leg.


 
Half-Kneeling Rotation Test

 


This test measures the range of motion in your lower back, and reveals your capacity to engage your abs and glute muscles. To transfer power from your lower body to your upper body in the golf swing, the ability to control your pelvis is imperative for power in your swing and limiting the chances of injury to your lower back.
 
Begin this test by getting yourself into a golf posture, arms across your chest, and your back in a neutral or flat position.
 
Once you have established a neutral starting position, begin tilting your pelvis forward, arching your lower back as far as possible without moving your head.
 
Upon completion of this movement, tilt your pelvis backward as far as possible, removing the arch in your lower back.
 
You have passed this test if you are able to move your pelvis back and forth in a smooth manner. If there is shaking while moving in either direction, it is a tell-tale sign that you are not using certain muscles on a daily basis that are vital in performing a golf swing.


 
Single Leg Balance Test

 


This test measures the overall flexibility between your upper and lower body, along with your core stability. Having good separation between your upper and lower body facilitates greater speed and power in your golf swing. Limited sepa ration can result in a number of swing faults including too much lateral movement (sway or slide) and loss of posture.
 
Criss-cross two golf clubs at a 90-degree angle, so that it looks as though you have made four 45-degree angles with them.
 
Squat over the criss-crossed golf clubs on your right knee, with your left foot and knee creating as straight a line as possible, one in front of the other.
 
Place another golf club in the center of your back, locked in with your elbows.
 
From this position, keeping your head facing forward, attempt to rotate your shoulders to the left.
 
If you are able to rotate far enough to cross one of the 45-degree lines, you have passed the test.

Repeat with the opposite leg.


 
Grey Cook, a practicing Physical Therapist, strength coach and pioneer in the field of movement and performance, developed the concept of the functional movement screening. These movements have been designed to help you isolate your physical limitations and help identify a fitness regime that can best improve your swing.
 
EDITORS NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFMs team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site golffitnessmagazine.com for more information.
 

Day, Spieth chasing Davis after Day 1 of Aussie Open

By Jason CrookNovember 23, 2017, 6:50 am

The PGA Tour is off this week but a couple of the circuit’s biggest stars – Jordan Spieth and Jason Day – are headlining the Emirates Australian Open, the first event in The Open Qualifying Series for the 2018 Open at Carnoustie. Here's how things look after the opening round, where Cameron Davis has opened up a two-shot lead:

Leaderboard: Cameron Davis (-8), Taylor MacDonald (-6), Nick Cullen (-5), Jason Day (-5), Brian Campbell (-4), Lucas Herbert (-4), Stephen Leaney (-4), Anthony Quayle (-4)

What it means: Jordan Spieth has won this event three of the last four years, including last year, but he got off to a rocky start on Thursday. Playing in the windy afternoon wave, the world No. 2 bogeyed his first two holes but rebounded with birdies on Nos. 4 and 5. It was more of the same the rest of the way as the 24-year-old carded three more bogeys and four birdies, getting into the clubhouse with a 1-under 70. While it certainly wasn't the start he was hoping for, Spieth didn't shoot himself out of the tournament with 54 holes left to play, he has plenty of time to claw his way up the leaderboard.

Round of the day: With Round 1 in the books, the solo leader, Davis, is the easy pick here. The 22-year-old Aussie who turned pro last year, came out of the gates on fire, birdieing six of his first seven holes, including four in a row on Nos. 4 through 7. He did drop a shot on the ninth hole to go out in 30 but rebounded with three more birdies on the back to card a 8-under 63. Davis, who was born in Sydney and played this year on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. He will attempt to get his Web.com Tour card next month during qualifying in Arizona.

Best of the rest: Making his first start in his home country in four years, Day started on the 10th hole at The Australian Golf Club and made four birdies to one bogey on the back side before adding four more circles after making the turn. Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, he also added an ugly double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole and had to settle for a 5-under 66, good enough to sit T-3. Day, who has dropped to No. 12 in the world rankings, is looking for his first win on any tour since the 2016 Players Championship.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Can the upstart 22-year-old Davis hold off the star power chasing him or will he fold to the pressure of major champions in his rearview mirror? Day (afternoon) and Spieth (morning) are once again on opposite ends of the draw on Friday as they try to improve their position before the weekend.

Shot of the day: It’s tough to beat an ace in this category, and we had one of those on Thursday from Australian Brad Shilton. Shilton’s hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole came with a special prize, a $16k watch.

Quote of the day: “Just two bad holes. Pretty much just two bad swings for the day,” – Day, after his 66 on Thursday. 

Watch: Shilton wins $16k timepiece with hole-in-one

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 2:50 am

Australian Brad Shilton made a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole during the first round of the Australian Open, and he was rewarded handsomely for his efforts - with a Tag Heuer watch worth $16k.

Day gets in early mix with 66 in return to Australia

By Associated PressNovember 23, 2017, 2:32 am

SYDNEY - Jason Day's first tournament round in Australia in four years was a 5-under 66 to put him among the leaders early Thursday at the Australian Open.

Day's round came unhinged late with a double-bogey 6 on the par-4 eighth hole, his second-last of the day. He hit his tee shot into the trees on the left, hit back out to the fairway, missed his approach to the green and then couldn't get up and down.

''That was brutal,'' Day said of the 481-yard hole that played into gusting winds.

But Day recovered quickly to birdie his last to sit three strokes behind fellow Australian and early leader Cameron Davis, who started on the first, had six front-nine birdies and shot 63 at The Australian Golf Club.

In between the two was Australian Taylor MacDonald, who shot 65.

''It was a pretty solid round, I didn't miss many fairways, I didn't miss many greens,'' Day said. ''I'd give myself a seven or eight out of 10.''

Defending champion Jordan Spieth, attempting to win the Australian Open for the third time in four years, was off to a poor start among the afternoon players, bogeying his first two holes.

The Sydney-born Davis played most of this season on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada and will attempt to secure his Web.com card in the final round of qualifying from Dec. 7-10 in Chandler, Arizona.

''Everything went to plan,'' Davis said. ''I got off to a great start. I was hitting my spots and was able to keep it together on the back nine.''

NOTES: Australian Brad Shilton had the first ace of the tournament, using a 5-iron for a hole-in-one on the par-3, 188-yard 11th hole, his second hole of the day. Australian veteran Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open winner, shot 69. He and Rod Pampling (68) played the first round with Day.

Day: Woods feeling good, hitting it long

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 22, 2017, 9:33 pm

Jason Day says Tiger Woods told him he feels better than he has in three years, which is good news for Woods a week ahead of his return to the PGA Tour at the Hero World Challenge.

Day, a fellow Nike endorser, was asked about Woods during his news conference at the Emirates Australian Open on Wednesday. "I did talk to him," Day said, per a report in the Sydney Morning Herald,"and he did say it's the best he's ever felt in three years'" Day said.

"He doesn't wake up with pain anymore, which is great. I said to him, 'Look, it's great to be one of the best players ever to live, but health is one thing that we all take for granted and if you can't live a happy, healthy life, then that's difficult.'"

The Hero World Challenge will be played Nov. 30-Dec. 3 in the Bahamas and broadcast on Golf Channel and NBC.

Day, who has had his own health issues, said he could empathize with Woods.

"I totally understand where he's coming from, because sometimes I wake up in the morning and it takes me 10 minutes to get out of bed, and for him to be in pain for three years is very frustrating."

Woods has not played since February after undergoing surgery following a recurrence of back problems.

"From what I see on Instagram and what he's been telling me, he says he's ready and I'm hoping that he is, because from what I hear, he's hitting it very long," Day said.

"And if he's hitting it long and straight, then that's going to be tough for us because it is Tiger Woods. He's always been a clutch putter and in amongst the best and it will be interesting to see.

"There's no pressure. I think it's a 17- or 18-man field, there's no cut, he's playing at a tournament where last year I think he had the most birdies at."



This test measures your ability to stay balanced throughout your golf swing. If you are unable to perform this test, it is likely you will have difficulty holding a balanced finish position and will be limited in the amount of force you can apply to the golf ball while maintaining good fundamentals.
 
Stand facing forward, raising one leg off of the ground about 10 inches, arms at your side.
 
Once you feel comfortable and stable in this position, close your eyes while maintaining a stable, balanced position.
 
You have passed this test if you are able to stay balanced with hands by your side and eyes closed for at least 25 seconds.