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.
 
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Dunlap, in 'excruciating pain,' shares early Dominion lead

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 10:29 pm

RICHMOND, Va. – Scott Dunlap and Fran Quinn shot 5-under 67 on Friday to share the first-round lead in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Fighting a left wrist injury that will require surgery, Dunlap matched Quinn with a closing birdie on the par-5 18th on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.

''Maybe excruciating pain is the key to playing good golf because I'm not getting nervous on a shot, you're just trying to get through it,'' Dunlap said. ''The worst parts are gripping it and getting the club started ... that's when that bone hits that bone.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


The 55-year-old Dunlap entered the week 29th in the standings. Playing through the wrist injury, he's coming off ties for ninth and seventh in his last two starts.

''I think I finally taped it the right way,'' Dunlap said. ''Or maybe it's the pain meds kicking in. I don't know, one of the two.''

Quinn is 64th in the standings.

''I finished up strong last year, too, kind of secured my privileges for the following year making eagle on 18,'' Quinn said. ''I played solid all day. I had a lot of opportunities. A couple hiccups.''

Jay Haas was a stroke back with Kent Jones, Stephen Ames, Woody Austin and Tim Petrovic. The 64-year-old Haas won the last of his 18 senior titles in 2016.

Vijay Singh and Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, were at 69 with Joey Sindelar, Tom Gillis, Billy MayfairLee Janzen, Glen Day and Gene Sauers.

Defending champion Bernhard Langer opened with a 70. The 61-year-old German star won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the points lead. He has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.

Defending Charles Schwab Cup champion Kevin Sutherland had a 71. He's 14th in the standings. No. 3 Jerry Kelly shot 72. No. 4 Scott McCarron, the 2016 tournament winner, had a 74.

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Weather continues to plague Valderrama Masters

By Associated PressOctober 19, 2018, 7:55 pm

SOTOGRANDE, Spain  -- Marc Warren helped his chances of retaining his European Tour card by moving into a tie for second place behind Englishman Ashley Chesters at the rain-hit Andalucia Valderrama Masters on Friday.

Bad weather interrupted play for a second straight day at the Real Club Valderrama in southern Spain before darkness caused the second round to be suspended until Saturday, with overnight Chesters still ahead at 5-under.

Weather delays on Thursday, including a threat of lightning, had kept 60 golfers from finishing their opening round. They included Scottish player Warren, who went out on Friday and finished his first round with a 2-under 69.

He then made three birdies to go with one bogey on the first nine holes of the second round before play was halted. He joined Frenchman Gregory Bourdy one shot behind Chesters.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


''I'm hitting the ball as well as I have in a long time,'' Warren said. ''Hitting fairways and greens is the most important thing around here, so hopefully I wake up tomorrow with the same swing.''

Chesters and Bourdy were among several golfers unable to play a single hole in the second round on Friday.

Warren, a three-time European Tour winner, has struggled this season and needs a strong performance to keep his playing privileges for next year.

Currently ranked 144th, Warren needs to break into the top 116 to keep his card.

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Watch: Is this the up-and-down of the year?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 19, 2018, 3:30 pm

Play away from the pin? Just because there's a tree in your way? Not Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano. Watch him channel some Arnie (or, more appropriately, some Seve) with this shot in the Valderrama Masters:

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Cut Line: Johnny's exit, Tiger's fatigue

By Rex HoggardOctober 19, 2018, 2:06 pm

In this week’s edition we bid farewell to the most outspoken and insightful analyst of his generation and examine a curious new interpretation that will require players to start paying attention to the small print.

Made Cut

Here’s Johnny. After nearly three decades Johnny Miller will hang up his microphone following next year’s Waste Management Phoenix Open.

Miller called his first tournament as NBC Sports/Golf Channel’s lead analyst in 1990 at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic and he told Cut Line this week that at 71 years old he’s ready to relax and spend time with his 24 grandchildren.

“I was the first guy with an open microphone,” Miller said. “That requires a lot of concentration. It’s not that I couldn’t do it but the handwriting was on the wall; it would be more of a challenge.”

Miller will be missed for his insight as much as his often-blunt deliveries, but it’s the latter that made him one of a kind.

A long ride to the right place. After nearly four years of legal wrangling a group of PGA Tour caddies dropped their class-action lawsuit against the circuit this week.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in early 2015 in an attempt by the caddies to secure marketing rights for the bibs they wear during tournaments as a way to create better healthcare and retirement benefits.

The district court largely ruled against the caddies and that ruling was upheld by an appeals court earlier this year, but better healthcare options may still be in the cards for the caddies.

“I told the guys, if we really want a healthy working relationship with the Tour, we need to fix this and open the lines of communication,” said Scott Sajtinac, the president of the Association of Professional Tour Caddies.

Sajtinac told Cut Line that the Tour has offered a potential increase to the longtime stipend they give caddies for healthcare and in a statement the circuit said talks are ongoing.

“The PGA Tour looks forward to continuing to support the caddies in the important role they play in the success of our members,” the statement said.

It’s rare when both sides of a lawsuit walk away feeling good about themselves, but this particular outcome appears to have ended with a favorable outcome for everybody involved.


Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF)

A long haul. Tiger Woods acknowledged what many had speculated about, telling a group this week at his annual Tiger Woods Invitational at Pebble Beach that his season-ending push and his first victory in five years took a physical toll at the Ryder Cup.

“It was just a cumulative effect of the entire season,” Woods said on Tuesday. “I was tired because I hadn’t trained for it. I hadn’t trained this entire comeback to play this much golf and on top of that deal with the heat and the fatigue and the loss of weight.”

Woods went 0-4 for the U.S. team in France and appeared particularly tired on Sunday following the European victory at Le Golf National.

For Woods the result was worth the effort with his victory at the Tour Championship ending a five-year drought, but his play and concession that it impacted him at the Ryder Cup does create some interesting questions for U.S. captain Jim Furyk, who sent Woods out for both team sessions on Saturday.

Tweet(s) of the week: @BobEstesPGA (Bob Estes) “I spoke to a past Ryder Cup captain yesterday. We both agreed that there should be a week off before the [Ryder Cup] to adequately rest and prepare.”

Given Woods’ comments this week it seems likely he would agree that a break – which may become the norm with the Tour season ending three weeks earlier – would be helpful, but Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts had a slightly different take in response to Estes’ tweet. “I’m afraid a different schedule wasn’t gonna make the fairways wider. On that particular course with how we played, [the United States] had absolutely no chance. Hasn’t more than half the euros played playoffs too?” Colsaerts tweeted.

It’s never too early to get a jump on the 2020 trash talking.


Missed Cut

By the book. The USGA and R&A’s most recent rulemaking hill involved the use of green-reading materials. On Monday the game’s rule-makers unveiled new interpretations on what will be allowed starting next year.

Out will be the legal-sized reams of information that had become ubiquitous on Tour, replaced by pocket-sized books that will include a limited scale (3/8 inch to 5 yards).

While the majority of those involved were in favor of a scaled-back approach to what to many seemed like information overload, it did seem like a curious line to draw.

Both sides of the distance debate continue to await which way the rule-makers will go on this front and, at least in the United States, participation continues to be a challenge.

Banning the oversized green-reading books may have been a positive step, but it was a micro issue that impacted a wildly small portion of the golf public. Maybe it’s time for the rule-makers to start looking at more macro issues.



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.