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.
Sean Cochran is one of the most recognized golf fitness instructors in the world today. He travels the PGA Tour regularly working with PGA Professionals, most notably Masters and PGA Champion Phil Mickelson, and owner of http://www.seancochran.com