It’s getting to be my favorite time of year, golf season. The PGA tour is starting to heat up with bigger tournaments and people are already talking about The Masters. In New England, we’re starting to get glimpses of nicer weather. It can also be one of the most frustrating times of year for me professionally though. Why you ask? Now that the weather is getting nicer, I’m starting to get golfers calling saying they want to get ready for the upcoming season. It is great that people are looking to get better, and I love helping my golfers. The problem is that the season starts in two weeks. Where were you for the past 3 months when you couldn’t play golf and were stuck inside? The truth is, you already missed the boat if you truly want to be ready for the start of the season. Fear not though my golfing friends, there is still plenty that you can do to improve your golf game for next season.
What are the two most important things to focus on? Good mobility and good stability. Simple right? What that really means is you need good mobility of your hips, ankles, shoulders, and neck. For stability you need strength in your core, chest, hips, and shoulders. That is just to develop a good foundation. If you really want to hit the ball farther, you need to work on power development. That is a whole extra level of strength and speed training. Are you starting to see why you need at least 3 months to make a change in the off season? I’m going to do my best to simplify it for you to get you up and running for the season. Just remember that next season you need to call me in December, not March.
The biggest restriction that I see in amateur golfers is shoulder turn – most don’t have enough. This restriction places a lot of strain on your back and shoulders. It can also limit the power you can produce in your swing. My favorite way to improve shoulder turn is the open book exercise. Perform 10 repetitions, with a 3 second hold, twice a day.
Most amateurs are seriously lacking in the stability category. The reason is, most people sit all day at their job and then during their commute to and from work. The glutes and abdominals are the two big players in producing stability. The unfortunate thing is that when we are sitting, both of these muscles are taking a break. That means that in a normal work day the two most important players in producing stability in the golf swing are on vacation. I’m not telling you to quit your job and find one that doesn’t require you to sit all day. I’m just trying to give you an idea of what an uphill battle it is to build the proper stability that is required in the golf swing. One of the best exercises to help increase both glute and abdominal strength at the same time is the bridge with kick. Perform 3 sets of 10 repetitions, twice daily.
Performing those two exercises will get you started on the right track. It isn’t ideal but it’s better than nothing. The take home message? Golf season doesn’t start in March or April. It really starts 2-3 months before that. Make sure you get started a little bit earlier next season to make it your best. Happy golfing!
- Ian at OrthoCore