Golf swings: Most of the time, it’s form that FOLLOWS function..

I’ve been writing recently about practice sessions I’ve had and working with ball position and the transition of my swing from the top of the backswing. What I’ve been searching for is more consistent contact and improved motion in order to positively change my ball flight. “Stuck” is a good word for what I’ve been feeling, like my body and arms are working against each other and not flowing.

So I started with the fundamentals of grip, posture and alignment. What root causes may be causing my shots to be either blocked or hooked, thin or heavy? Then I progressed to thinking about the shape of my swing (plane and path, etc). Onward to balance and tempo through the swing, noting the ball flight direction, what my divots look like, what the shots “felt” like.

34 years of playing has grooved a few things into my body and head. My swing has stayed fairly consistent over time and I’ve become quite adept at making tiny compensations to make it work. One thing that I’ve overlooked in the past three months though has been my body. Recently (since August) my right hip has grown progressively painful. After seeing Dr. Timothy Chow (awesome chiropractor and TPI guy), he confirmed for me what I already knew… right hip flexor, hamstring, butt cheek, you name the muscle in that area….are beyond tight and causing some serious issues.

Sometimes you have to look beyond the golf swing to see a cause, and find hope for correction and better swings. In my case, I need more treatment on my hip area and really need to make the time each day to stretch and strengthen not only my right hip, but my entire body.

In a nutshell, the tightness in the muscles around the hip (flexibility issues) restricts my mobility (of the hip joint to function). This causes me to compensate in too many ways in my swing. I’m in pain, so obviously my body is not going to move into a position it SHOULD go into. I’m finding the path of least resistance, which is throwing everything else off.

Dave Phillips and Lance Gill from the Titleist Performance Institute do a great job explaining what happens in the right hip area during the swing in the video below. What they explain and show is exactly what is happening to me now in my swing.

2700 miles a month in a car has a lot to do with the pain I’m feeling. I need to do the work to fix the hip, allow the golf swing to flow and get back to enjoying effortless power, not powerless effort.

Thanks to the TPI guys for posting their knowledge on their blog. Definitely check them out. And admittedly, I’m a total Titleist guy…

More on this topic later, after I can get my mobility and flexibility back where it should be!

By the way, feel free to correct me on any physio/biomechanic issues discussed here if I’m off base. Reacquainting myself with a good number of concepts. Fun stuff, this body talk.

Dave Phillips & Lance Gill from Titleist Performance Institute


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