I’ve written recently about physical issues in my golf swing that hold back performance. My right hip has been quite testy lately, but over the past 2 weeks, the hip pain has gone away. Unfortunately, the pain decided to migrate lower to the inside of my right knee. And man…it hurts! I know, I sound fairly whiny. But when it comes to my golf swing and playing in general, pain like I’m experiencing makes playing a little less “fun”. I’m trying to stay positive and work through it several ways, and I’m seeing some encouraging things, despite hobbling a bit.
One thing the pain does is make me swing much more “within” myself. In other words, I don’t just get up and wail away. I’m much more balanced and have found a really gentle rhythm and tempo inside my swing. The balance and tempo leads to much less lateral motion and I actually feel like my swing is better. Why? Mostly due to the intense pain I get when I make a bad swing. If my right (back/support) leg straightens a little during the backswing, I have to make a compensatory movement back down to the ball and impact, thereby sort of bending/wrenching my right knee to do so. And why might the back leg be straightening? Read the quote below from my good friend David Ostrow for a bio mechanical/physiology perspective:
“All of those symptoms in the hip flexor, hamstrings, and IT band issue are ALL symptoms of uber weakness in the glute max and medius.
Biomechanically, when those to bad boys are weak, and they are too weak on almost everyone, it allows the femur to adduct (move inward) and internally rotate with weight bearing activities. The net result it increase tone in the tfl, tightness in the itb, and a knee cap that appears to move laterally over the end of the femur. In reality the femur is moving medially (towards midline) in this situation. There is a great deal of research that supports this, I have have magically cured patellofemoral problems, and uber tight hip flexors by giving your Glutes a huge increase in strength ie making your ass more tight…in about 4-6 weeks.
That is the cure…it fixes the biomechanics, and I can provide the research out of USC to prove it.”
David M. Ostrow, P.T., GPS, CGFI-MP3, Certified Junior Golf Fitness Coach
CEO FitGolf Enterprises, LLC
In other words, I’m really weak and really tight, and need to find the time, motivation and courage to put up with rehab pain!
I managed to shoot 74 yesterday in fairly boring fashion. Ball striking was solid. Ball flight was controlled. While my swing speed was probably a few MPH less than usual, I was finding the middle of the club-face consistently, leading to good distance control. I hit 12/14 fairways and 12/18 greens in regulation. An eagle on the par 5 twelfth hole was encouraging. All this with a banged up right side. Fun to think how much better it can be, you know?
My short game still sucks, but that’s another blog post. Right now,it’s time to get treatment, commit to getting my body in shape and find peace and answers on the practice tee. That’s good stuff.
Thanks for the feedback, David. Your knowledge, clinical expertise and friendship mean a lot. Ad I suppose if after rehab I find I have “a tighter ass”…..well, so be it.