If ever there was a sport specifically designed to take you from madness to happiness shot by shot it would surely be golf. We have spent many years educating, balancing and putting bodies back together mainly because of the passion to just keep going that is present in many golfers we treat (professionals, amateurs and those dedicated people in the middle!). What we find is that golf can create some very bad habits that can have a detrimental affect on your swing and also your quality of life.
To give this some context our experience of the golf swing and optimal performance goes back as far some of the great names who had to change their swing:
Ben Hogan – His swing change was because of his accident and injuries to his knee, hip and shoulder. Pain caused him to alter his swing and he lost some drive but still performed unbelievably well and understood how to hit his optimal performance level.
At Create Health we call this body mechanics, I will let one of our clients describe the gain:
“Shoshi is an excellent trainer. She uses her knowledge and experience to individualize workouts to the needs of each each client. Both my wife and I have gained significant flexibility and strength since we began working with Shoshi, including a positive impact on my golf swing.”
Like a good golf swing we know that agility of method is key, as is understanding that the body compensates for a bad swing technique by changing the dynamics of your body. Example two is a little different to Hogan:
Nick Faldo – The change was not because of injury but more to do with his obsessive competitive nature. He became more compact, efficient and productive in his swing. We know it worked and then some!
What Nick was doing was changing his mechanics but it runs counter productive to what you often see on the course of someone hitting the ball literally as hard as they can. He understood his body and focused on what he could understand and improve. The last part is key and also the most difficult part is understand. What the body has changed is not clear to us, we have treated celebrities, CEO’s, sports people, dancers and the most common example is uncovering for each of them the unique elements their body has created. Sometimes it simple a jarred back, a minor injury and sometimes it is more severe, if you understand AND fix these elements that is when the amazing occurs:
“Thank you, Glenn, for being there at the beginning when the back was as hard as a board and the spine was as twisted as a pretzel. Since the climactic session, I have walked 18 hole rounds of golf. I am sitting, standing, swinging a golf club, sleeping and FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 35 YEARS——LIVING PAIN FREE, AND WITHOUT PAIN MEDICATION!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Now John was a very interesting case, the back is often the direct cause of so many alterations in other parts of the body. We know of a pretty famous golfer who lived this:
Tiger Woods – The evolving swing can be seen in that wonderful slideshow. We know Tiger had some serious injuries and kept motoring on. The Tiger of 2016 just had one back issue too many and perhaps should have followed the advice to take time off a long time before it reached this stage, an incredible player with broken mechanics.
As you can see pain, injury and performance was a common thread to all three.
We put pain relief and education of the cause first in our priorities
Once you cure the pain you understand the causation
Once you understand the cause you can improve your movement & flexibility
Once you optimise flexibility you could win some Majors…
….or at least feel a lot happier inside and out as you take down your buddies on the course.