The challenges to increasing strength and stability.
Phil Mickelson became the 10th player to win majors in three decades. He also became the oldest major winner at 50 years old. And while 50 may be the new 40 in golf — with modern technology and a much heavier emphasis on fitness — it is still quite an accomplishment. Talk about stability!
At any age, strength and stability are one of the biggest challenges we face with our golf swing. It’s not hard to imagine how much a basic golf swing stresses the musculoskeletal system because it isn’t designed to experience repetitive rotary forces. Just think of the effect this has had on Tiger’s back.
That’s why it is so important to properly strength train and coordinate the musculature of the back and your core. (And although most of us don’t like to admit it, our ball-striking skills and power diminish with age. Yet another factor to take into consideration).
Minimize stress: In other words, keep the spine fine.
The key is to help minimize the stress of the golf swing on the fixed, rigid structures of the spine (bones, discs, and ligaments). In short, we need to train our muscles to do the work of the golf swing, not our spine. In Part 3 of our collaborative series between Mitchell Golf and Smart Strength, we discuss your swing, proper training, and how it affects back health.
Equipment is the other factor in how we play pain-free golf. Making sure our equipment fits our body not only allows us to play the best golf, but it allows us to PLAY golf with the least amount of stress on our bodies.
Unnecessary stress on wrists, elbows, and back from compensating for misaligned equipment can cost you over the long haul. All those swings add up to a staggering amount of volume and force that can cause injury and less-than-optimal golf performance.
A proper club fitting gives golfers of all skill levels the best chance to make contact in the center of the clubface. A main part of proper fitting involves using an accurate angle bending machine. Because adjusting for loft and lie machine is crucial in club performance.
And don’t forget about proper stability in your stance. You can gain more by widening your stance and pointing your feet out. The wider stance helps with stability, and the flared feet help with rotation.
Remember, the body/ club connection is only as useful as your equipment. If your equipment is not accurately aligned with your body’s unique anatomy, you leave strokes on the course. And that is painful as well.