As a bogey golfer I’m not here to tell you how to hit the ball, however there are a few easy things you can do to improve your game, particularly for full swing shots.
1. Mobility exercises to warm up
If we look at our clubs, to hit further we’re going for a longer length club to increase the lever and therefore the power we can produce. A simple way to improve this further is increasing our ability to rotate through our shoulders, spine and hips.
If we have a restricted range of motion in one location, our body will compensate and adapt to be able to complete the motion desired to the best of our ability. This increases the demand in another area and can lead to an inconsistent, clunky swing action and possibly injury. For example, if our hips don’t rotate well then we will attempt to rotate more through our spine. This can lead to poor timing between our upper and lower body causing a poor strike, like ‘topping’ the ball or injuring a spinal or rib joint due to excessive loaded rotation.
So to play golf better and injury free, complete these mobility exercises before you even practice:
- Standing hip flexor lunge with oblique stretch
- Hip 90s
- Standing hip rotation with thoracic rotation (emulating follow through)
- Bent over thoracic rotations
- Shoulder dislocations*
- Standing/wall thread the needle
* Do not complete if you have a history of shoulder dislocation. Safe otherwise.
2. Strength & Control
When we improve our mobility, ideally we want to be strong through this range to utilise it best. Hence step 2, strength.
The key areas to focus on specific for golf are hip and core stability to prevent swaying over the golf ball. We want to rotate while maintaining our head and hips over the ball and elastically recoil back during our down phase, bringing power from our legs. Strength sessions should be completed 2-4 times a week depending on goals and ability. Some exercise examples include:
For a more personalised strength program chat to Sam or Mat, our two Exercise Scientists.
Happy golfing and good luck. Say hello if you see me in the trees!
– Scott Hanley