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Golf

Common Golf Misconceptions

Myth:

Golf is a game of technical skill rather than an athletic event.

Truth:

Amateur golfers achieve approximately 90% of their peak muscular activity when driving a golf ball.  This is the same intensity as picking up a weight that can only be lifted 4 times before total fatigue.  Imagine repeating this 40-50 times per round with comparable intensity.

Myth:

Pain related to golfing is due solely to a poor swing.

Truth:

Research studies in sports medicine cite that approximately 30% of touring professionals are playing injured each week.  Try telling a pro that he needs work on his swing!

Myth:

A conditioning regime that focuses on strength will improve driving distance.

Truth:

Flexibility is vastly more important to the long game than strength.  Distance is determined by club head speed. The larger the arc that the club head travels through ( i.e. a flexible backwing), the greater the club head speed at impact with the ball. To hit longer and more powerful golf shots you must be willing to improve your posture and flexibility-the domain of Chiropractic for over 100 years.


Flexibility is the Key

Relationship between Flexibility and Club Head Speed

Spinal/Pelvic Rotational FlexibilityClub Head Speed
Average Amateur160 degrees90 mph
Average Professional Golfer180 degrees115 mph
Top 1/2 % of Professionals200 degrees135 mph
Tiger Woods215 degrees135 mph   "Golf" Magazine


Shoulder Flexibility vs. Club Head speed vs. Driving Distance

Swing ArcClub Head SpeedYards of Carry
Left Arm to 9 O'clock Position85 mph200 yards
Left Arm to 10 O'clock Position110 mph225 yards
Left Arm to 11 O'clock Position115 mph240 yards
Left Arm to 12 O' clock Position125 mph270 yards


The Problem

Flexibility plays a greater role in golf than just an improved long game, a smoother more flexible swing is naturally more accurate.  More importantly it decreases the likelyhood of experiencing injury while practicing or playing. This flexibility comes from proper joint mobility combined with proper muscle pliability. The golf swing depends on every joint between the feet and the hands.  These joints form an unbroken chain.

Limitations in movement to any of these joints will shift the work burden to other more functional joints causing unnecessary strain.  This leads to the chain being pulled out of balance and wanting to deviate from your intended path. Muscles try to compensate working harder in certain areas to try to keep the swing on course, this leads to increased muscle fatigue.  This can cause repetitive motion injury to both the dysfunctional joints and the over burdened but healthy joints.   Additionally as you approach the 18th hole the extra muscle use needed to balance the swing may leave you fatigued and less accurate.


The Solution

The muscles that move and support the joints in golf are many.  In fact fourteen (14) of these muscles have been shown to be the most important to the golf swing.  All of these muscles working together transform a chain of bones and joints into one giant spring.  The purpose of the spring is to coil to store up potential energy.

That energy is converted to kinetic energy when the spring tension is released and the cluve is allowed to swig around the body at high speed. Therefore any effort to treat golf related injuries or improve the gold swing requires a combined approach that addresses both the joint mechanics and muscle flexibility.


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