Archive for November, 2009

Kinematic Sequence of the Golf Swing: Part One

November 9, 2009

The game of golf is the most challenging sport I have ever played. So many things have to come together in order for you to hit a little white ball into a small hole in the ground 500 yards away. And unfortunately it’s not the person with the highest score wins. But that is why golf is so appealing and extremely popular in all age groups. The player doesn’t have a shot clock and there isn’t a 250lb linebacker chasing you down. What golf does have is a chain of events that must take place in order for maximum power and consistent ball striking to occur. This chain of events is called your kinematic sequence or sequence of movement. This specifically takes place from the top of your backswing and through impact. About 90% of amateur golfers I have seen lack a proper kinematic sequence.

Why is it that many successful pro golfers like Jim Furyk or Kenny Perry have such an awkward looking swing, yet they are great players and consistently win? Because every great golfer, no matter what their swing looks like from the outside, has an efficient kinematic sequence. They transfer their speed and energy segmentally in proper sequence from the top of their swing through impact. Here’s a look at a proper kinematic sequence: the down swing is initiated by the lower body specifically the pelvis, then follows the trunk or torso, followed by the arms, and then finally the club. Energy is transferred from the lower body to the torso to the arms to the club. And this energy builds or accelerates as it is transferred through each segment like a whip or a wound up coil. So as the lower body accelerates to initiate the down swing, the coil begins to unwind. This activates the torso to unwind and accelerate and at the same time the pelvis is decelerating and so on down through the sequence. Swing consistency and club head speed begins and ends with this whip like action. Unfortunately most amateurs begin the down swing with the upper body thereby disrupting the kinematic sequence.  So in order to have an efficient golf swing you must have muscles that fire in the appropriate pattern or order. Next month I will get into the muscles responsible and what to you can do to fix an improper or inefficient kinematic sequence.