Posts Tagged ‘swing analysis’

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.

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Off-season training for Golf

October 23, 2009

As much as I hate to say it, but golf season is coming to an end. For some of us that is a good thing. This downtime from golf gives us a chance to truly work on our game. It’s a chance to work on flexibility, power, or maybe to work through some aches and pains that we didn’t have time for because time would much rather be spent on the course. Can’t blame you there. The offseason lets us reflect back and think about “What part of my game, body, or physical conditioning do I want to improve?”.  Of course everyone has a different answer. What is yours?

Lets say you want to work on your swing because you have a sway swing fault. The first question that needs to be addressed is: what’s the cause? Once the cause is nailed down: how do we fix it? Two of the most common causes of a sway is lack of good internal rotation of the trail hip during the back swing and gluteal instability. Both easy to fix.

Ok, so you want to work on your body or some part of it. Maybe you get back or elbow pain midway through a round and your score shoots up. Same thing applies here. What is the cause and how do we fix it? A couple of the most common causes of back pain for golfers is a S-posture at set up and reverse spine angle swing fault. Most common cause of elbow pain is a scooping swing fault at impact position. Fix those issues and your game will only get better.

If you are already doing some sort of in-season training program, the transition to an off-season program is fairly simple. Starting a golf training program from scratch is a different story. If starting from scratch, depending on what is going on, you might have to do in-season/off-season combined program to get things started. There are many websites and programs out there that are good, but can be confusing as well. I highly recommend talking with your golf pro or golf fitness pro on how to get started. The off-season can be a great tool, use it wisely. Look for my next blog where I will dive into an actual training program.