The Changing Physique of Golf

By Gordon Penner, BScKin & TPI Certified Fitness Coach
There is no denying that the physique of golfers has changed dramatically over the last several years. A healthy lifestyle, along with a golf-specific fitness regimen, leads to a more enjoyable life and a better golf game.  At the professional level, top golfers dedicate a part of their golf training to physical fitness.  Many of those players have utilized a systematic approach to the golf swing designed and created by Dr. Greg Rose and Dave Phillips.  The system is called Titleist Performance Institute (TPI).
TPI is a program that can benefit golfers of all abilities.  Whether you are a weekend warrior, trying to be more competitive with your co-workers or aspiring to tour, you will benefit from training your body for the sport of golf
Traditionally, to improve your golf game, you may work with golf professional and seek golf lessons.  Research at TPI has shown that the “traditional” golf swing that golf professionals teach to all of their clients does not work for everyone.  In many cases the “traditional” golf swing is impossible to replicate for someone with a past injury or physical limitation.
Let’s use Jim Furyk’s unconventional golf swing for example.  If you observe Jim Furyk’s golf swing his hips “underturn” during the backswing and “overturn” coming through the downswing.  If you look at his posture and his ability to post his hips through the follow through; his swing and his body mechanics are nearly identical to that of the much sought after Tiger Woods golf swing.  Through close observation, you will notice the elbow tuck on Jim Furyk’s swing allows him to square the club at impact. This is a modification that was either given to him to compensate for his “underturning” hips in the backswing or was an adaptation he developed over years of practice.  Odds are if Jim Furyk was instructed to swing like Tiger Woods he would not be the professional golfer he now is.
As a golfer, you may feel frustrated with your golf game, and would feel even more frustrated if your golf pro tried to teach you something that you could not physically do.  Think of spending hours upon hours on the range practicing something that is very well never attainable with someone telling you to keep doing it over and over again to no avail.  I believe that this would be a waste of your time and money.  In order to truly improve your golf swing, you must remove physical limitations and work with a golf coach to perfect your technique.

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