The golf season is coming to a close and it is now time to start setting up a game plan for the off-season. I strongly believe that the main focus of the off-season should be to make improvements to your body and technique. In order to start this process you need to get a snapshot of your current strengths and weaknesses. It is important to understand that your golf swing is based around what your body can physically do, so it is imperative that you evaluate the physical capabilities of your junior golfer before starting to look at their golf swing.
A physical evaluation of a junior golfer between the ages of 13 – 18 involves three main parts:
Golf Specific Fundamental Movement Screen: I utilize the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) evaluation model, which evaluates the player’s ability to perform specific movement patterns, which occur at some point in time throughout the golf swing. The premise being that if a player cannot successfully perform the movement there is no way that it will happen during the golf swing.
Testing examples: Pelvic / Torso Dissociation, Overhead Deep Squat, Pelvic Tilt Test
Fitness Evaluation: This would be composed of strength, power, balance, and cardiovascular testing. More specifically, we look for junior golfers to have excellent core and glut strength as well as a balance across their three main power sources (Upper body, Torso, Lower body). Any leakages in the power sources will lead to poor energy transfer in the golf swing.
Testing examples: Situp and Throw, Vertical Jump, Single Bridge Test
Biomechanical Screening: This would be performed by a medical professional such as physiotherapist or chiropractor and would specifically look at the function of key muscle groups and joints which are involved in the golf swing. It is imperative that joints such as the thoracic spine (upper back), hips, and shoulders have good mobility and joints such as the knees, lumbar spine (lower back), and scapula have good stability (Ie. Joint by Joint approach).
Once we have gathered all the information mentioned above we should now have a good understanding as to how the players body is influencing their golf swing. This information will also give us an idea of the likelihood of future injury for the athlete.
If your junior golfer is interested in getting a better understanding of how their body is influencing their golf swing, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to setup a time for a golf fitness evaluation.