GOLF BIOMECHANICS PREFERENCES

 

 

Note: For this article, I have analyzed athletes on videos but did not test them. Although my explanations are simplified, the assessment reveals in-depth informations.

A few years ago an article from a Sports Institute on Rory McIlroy, who has been posted everywhere. The title was " The most unstable Swing in Golf History". Why? Because he was dropping his head too much and look like it was rebounding into the ground. At this time, Rory had already won 3 Major and a lot of PGA and European Tour in his pocket. However, according to this article, he was doing it wrong. BUT DID HE? But let's turn this around, shall we? It would be more pertinent to make an article that highlights how he is such a good golfer with a different move, and what we can learn from it. He is such a powerful golfer, one of the best driver and iron player in the World. In my opinion, he is really stable. But, he is using a different lever, (his biomechanics preferences) to do that. When analyzing golfer from different horizons, from every handicap, pros or recreational, you will find a lot of Rory's move... Then you will hear that you need to keep your head fix on an imaginary box and do not drop when you engage your downswing... trust me, you swing will get worst.

 

Take a look at the posters below. In addition to being one of my passion, Golf is one of the most challenging sports for biomechanical analysis. We could do that analysis for every sport though.

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GROUNDED GOLFER

What we can observe:

-Love more flexion  (look at the angles)

-The bodyweight hold more on Midfoot/Back Heels

-Need to feel anchor to the ground

For them, the nervous system is being activated when the body mass is placed Backward.

They will have a natural preference from the anterior kinetic chain. 

AERIAL GOLFER

What we can observe:

-Love more extension (look at the angles)

-The bodyweight hold more on Midfoot/Front foot

-Need to feel lighter 

For them, the nervous system is being activated when the body mass is placed Frontward.

They will have a natural preference from the posterior kinetic chain. 

They are all successful golfers. For instance, look at their posture. Are they similar? No. They exploit the one that provides the best coordination, the most energy-efficient, the more effortless power... using their biomechanics preferences. The good news is that with the coordination test you will know exactly your best posture at the address.  No brainer. I have been amazed, by the results of my students, when we just find out their best posture for Golf. More coordination, more stability, more consistency, and more power.  Just after hitting a few balls...

DISSOCIATION/HIGH PIVOT

What we can observe:

-They naturally dissociate the lower body from the upper body by keeping the lumbar spine more stable (as you can see the belt buckle is looking toward the ground). The thoracic spine is more mobile.

ASSOCIATION/LOW PIVOT

What we can observe:

-They naturally Associate the Lower body and the upper body. The shoulders and hips are working together and then slightly rotate the thoracic spine at the top of the backswing. The lumbar spine (lower back) is more Mobile (as you can see the belt buckle is looking toward the right or left leg).

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Here you can see two different ways to move around your spine on your Backswing. Dissociation and Association (read explanation above). This could be a game-changer for you. 

 

A method that has been taught to every golfer for the last decade, called "the X factor". This method is explaining to you that we all need to dissociate the lower body to the upper body while keeping stable the Lumbar Spine (lower back). In a way, that is a good thing to do that, but not for everyone... if you are made in Dissociation,  big "YES " but if you are made in Association, a big "NO"!

 

Imagine that you are in association and you have been exercising at the gym and practicing your swing as a Dissociate person for years. What is going to happen? Here is the answer... It will kill your lower back. Period! Don't need to tell you where is the most common injury in golf.  

I will do another article soon around other Golf biomechanics preferences. Hope you enjoyed this article.

Aurelien Van Stichelen

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RESSOURCES

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