Man Playing Golf

Want to Play Better Golf?

By Ross Short, CHP

We’ve all heard the adage that practice makes perfect, but the real magic lies in improving postural alignment, balance, and flexibility.

Whether you’re a serious golfer or not, you’d still like to see your game improve, wouldn’t you? We all would, or golf wouldn’t appeal to us, and we wouldn’t bother to keep score.

What lengths have you gone to, to play a better game? You’ve purchased the best clubs, top grade golf balls, expensive footwear, or even had clubs custom made for you, right?  Maybe you’ve gone to the point of having the exact shaft flex created for your hip and spine rotation because, after all, this dictates your club head speed. Or perhaps you’ve invested in a multitude of lessons from a professional.

Being a golfer myself, I’m still amazed at how much time, effort, and money people will put out—all in the hope that it will improve their game.  Whenever someone tells me what new golf tactic they’re using, I have to ask, “Are your scores getting lower?”

The answer is often, “Yes, but not as much as I’d imagined.” The problem is they are focusing on the wrong equipment!

The most important piece of equipment in your golf game is you.  Now, I’m not talking about your talent or mindset (although that’s important for other reasons). I’m talking about your body and its ability to perform like the golfer you’re capable of being.

So what have you done to improve your “golf body”? And yes, you do have a golf body—the parts of your body that are specifically tuned to the movements you make when you play. Have you incorporated an exercise regimen? Do you walk, hike, cycle, or swim? What do you do for cardio? Do you even stretch? If you are doing any of these things, kudos to you. It’s a smart thing to do.

Flexibility and balance are the two key ingredients in performing any activity to your highest level. This is especially true for your golf game.

Many serious golfers will try to incorporate resistance or weight training to develop a body capable of playing at higher levels, but it’s unlikely to pay off the way they’d hoped, and this is why: the amount of weight you are lifting is really irrelevant. It’s how you are lifting that is the key. Think posture and proper technique rather than pumping more iron.

The same applies to stretching. Stretching is smart, but are you stretching in a manner that optimizes your results?  Some things to consider: When you are stretching, how far are you going into the stretch? What is the maximum stretch that you can attain?

Perhaps your focus has been on golfing more often as your main method for physical improvement—the old “practice makes perfect” approach. While it’s true that doing something more often is a great way to improve a skill, there will be limited progress if you aren’t properly developing your body’s postural alignment, balance, and flexibility at the same time.

Golf gear, clubs at sunsetIf I went out on any golf course and asked 100 golfers, “What is the most important muscle to develop to improve your golf game?” only a few would get it right. The answer is in the next paragraph. Can you guess what it is?

If you answered the diaphragm, you’re right. The diaphragm is your largest core muscle, and without incorporating this knowledge into your daily work and practice habits, your core will not be at its optimum (no matter how many abdominal exercises you do).

Think about it, the stronger your core, the more powerful your drive will be, your stamina will improve, and your level of self-confidence will be higher. All of these will improve your game.

This is where my work at Body-Wize comes in. I help golfers take their game to an entirely different level. Using Hellerwork structural integration, myofascial release, Pilates, whole body vibration, and Reiki, I help you re-pattern your posture and give you as much flexibility and balance as possible. Your game improves naturally and at a comfortable pace, and you’ll notice some improvement in other areas of your life as well.

Just as every golfer is different, so is my work with each client. My approach is unique to each body and has to be customized to fit the individual. It all depends on your specific needs, based on your current posture, flexibility, and balance. Everyone I work with gets a unique and personalized session.

Admittedly, many of my clients who golf did not originally come to me to improve their golf game. They came to me because of pain or a limited range of motion that was impacting their day-to-day living. It was after discovering they had a passion for golf that we added certain components to their treatment plan that would improve every area of their game.

Maybe chronic pain doesn’t affect you. Possibly your only concerns are stiff joints and muscles, and that’s to be expected at some point in your life. You might be tempted to think that misalignment is just a normal consequence of living, or just a part of getting older. Although these concerns are common, they don’t need to be a normal part of your life or to limit your game.

Left untreated, misalignment in the body causes dis-ease throughout the structure. Over time, this misaligned postural pattern is the cause of aches and pains, and could develop into a disease or chronic pain if left untreated.  How many people have you heard about who had to give up golf, or other activities, because it became too painful or too tiring? Many of them could have avoided this through proper postural alignment.

I am not able to turn back the hands of time—to take a 60-year-old body and turn it into a 30-year-old one—but I can tune a body so it performs like a much younger self.

Body-Wize has a 93 percent success rate in reducing or eliminating chronic pain. We specialize in helping your body to move the way it was designed to: without pain or limited mobility.

It’s a fact; alignment of your body will improve your golf game. It’s just a matter of how soon you want it to happen. Call me today, or visit www.Body-Wize.com to book a session.

Ross Short, CHP, is the owner/practitioner of Body-Wize in Kelowna. Ross is certified in Hellerwork structural integration; Pilates; Reiki, and whole body vibration. Ross specializes in myofascial release, joint mobilization, postural re-alignment, and core movement, and 93 percent of his clients experience a reduction or elimination of their chronic pain. Call 250-717-3553 for an appointment. Courses on rapid restriction release techniques are available on his website, www.body-wize.com.

*Reprint from our Spring  2015 Issue

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