Imagine this for a second.You address the ball with the only thought in your head being that of the target. Not a single thought wasted on what your body needs to do. No concern about how much shoulder turn you need. No worry about getting adequate weight shift. No extra tension as you approach your complete, balanced follow-through.
Are you able to do that on every swing? Why not? Because most golfers lack sufficient flexibility to perform with optimal swing mechanics. Here’s how your golf game changes when you develop optimally functional flexibility. You immediately become more teachable. This may be the greatest benefit of having optimal functional flexibility for golf. I’m sure you’ve invested in some professional golf instruction. If you haven’t I strongly suggest that you do so at your first opportunity. Why? Because your level of skill at playing golf is the most important component of your on the course performance. As much as I’d like to say that this program is the only thing you need to become a great golfer, but I cannot lie.
Professional instruction is right up there on the “must have to get better” list. Here’s the problem. All the professional instruction in the world cannot help you to become a better golfer, if your body won’t let you do what your instructor wants you to do. Optimal functional flexibility eliminates the road blocks to developing a higher level of golf skill.
Your swing becomes more consistent.A lack of functional flexibility in your golf swing means that you will have to compensate in some way to complete your swing and reach your target. The more you must compensate, the more inconsistent your swing will become. You can perform all kinds of swing drills to “fix” the problems, but if your functional flexibility doesn’t change, you’ll simply create another fault that needs to be “fixed”.
Since most swing faults are actually biomechanical faults associated with restricted range of motion of a joint or joints, why not just “fix” the problem with some correct flexibility exercises. You’ll hit longer. Optimal functional flexibility allows golfers to achieve what is called a loaded position at the top of the backswing. What this means is that the joints of the ankle, knee, hip, spine, and shoulder are put in such a position where the muscles which produce most of your clubhead speed are on stretch. When a muscle is put on stretch it can contract harder AND faster.
It’s kind of like snapping a rubber band. The harder you want it to snap, the more you stretch it. By increasing your functional flexibility to optimal levels, you can LOAD the appropriate muscles and then UNLOAD them harder and faster to produce more clubhead speed, greater impact on the ball, and increase your drive distance. You’ll stop overusing your arms. A quick question. What is stronger the muscles in just your arms or the muscles of your whole trunk and legs? It’s obvious, right? So why would you want to try to swing a golf club with just arm power? The modern golf swing is about using the larger muscles of your body.
As I mentioned before, to properly LOAD the larger muscles, you must have sufficient functional flexibility. Without it, you tend to overuse the arms which will reduce power and drive distance AND may cause overuse injuries like impingement syndrome in the shoulder and golfer’s elbow (tendonitis of the wrist flexors). You can focus on the task at hand and not be concerned with what your body must do. Isn’t this the bottom line.
It’s what we all strive for out on the golf course. To play our best round of golf rather than spend 4 hours out on the golf course “practicing” or working on your swing. That’s what lessons and practice at the driving range are for.