An Efficient Swing is Just The Thing at the Titleist Performance Institute
Monday, 11 / 6 / 17
TPI Does not believe in one way to swing a club, rather in an infinite number of swing styles. But, we do believe there is one efficient way for every player to swing and it is based on what the player can physically do.
I found this to directly relate to all of you and our mission here at CPC. Every individual that walks in has a different body, exercise style, background, you name it. Each one of you also moves very differently. There is an efficient way for every able body to participate in exercise, it is called regression and progression. That is our job to begin by looking at, “What can you physically do?” The bigger question: What can you physically do well and correctly.” From there a program is created.
This past week I visited Providence to attend the Level 1 TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) seminar. TPI is the world's leading educational organization dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing. I won’t completely bore you with all of the nerding out we did, but I will say sport specific learning is a beast of its own. Between playing college lacrosse, soccer in high school, and trying to keep up with my dad and brothers in golf, rotational sports have always had a big influence on my life. I have not wanted to let go of my passion for these sports or their mechanics when my lacrosse career ended. So, I found myself sitting and listening to some of the best of the best in the rotational world at this seminar.
There is a TPI screening process that takes every individual through the same exact 12 screens. How they are performed is what will differ. All twelve tasks would appear pretty familiar and “simple” to those in the exercise world at first glance. If you try them by yourself, you’ll “pass” yourself every time. If you get someone else to take you through it correctly; they are likely to fail you on more than half of the exercises. Now we’re talking. Failing is good. Even if you technically “pass” one of the screens there are still factors that can be noted. For instance many of the women, myself included, passed the torso rotation screen. However, we then learned too much rotation can lead to reverse spine angle (excessive upper body backward bend) when swinging a club. Failure means growth is in the future. This is exactly what we do as coaches with all of YOU everyday.
Overtime our bodies overcompensate. This became extremely clear when screening other individuals. They were able to perform the task at hand but their body found ways to cheat through it. What do I mean by this? Their form was shit. Heck just watching them made me cringe. But when I asked if they had any pain, their response? “Nope, it felt good.” WHAT. HOW. Amazing how the body can compensate over the years to find a way.
Lets take the Pelvic Rotation for instance. The objective of this test is to check the player’s ability to rotate the lower body independently from the upper body. Sure, sounds easy enough right?
Pelvic Rotation Results (Amateurs):
Pelvic Mobility Test: Good mobility - 51%
Torso Stability Test: Good stability - 39.5%
Coordination of Movement: Good Rotary Movement - 58%
Pelvic Rotation Results (PGA Tour):
Pelvic Mobility Test: Good mobility - 67.6%
Torso Stability Test: Good stability - 86.5%
Coordination of Movement: Good Rotary Movement - 81.8%
Just based on the fact alone that the highest scores are labeled “good” not great or excellent should tell you how demanding yet challenging these “simple” movements are in their specificity. It is extremely difficult for most individuals to dissociate their body. Some of them may not even know the difference between stability and mobility. Say you held their upper body stable while they were performing their pelvic rotation. If they can separate, it is a stability problem. If the can’t separate, it is a mobility problem. This becomes a crucial part to properly sequencing their downswing. Trying to fix that can be a patient road. As most of you know, it can be with your own progress. Whether it be trying to getting stronger, faster, more flexible, it all times time and a lot of thought.
After completing the TPI screen we now have the information we need to know what areas we need to focus on. There are certain exercises, mobility, and stability work that can be done. That’s aside from the biomechanics and technology of it, don’t even get me started on that. So the next time you walk into CPC don’t compare your program or how you are performing an exercise to someone else. You may not know their end goal, and they may not know yours. Just as there is not one way to swing a golf club, there is not one exercise that works for everybody. However, there is an efficient way for you to exercise based on your body’s movement ability and strength. Keep pushing towards your goal and the results will follow.
Rotational Sports, Golf, Effeciency, Sports Training