10 Issues That Might be Throwing You Off Your Golf Game
Nothing beats a nice day on the green with your buddies! If you notice that your golf game has been off lately, it could be for various reasons. Not stretching for golf can lead to muscle tightness that can impact your swing and leave you feeling uncomfortable. That certainly won’t make the game any fun!
Let us help you get to the bottom of what could be messing up your golf mojo. We’ve listed ten things that could be throwing you off your game, how to fix them, and other facts and tips about body mechanics used in golf.
Body Mechanics in a Golf Swing
You should understand the mechanics of a golf swing so you can know how to perform a powerful one. Learning this technique helps you make one smooth motion that can help you get that perfect shot every time. The mechanics that go into a good golf swing are:
During this move, you lift the club into position and finish your shoulder turn. The key to achieving a proper backswing is to use your lower body to help with balance. Your weight is generally stacked on top of your legs, and you should try to keep yourself from turning too far that you slide your weight out of that position.
You are engaging your quadriceps and hamstrings during a backswing.
As the name implies, you are transitioning from the backswing to the downswing during this move. During the transition, your torso rotates, your lower back bears a lot of weight, and you’re engaging your shoulders and wrists by holding the club.
The golf club meets the ball during a downswing. This move requires you to spin your hips and force your shoulders down as you get ready to hit the ball with the club.
You always want to end a swing with a balanced finish, which is known as the follow-through. This move helps you secure the trajectory of the ball. You’re using your legs, hips, abdomen, and shoulders to keep that balance. You’re also displacing your weight into your lower back during a follow-through. This requires strength and flexibility in the area.
Common Muscles Used in Golf
While it doesn’t compare to sports like football or basketball, playing golf requires a lot more muscle use than you may realize. The most common ones include:
Since you work those muscles often during the game, they can get sore. Therefore, stretching for golf and strengthening those muscles is just as important as doing it for any other physical activity.
What is Throwing You Off Your Game?
Many factors can contribute to your not-so-lucky game of golf. Your posture, how you start your swing, and even how you hold your club can determine the power of your swing and the success of your game. Certain concerns with your body may be preventing you from achieving the ideal position for a good swing.
Here are ten of the most common issues golfers may face and what you can do to correct them:
The power of your swing depends on good hips, which can create a powerful and effective one when you use them correctly. Tight hips make it more difficult to squat during a golf swing and limit how well you rotate your body.
How to fix it: Find a stretch that can relieve tightness in your hips, which can then loosen up your thighs and back. This can help you easily get into that good stance to help you generate a powerful golf swing.
Tense Back Muscles
It’s not uncommon for golfers to strain their back muscles due to the nature of the sport. They go through a lot to get that perfect swing, from the force they use to hit the ball to all the twisting. These moves become more challenging with a tight back.
How to fix it: Relieving tension in the area can help bring you back on your A-game back. You will want to learn some stretches and exercises to help loosen your lower back while strengthening it. You can also prevent those muscles from tightening in the first place by paying attention to your form.
Strong, flexible core muscles can help you achieve a fluid golf swing by allowing your body to turn with ease. A weak core cannot allow you to create more force and speed from the ground and transfer it to the club to increase its speed. It also can’t overcome the rotational forces placed on your body.
How to fix it: There are plenty of core strengthening moves you can perform to improve your golf game. Most involve forward bends and twists. Having a strong core is also crucial for preventing an injury while you’re on the course. Those muscles help reduce the pressure on your lower back and spine during a swing.
No Upper Body Strength
Upper body strength isn’t only beneficial for a good golf swing. It serves an important purpose, from having good posture to performing your daily activities. Building upper body strength can also help prevent injuries, especially when playing golf or other sports.
The main muscles involved in upper body strength include:
- Latissimus dorsi
- Biceps and triceps
How to fix it: Fortunately, there are some exercises that can both increase your upper body strength and provide a much-needed stretch for your upper back. You don’t necessarily have to do things like bicep curls or pushups to gain upper body strength if you’re a golfer. Rather, you should focus more on exercises that can help develop the abilities and mobility needed for a powerful golf swing.
We’re sure you might be familiar with that discomfort in your elbow from the repetitive motion of golfing. Medial epicondylitis, better known as golfer’s elbow, is a form of tendonitis. It happens when your elbow and forearm become inflamed, causing stiffness, weakness, or tenderness in the elbow and forearm.
How to fix it: The best way to help with golfer’s elbow is to stretch and strengthen the area. These moves will target your forearms, which can help reduce tension in your elbow and arm. You should also rest until the discomfort subsides. Otherwise, you can risk worsening the condition.
Your quadriceps are responsible for helping you move your knees, which allows you to rotate your body. This muscle group is made of four distinct parts that function to help you extend the knee, flex the hip, adduct the thigh, and stabilize the kneecap.
If this muscle group is tight, you can’t move as easily, and it can impact your golf swing.
How to fix it: Stretching your quadriceps can help you get a better golf swing, improving your performance. If this muscle group is particularly tight, focus on moves that reduce tension in the thigh muscles.
Another condition golfers are likely familiar with is carpal tunnel syndrome. This can occur from constantly gripping your golf club. Your wrist movements can determine both distance and direction in your shot. If yours are stiff and weak because of conditions like carpal tunnel, it can significantly impact your swing and your game.
How to fix it: Pay attention to how you’re gripping your golf club. The ideal position is having the back of your wrist and the angle of the clubface parallel to each other, which can allow a straight shot and plenty of distance. Don’t forget to stretch them often to keep them from getting stiff and achy.
Your hamstring muscles are also responsible for letting you turn during a golf swing. They allow knee rotation and thigh extension. If your hamstrings are tight, it’ll be difficult to hinge properly with your hips. This impacts your body mechanics for a good golf swing.
How to fix it: You’ll want to increase the flexibility in your hamstrings by stretching them often. It’s not only beneficial for your golf performance but also your day-to-day activities. Tight hamstrings can make it difficult or painful to walk, climb stairs, or squat due to them pulling your pelvis forward.
Golf swings can be hard on the shoulders, resulting in tightness and discomfort. What you do with them can also impact how you make consistent and solid contact with the ball. Sore shoulders can impact your form and how much power you put into your swing.
How to fix it: Stretching your shoulders is an excellent way to manage discomfort from golfing. This includes moves that target your rotator cuff, deltoids, chest, and upper back.
Your glutes play a bigger role in a good golf swing than you might think. Its primary function during a golf swing is to stabilize the pelvis, which can be difficult if yours are weak. Having good stability can encompass strength, balance, and muscle endurance.
Since your glutes are the strongest muscle group in your body, it makes sense that they derive the greatest amount of power during a swing!
How to fix it: You’ll want to learn some exercises to help make your glutes strong so they can function properly. Single-leg, lunging, or lifting moves are excellent for targeting that muscle group. Don’t forget that your glutes need to be stretched as well to prevent tight muscles that can also throw you off your game!
How Can Stretching Improve Your Game?
Golf may be a low-impact sport, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work your muscles! For this reason, including a solid stretching regimen can help you take your game to the next level. After all, you understand how having strong, limber muscles can make or break your swing.
When you don’t stretch, your muscles become too tight and can impact your golf swing mechanisms. Make sure it’s done often to ensure you get the most out of your game of golf!
Other Helpful Tips to Keep You on Your A-Game
Besides stretching, there are other steps you can take to ensure you have a strong and steady game every time. The same goes for any other sport or physical activity. You want to keep your body strong and limber so it can do its job properly during physical activities like golf.
Follow some of these other tips to help you perform your best during your next golf game.
- Warm up before games
- Maintain proper form
- Focus more on hitting the ball straight, not far
- Properly fuel your body
- Use the right golf club
How Can Practitioner-Assisted Stretching Benefit You?
While stretching before and after your game of golf can benefit you, we encourage you to take advantage of practitioner-assisted stretching. Certain muscle groups are not easy to stretch if you’re doing it on your own, and you might even risk hurting yourself if you stretch the wrong way. You don’t want to sit out at your next golf game because of something like that!
Our method helps control the intensity of a stretch to help give you better results than if you were to attempt it on your own. We use patented equipment and specific protocols to help stabilize, isolate, and manipulate muscles. Our method of practitioner-assisted stretching helps you gradually increase your active range of motion rather than simply making you flexible.
How can this help you as a golfer? Practitioner-assisted stretching has been particularly beneficial in helping athletes discover and enhance their physical abilities. Optimum functional flexibility can also allow you to develop an improved sensory awareness of your surroundings, improving your reaction time.
Finally, practitioner-assisted stretching can help you learn your body’s limitations, which can provide you with a sense of control that determines your peak performance.
Do You Need Help Stretching for Golf?
We care about your health both on and off the golf course. Our practitioner-assisted stretch sessions can help enhance your athletic performance and physical skills. Not only that, but we can also help reduce your chances of those common injuries golfers can face.
Your first 30-minute session at Stretch Zone is free, and we know you’ll want to come back for more after you see how beneficial our services are. Find a location near you and schedule your next appointment today. We can’t wait to help you get back on your golf game!