In this article, you will find specific golf stretches that improve golf flexibility as it relates to improving your driving distance and iron distance so that you can hit more greens in regulation and putt for those “fist-pumping” birdies!!
We find that many golfers over 50 downplay the importance of improving their golf power. Either they underestimate the impact on their golf game and enjoyment, or they feel that they will continue to lose power as they age. Huge mistake!
At Age Defying Golf, we continue to preach the message that “Age is NOT a disease!”
With “age,” you are more likely to lose strength and flexibility…if you do not work on them. That is the key! Unless you have experienced a major injury, you can maintain and improve your flexibility and strength at any age.
Believe me. As a physical therapist, I often treat 90+ year olds who do improve their strength and flexibility. If 90-year-olds can do it, so can you.
There are 3 specific areas that you need to focus on to improve your power.
- Swing Speed
- Ball Flight
- Hitting the Sweet Spot
Golf Stretching and Golf Flexibility can improve all of these golf swing factors!
Hopefully you have bought into the truth! Now let’s make it happen.
Part I: Improving Golf Swing Speed with Golf Stretches
We focus on three main factors when improving swing speed through stretching.
- Improving your “new” X-Factor
- Improving your swing length WITHOUT sacrificing good mechanics
- Improving your swing width
1. Improving your “new” X-Factor
Without going into details between the difference between the original X-Factor and the new X-factor, the new X-Factor is the difference between your hip rotation and your shoulder rotation at the point of impact.
Guess what you need to have an X-Factor like this? Golf Flexibility! Go ahead and stand up now. See how far you can rotate your hips without allowing your shoulders to move?
Hopefully a lot. If not, try this stretch.
2. Increase Swing Length WITHOUT Sacrificing Mechanics
Let’s make this clear up front: you will not increase your swing speed if you take a longer backswing by sacrificing solid golf fundamentals.
We see this all the time in golfers over 50. Increasing the length of your backswing will allow you more time to gather speed into the impact position. However!! If you have to sacrifice swing mechanics such as allowing your right knee to extend, performing a reverse pivot shift, or bending your elbows excessively, you will end up losing power along with any thought of accuracy and consistency.
Again, swing speed is only one of several components of power. What we are preaching is increasing the length of your swing while maintaining pure golf fundamentals.
Guess how? Golf stretches for golf flexibility. More specifically, you will need hip and torso flexibility.
Here is the easiest stretch that addresses all those components in 30 seconds or less.
3. Improve Your Swing Width
Seeing how swing width improves effortless golf power can sometimes be difficult to explain. The technical answer is the longer the lever arm, the faster the point furthest from the pivot will go. In this case your pivot point is your shoulders and the face of the club is the lever arm.
Easily explained, the longer a persons arm is the faster they can throw the ball (think Randy Johnson), the longer the golf club the faster the head goes (compare driver vs wedge), the longer the whip the more pain it imparts (think Indiana Jones vs….um…your shoe string).
The primary way that golfers lose their swing width, is by bending their elbows too much in the backswing. Technically, you want to limit your left elbow to 10 degrees of bend or less (pretty minimal) and your right elbow to 90 degrees.
Many golfers fold their elbows in an attempt to lengthen their swing. You end up with a longer swing but less distance. Swing width is one of those “secrets” to effortless power. Guess how you can lengthen you swing without losing swing width?
I have to apologize, I ended up having way more to talk about in this article than I planned. I get carried away sometimes.
So I divided it up into two separate articles. Come back next week for the second half of:
Thanks for reading!!!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf