Golf consistency is one of the “holy grails” of the game. In this article, we are going to give solutions to make sure you are hitting the ball consistently on the sweet spot for great shots and more power.
This is the last article in the 3-part series on how you can improve your golf power and distance through golf flexibility. The first article addressed improving your swing speed, the second addressed improving your ball flight, and this one addresses hitting the golf ball on the screws.
There are 5 keys to improving consistency including:
- Flat Left Wrist at Impact
- Weight Distribution at Impact and Follow Through Positions
- Consistency of Spine Angle and Head Position
- Right Foot Position At the Top of the Backswing
- Keep the legs quite
Since this article series is addressing specifically golf flexibility, we will focus on improving your spine angle and head position to improve consistent ball contact.
For the purposes of this discussion, we will define the spine angle as the angle the spine makes in relation to the ground from the down the line view.
Golfers that have difficulties hitting the golf ball on the sweet spot of the club consistently, move this angle up and down through their golf swing. Typically, golfers with straighten up on their backswing and bend back down into their downswing.
Effectively, this is like trying to hit a golf ball that is moving up and down. Golf is tough enough! But when you are trying to hit a moving golf ball…….well, forget about it!
Many golfers do this out of habit and just need a lesson to correct it. However, golfers over 50 move like this due to body restrictions.
How Golf Flexibility Causes Inconsistency
The most common factor is poor posture. I’m going to get a little technical here so hang on!
When you have poor posture, your mid back is typically curved too much. This puts the joints in the spine in a flexed positions as compared to a neutral position that is present with good posture.
When the spinal joints of the mid back (thoracic spine) are in a flexed position, they lose the ability to rotate.
Ok, here is where it comes together. You need those joints to rotate to make a good turn in your backswing. If they are flexed, and unable to rotate, your spine is going to perform a “bailout” move instead of rotating.
The bailout spinal move causes your spine angle to change! When it changes, you lose consistency. The only way around it is to severely shorten your backswing.
In summary, if you have poor posture, your golf swing options are either
1. Make a full backswing with terrible consistency
2. Shorten your backswing and lose massive distance. In other words, become the classic short and straight golf driver (aka. the “old guy”)
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On what TV Show did The Beatles appear to kick off their first U.S. tour in 1964?
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Golf Flexibility for Head Stability
In short, too much head movement relates to poor consistency. Some head movement is acceptable but if you are struggling with consistency, you are probably moving it too much.
Fortunately, since your head is connected to your spine, improving your spine angle consistency will improve your head stability.
Other factors that influence head position consistency include neck flexibility and left shoulder position. Left shoulder position is not a flexibility issue so we will not address it here (you can review a previous article addressing this here).
You need to have approximately 70-85 degrees of neck rotation flexibility to be consistent in golf. You can test yourself by lying down on your stomach with your head turned to the left. You should feel a SLIGHT neck stretch but you should be able to lie your head down in a turned position.
If you need help with neck flexibility, we have an article for that! Click here to review neck flexibility training.
Here is an exercise from our signature program, Age Defying Golf Rx, that addresses posture:
Thanks for reading!!
Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapy
Certified Golf Performance Specialist
Age Defying Golf