The nice weather is back again and we dust off our clubs and head out to the greens. But why settle for the same performance that you had last year? If you could make some simple changes to knock some strokes off your game, wouldn’t you want to know what those changes are?
You do? Well read on!
I’ve put togther 10 of my best tips for improving your game:
1. Make sure your clubs fit. Would you drive in a car set up for a 5 foot person if you were 6 and a half foot tall? Of course not, so why play golf with clubs not right for your height? Playing with short clubs will not only decrease your driving distance, it will make you more prone to low back pain. Additionally, if you suffer with back pain you may want to consider using playing with with a longer shaft putter to minimise heavy bending during those all important shots.
2. Use ice, not heat. Very often we use a hot water bottle or hot tub when in pain. Of course you can use heat on sore achey muscles, but never on painful joints. With flare ups of joint pain, there will be swelling. Heat may feel good but it will increase the swelling and prolong the problem. A general rule for ice is to apply for 20 minutes, placing a layer of material between your skin and the ice pack. Carry a ziplock freezer bag in your golf bag and you can fill it with ice in the club house at the end of your round.
3. Consider using hip rotation in your swing. The modern golf swing has you keeping your hips stationary during your back swing to maximise the club head speed. However, if you have back issues you may need to use the older style of swing and rotate your hips throughout the swing. This will lower the torsion in the lower back and allow you to get through your game more comfortably.
4. Use graphite to reduce shock. Graphite is better for shock absorption. Less impact is easier on the body. Might make the difference on the back nine!
5. Use larger grips if you have arthritic hands. Larger grips are easier to handle of you have arthritis in your hands. It will allow you to keep playing long after your friends have retired from golf.
6. Pull your clubs. Don’t carry them. This applies to everyone. Even a small number of clubs, carried for 18 holes will puts a lot of stress on the spine. It’s pretty much impossible to have the weight evenly across your back. You won’t have pain the first game, first month or perhaps even the first season, but you will eventually. People that say their back pain came out of the blue. Do you really think that’s the case?
7. Warm up and cool down is important. You know this, but do you do it? You’ll play a better game and are far less likely to get injured if you do a warm up and cool down.
8. Dehyration will throw your game. Carry a water bottle on the course. Usually, the back nine performance is worse than the front . This is because of fatigue. Dehydration is a big cause of fatuigue. Even slight dehydration will have a hugh effect on your performance. Fatigue also means you’re more likely to have an injury.
9. Take the drop. When your ball is up against a root or rock, take the drop. Swinging up solid on an obstacle can give you a nasty elbow or shoulder problem. You’ll also damage your shiny new club!
10. See your chiropractor. Chiropractic is not just for back pain, but also for peak performance. It’s no wonder so many professional sports people have chiropractors as part of their support team. Chiropractic improves flexibilty, co-ordination and ensures maximum communication between the brain and body. Tiger swears by his chiropractor, so maybe you should consider one as well!
Getting You Back to Life,
Dr. Jason Hare