Does Your Swing Need Separation,Connection,or Both?
Do you need a marriage counselor for your golf game?
Are you separated, connected, or both? I'm not talking about your relationship to your significant other. I'm talking about your golf swing. The full golf swing has many moving parts. From the feet all the way up to the head, body parts are bending, twisting, gliding, and sliding. Despite the complexities that are apparent, there are really two concepts that are critical to the success for a sound golf swing: separation and connection.
A powerful golf swing demands that energy gets stored in the take away and released in the follow-through. In order to store energy efficiently, your body must develop what has been referred to as "coil." Coiling involves having a stable base of support (your legs) and moving your upper body (trunk) around that base of support. Another way of thinking about this concept would be to think of "separating" your upper body from your lower body. In order to have a lot of separation, you must have flexibility in two key areas: your hips and the middle portion of your spine. These are the areas where rotation happens and separation occurs between your upper and lower body. The more separation that exists, the more coil you develop and the more energy you store.
Once this energy is stored it must be released effectively for a successful outcome (a shot that flies to its intended target) between the club and the ball. During the downswing an effective release is created by keeping your arms "connected" or in front of your trunk. A "disconnected" downswing is one in which the trunk tries to rotate faster than the arms and the club. If this happens, the arms and club get "stuck" away from the front of the body, causing the golfer to compensate to square the clubface. In order to have "connection" between your arms and trunk, you must have strength in your shoulders. Since the shoulders are the attachment point between your arms and trunk, they must be strong enough to create the speed necessary to swing the club in front of your body. The stronger the shoulder complex, the faster the arms can swing the club and the more connection exists between the trunk and arms.
If you're unsure if you have either separation or connection in your golf swing, see a qualified PGA professional for an analysis and then work with a physical therapist, who can help with flexibility or strengthening exercises to keep some "marital bliss" present in your golf game. Cory Puyear, is the Director of Body Balance for Performance in Petoskey and Harbor Springs. MG
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