What Do We Mean?
Every golfer at some point in their career has looked for the secret ingredient to bring
their game to the same level as, for example, the Scottie Scheffler’s and Rory Mcllroy’s
of the world. More important than that, however, is developing their game to achieve the level of performance good enough to crush their regular Sunday morning friend group
While Pro-ams and regional tournaments are often the standard for providing golfers with feedback and reassurance about their regular performance, there is no better true test of a golfer’s capabilities than winning 20 bucks off your best friend of 30 years after time. (Or maybe it’s the opposite. Your best friend out-driving you by 30+ yards regularly may also provide you with some feedback about your “capabilities”).
The point is, playing the game better than your friends is something we all strive for. All the lessons you took this off-season, the money spent on new Callaway’s, the countless
hours “on the beach” making great use of your Sand Wedge, all this effort will finally be
validated on that beautiful Sunday morning when you’re 2-putting your way to victory.
So, what’s the secret? How can you better prepare yourself for these outings and assure your friends that you have sky-rocketed past them?
Bridge the Gap: Physical to Technical
The secret, for most golfers out there, is “Bridging the Gap”. The gap we’re referring to
is the difference between what performance goals you are trying to achieve technically
(avoiding early extension, shallower angle of attack, posting up on the lead side,
rotating & firing through the swing) and the prerequisite physical characteristics that may OR may not allow you to achieve those technical goals.
What’s an example? How about this. One of your biggest swing faults for years has been “sliding” your hips through every time you tee off with the Driver. This has cost you distance, consistency with your hits, and, embarrassment as you come up shorter than most of your friends. Maybe you’ve watched videos on how to stop this, or a friend gives you their “professional” advice on how to rotate better, or you’ve invested time and money to have a pro assess your swing pattern.
While all of that may be helpful, and maybe those are the methods you’ve relied on for years now with no improvement, let’s ask this question: “I know I want to stop sliding my hips through and post up more… but will my body physically let me do that?”. About 90% of the time this is probably a question that your friends aren’t asking themselves either.
This may seem like a very specific example, but have you thought about this? Have your friends though about this? (Again, probably not). And therein lies your secret ingredient: Start improving the Physical so you may achieve the Technical (Bridge the Gap).
How Do I Bridge the Gap?
To better understand how to master this secret ingredient of golf performance, you must
ask yourself another question: “What physical characteristics do I need to possess in order to play the game of golf as efficiently and effectively as possible (and beat my
friends)?”. Let’s break that answer down into 3 main components:
Throughout your lifetime as an athlete all 3 of these physical components will slowly become negatively affected in some capacity (injury history, lifestyle, habits).
HOWEVER, that is not a life sentence. Consciously working on improving these qualities will allow you to “fight the curve” and even see improvement! Unfortunately,
most golfers will neglect these attributes until they can no longer perform at the level
they deem enjoyable or until injury prevents them from doing so. As stated before, most of your friends might fall in that category.
How might you improve upon these characteristics?
– Regular pre/post stretching to go along with joint-specific soft tissue exercises
will finally get you that hip turn you’ve been searching for.
– Addressing major muscle groups in a structured strength training routine will
build your “engine” and give you a stronger foundation to play from.
– Understanding and training ground reaction forces will make up for that 30+ yard
drive difference that your best friend no longer can hold over your head.
Actively working on all 3 of these physical components may not only “Bridge the Gap”
so you can sky-rocket past your friends’ level of performance, it may also keep you
playing out on the course months or even years past them.
Is This Really The Secret?
More than just outdriving your friends, addressing this gap can be your secret ingredient
to find absolute longevity in the game you love to play.
We often like to attribute a poor round to our faulty clubs of 10 years, or how well kept
the grass is that day, or even ourselves for being so incompetent that we can’t magically
apply what our swing coach taught us to do just this morning. All of that will be blamed, yet we will often never address our own physical health and capabilities.
If you take a moment to appreciate the physical demand we put on our bodies with even just 18 holes, you’ll begin to understand how limiting these factors may become:
– Walking the course and climbing terrain for hours on end.
– Having the endurance to produce the same level of power on every swing.
– Having the mobility to handle all the torque and explosive rotation on your body.
– Being able to efficiently sequence different joint areas in the swing to get that
speed and distance you’ve been searching for without hurting yourself.
None of this is inherently talked about when you learn to play. Typically, you’ll learn
correct vs. incorrect ways to play and hope that over time you master those skills
enough to surpass your friends as well as your own expectations. Then you keep those habits for years to come, often with few moments of significant improvement.
But the difference now is, you know the secret.
Time to Impress!
Hopefully now you understand what it takes to surpass your friends. Sure, some of it may sound like common sense, but does that mean you’re actually thinking about it? Actively building a routine with this knowledge? Improving your joint and muscular health to bridge the gap between what you can’t do and what you want to do? Well, if not, now you will be. Remind yourself, the next time you’re out with the group, have I done enough physically since our last outing to finally show the improvement I want my friends to see? Are my hips more mobile so I can clear them better? Am I more powerful than before so I can use the ground more effectively? Can I walk away from this round ready to play another 18 while the rest of the group is barking about their backs hurting?
From here on out, the answer should always be: “Yes. I have bridged the gap!”.
How Do You Compare to Your Friends?
If you want to see how you compare to your friends or even any golfer your age, you should download our Golf Performance Assessment. In this assessment are the 4 critical mobility tests all golfers need to pass. We also provide a FREE call with one of our golf fitness professionals to go over your results live and use our predictive modeling club head speed calculator to see exactly where your club head speed should be. Get the assessment and schedule that call now!
Golf Performance Coach
Disclaimer: This blog content is for general educational information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. References available upon request.