When I was in High School, I tried to compete in track and field events. Learning the rudiments of throwing a discus was a lot like learning the golf swing. Neither of which I was good at.
One of my teammates looked more like he should be at the pole vault rather than the discus ring. Yet there we were because in a small high school opportunities for failure abound.
It hardly seemed fair that we would be competing against the state record holder who had also earned a place on the Illinois All-State football squad as first team tackle.
Watching my wiry young teammate wind up for his discus throw, I hardly expected that he would be tough competition for his beefy competitor.
At 6 feet tall and 150 pounds it appeared to be a futile competition against the 6 foot 5 inch, 265 pound state champion.
Yet when the distances were measured, it was a surprise to see that the lithe athlete was able to hurl his discus within a few feet of the champions best throw.
What was his secret?
In the same way, Rory McIlroy is only 5 foot 9 inches and 165 pounds and yet his average drive in the US open was 310 yards.
How does he transfer so much power off the tee?
The answer is the same for both. It is same secret that a whip handler knows. In order to get the most snap, you need to know the right sequence and timing to utilize ‘the kinetic chain’.
Knowledge and skill of this kinetic chain allow for the initial power output to be relatively small compared to the final intense crack of energy delivered.
Energy is constantly being transferred through the golfers body in a series of linking body parts controlled by the fascia and muscles. This energy is either efficiently channeled or wastefully dissipated depending on the available motion and control of each of its links.
Utilizing this kinetic chain is the key to hitting the golf ball long. In fact, the one thing that every long ball hitter has in common is their ability to store energy and the increase that energy through a specific swing sequence.
Technology now allows us to measure rotational velocities of each body segment as it moves through the golf swing. What these measures have revealed is that utilizing the right sequence allows for energy to be transferred to each successive segment in a progressive fashion.
For instance, during the golfers backswing, ground forces are initially transferred through the feet to the legs, torso arms and clubhead. This energy storage is made possible through the elasticity of the body’s fascia (fa sha).
At the transition, that stored energy is transferred back again through rotational velocity beginning at the hips, building through the torso, gaining more momentum through the arms, out to the clubhead and through the golf ball.
In fact, according to Dr. Greg Rose of the Titleist Performance Institute, measurements using 3D analysis show that the rotational velocity of the average amateur golfer is 300 to 350 degrees per second. Most Pro tour players are around 500 to 550 degrees per second.
By comparison, Little Rory McIlroy whips his hips an average 720 degrees per second! With that amount of energy being transferred into his torso, his arms don’t need power as much as they need to be stable in order to deliver peak power at impact.
So, how can we learn this secret? One way is to find a TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor that is also certified in the use of 3D swing analysis. He or she can help you to identify those areas where power is being lost and then develop a plan to help you perfect your golf swing and…
Have a Great Game!