GOLF PERFORMANCE

           Dr. Ted Niejadlik provides 2-D video swing analysis, physical screening and exercise prescription to help the golfer improve their game. The video analysis is utilized to show the golfer the various swing characteristics that they may have. Dr. Ted uses advanced analysis software to examine the biomechanics of the golf swing and has built a library of many PGA Tour players’ swings so that a comparison can be made with your swing and the pros.

Below are some of the more common swing characteristics:

Early Extension– One of the most common lower body swing faults found on all levels of players. Early extension is defined as any forward movement (thrust) of the lower body towards the golf ball during the downswing.  This swing fault causes the arms and club to get stuck behind your body during the downswing, and forces your torso to raise up and elevate through the hitting zone.  Early Extension usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left.  And as most competitive players know, having two misses, one to the right and one to the left, can be disastrous in tournament play.  Players that have this fault will also complain of getting stuck or trapped, this is due to the fact that the lower body has moved closer to the golf ball on the downswing.  As a result the body is in the way of the arms on the downswing and thus the term I feel stuck or trapped.

Loss of Posture– Defined as any significant alteration from your body’s original set up angles during your golf swing. This loss of posture can affect all aspects of the golf swing including timing, balance and rhythm.  Losing your spine angle or altering your posture usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left.

Chicken Winging–  is a term used to describe the appearance of the lead arm on players who bend their lead elbow and cup their lead wrist through impact.  The lead arm resembles the wing of a chicken, hence the name. Normally, the lead arm is extended through impact to create as much width as possible.  Width through impact is a key factor in generating club head speed.  Chicken Winging can not only create a loss in power, but it tends to add loft to the club and excessive spin to the golf ball.

Slide– is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement towards the target during your downswing.  This swing fault makes it very difficult to stabilize your lower body during the downswing, which will eventually rob power and speed from the upper body through impact.  Your upper body needs a stable lower body to accelerate around during the downswing.  Once the lower body starts its forward shift into the downswing its job is to transfer energy to the upper body and stabilize the extreme rotary forces that are created in the upper body, arms, and club.  If there is no stable platform to rotate around, players will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.

Sway– is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement away from the target during your backswing that forces your weight to the outside of your trail side foot.  This swing characteristic makes it very difficult to develop a proper weight shift during transition and the downswing.  Imagine a baseball batter digging in at the plate with their back foot. This simple routine allows them to coil around their back leg and drive their weight from their back leg to their front leg in a very efficient manner.  If there is no stable platform to drive your weight off of during transition, you will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.

S Posture– The number one cause of lower back pain in golf. S-Posture, is a postural characteristic that can be caused by the player creating too much arch in their lower back by sticking their tail bone out to much in the setup position. This excessive curvature in the lower back or S-posture puts abnormally high stress on the muscles in the lower back and causes the abdominal muscles to relax. This deactivation of the core muscles can cause a loss of posture or reverse spine angle during the backswing. This in turn puts the lower body out of position on the downswing and will affect the sequence of motion in the golf swing.

C Posture–  is used to describe a posture that occurs when your shoulders are slumped forward at address and you have a definitive roundedness to your thoracic spine.

Reverse Spine Angle– This is the number one swing fault that can cause lower back pain. Reverse spine angle is defined as any excessive upper body backward bend (trunk leaning towards the target) or excessive left lateral upper body bend (for a right-handed player) during the backswing.  This swing fault makes it very difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence, due to the lower body being placed in a position that usually limits its ability to initiate the downswing.  This swing characteristic is also one of the prime causes of lower back pain in golfers.  When the lower body can’t start the downswing or has a limited ability to initiate the movement, the upper body tends to dominate the swing which will eventually create path problems and limited power output.  Reverse spine angle puts excessive tension on the lower back due to a forced inhibition of the abdominal musculature during the backswing, and excessive compressive loads placed on the right side of the spine at impact.

Over the Top– This swing fault effects the path of the club and can produce the dreaded slice. Over the Top is perhaps the most common swing fault among high handicap golfers. It occurs due to an overuse of the upper body on the downswing. As a result the club will be thrown on the outside of the intended swing plane with the club head approaching the ball from outside to in. This creates a pull if the clubface is square or a slice if the club face is open.

Early Release or Scooping– This causes a major loss of power in the golf swing. Scooping occurs on the downswing and is defined as a premature release of the wrist angles.  This results in a weak impact position with the left wrist being cupped at impact.  It adds loft to the face of the club and as a result we see a loss of power and consistency.  It is usually combined with Casting or Early Release.  It is termed Scooping when the club head passes the hands through impact and the student is trying to lift the ball into the air.

Flat Shoulder Plane–  describes the plane of the shoulders as the student turns to the top of their backswing.  At address the spine is tilted due to the setup position.  In the ideal world the shoulders should move perpendicular to the tilt of the spine on the backswing. A flat shoulder plane is when the shoulders turn on a more horizontal plane than the axis of the original spine angle. A flat shoulder turn can cause the club to be out of position on the backswing and creates a shift in swing planes on the downswing which reduces the efficiency of the motion. As a result the player will usually have to make compensations on the downswing with the body or hands to square the club face consistently.  This can also cause a loss of power in the swing as well as inconsistent ball striking.

           A physical screening is then conducted to determine if there are any mobility or stability issues or even physical limitations that may cause the different swing characteristics. Exercise prescription or treatment options are then discussed to address any issues or limitations.

           Dr. Ted will work with each individual golfer to help them to improve their game and reduce injury while they are playing.

G2