Every golfer knows that good mechanics are the key to a consistent game.
Here we discuss the top three myths & misconceptions and look at what the scientific evidence shows.
#1: Golf is a low impact sport
Although considered a low impact activity as a whole, golf has some significant effects on specific parts of your body. A recent biomechanical study showed that the force generated during a back swing produced high peak tibial (lower leg) forces in the leading knee on par (couldn’t resist) with forces seen while jogging. So as you look at the number of rounds you play and the time spent at the driving range, the impact on your body may be significantly higher than you think.
#2: Golf, especially with a cart, is not a workout. And 10 pounds of body weight won’t make that much of a difference
Golfers walking 18 holes take between 11,245 and 16,667 steps on average. An adult has a 2.6-foot mean stride length, making the total distance covered while walking 18 holes between 5.5 and 8 miles. Those who use a golf cart tally an average of 6280 steps or just over 3 miles of walking over the 18-hole course.
So how would a 10-pound weight loss impact your body over those miles walked? Studies show the force (stress of weight bearing down on your knees) reduction is about four times greater than the actual weight lost. For every 1 pound of weight loss, there is a 4-pound reduction on your knee-joint load per step. So lets look at two practical examples for some perspective; for discussion sake we will say the number of steps taken is 13,956 or 6.8 miles (the mid-way point between the high & low for 18 holes from above):
Jack, weighed 210 pounds, and lost 10 pounds. Over 18 holes his knees see 326,400 pounds less in compressive load.
Arnold weighed 220 pounds and lost 16 pounds (the low end of the 16-22 pound average of our 20 day program). Over 18 holes his knees see 522,000 pounds less in compressive load.
As we get older it gets harder for our bodies to recover from this type of chronic strain, and injuries become more common. Be proactive in controlling your weight and reducing stress and strain on your joints to make the most of your opportunities to be out on the course!
#3: Stretching or resistance bands are the best way to improve torso and hip rotation to produce better Club Head Velocity (CHV)
Kinematic studies have highlighted the importance of adequate flexibility, particularly in the trunk, hips, and shoulders, to achieve the body positions required for optimal CHV. For perspective, reported averages of torso rotation during the back swing for a driver range from 78° – 109° with the pelvis rotating between 37° – 64°. This means if you were standing with your feet pointed straight towards 12 on the face of a clock your hips would to rotate to between 1:30 and 2 on the clock and your rib cage would rotate to between 2:30 and 3:30 on the clock.
Not surprisingly the accumulation of visceral fat (the fat surrounding the internal organs, sitting under the rib cage and in the abdomen) is a major factor in the degree of freedom one has to rotate the hips and torso. While stretching can provide some small benefit, only reducing that visceral fat load will enable significant improvement in the type of rotation needed to produce great CHV. The 20Lighter program and it’s patent-pending, visceral fat targeting meal plan produces dramatic changes in both the 20 day and 40 day programs.