Have you ever heard a golfer say they want shorter drives?
Of course not!
Power gives you the ability to hit the golf ball far! Every golfer wants more power. No golfer doesn’t.
So what is Power and how do you get it?
To me, power is the summation of speed and strength. HOWEVER, strength is built upon a foundation of proper posture and stability, and speed on a foundation of flexibility and mobility. So in order to be powerful you need ALL the physical qualities mentioned above.
Both the stable and mobile systems are equally as important in relation to one another. Stiff and strong cannot create force or power, loose or elastic cannot create force or power without a stable foundation to work from. The ability to keep one part of the body secure while stretching and contracting adjacent segments allows us to generate speed and maintain consistent posture while doing so.
If want to keep the bow of a bow and arrow stable as you pull the string back, you must have good posture, balance, strength, and muscular endurance.
The ability to keep one part of the body secure while stretching and contracting adjacent segments allows us to generate speed and power.
Most amateur golfers struggle with power due to a lack of flexibility and mobility. In other words, they have difficulty simply getting into a position that will allow them to access the lower part of their body (which is necessary to be a powerful golfer).
“Until you can get into a position until you can move the joints (hips and shoulders) the way they need to be moved, it will be difficult if not impossible to enhance your power. If we look the most people that struggle with GOLF, it is because they lack mobility”_ Michael Boyle
Those of us trained by the Titleist Performance Institute uses 4 tests to measure power. TPI has measured over 12,000 golfers using these 4 power tests. The common thread is that the higher the numbers on the power tests the further you hit the golf ball.
We want to look at:
- Lower Body POWER
- Upper Body PUSH-POWER
- Baseline Shot – a combination of Lower Body – Push and Rotational Power
1. Vertical Jump
The vertical jump test looks at power production from the lower body. We want the number to fall between 18″-22″ off the ground, which is what the average male tour player is getting. With the LPGA getting between 14” and 18″. The long drivers can get anywhere from 26” to 30″or more!
2. Seated Chest Pass
The seated chest pass test looks at power production from the upper body. PGA numbers fall between 18′-22′ from the chest. LPGA who. With the LPGA getting between 14′ and 18′.
3. Sit-Up and Throw Test
The sit-up and throw test is a great way to test for chop and pull power in golfers. It also shows us how well you can transfer force from the lower body into the torso and arms. PGA tour players are throwing the ball between 18′ and 22′.
By using the above 3 tests we have a very good idea of where your power is coming from. Ideally, we want the 3 numbers of the 3 segments to be fairly the same. Between 18 – 22.
4. Baseline Shot Test
The Baseline Shot Test is a rotary throw that brings all the elements of the previous tests and puts them together. What we’re looking for here is our athletes’ ability to create rotational power. And since golf is a rotatory sport this test is a huge indicator of how well you are using all your segments together.
For this test, we are looking for number outputs that are 1 and 1/2 times the previous tests. In other words, if you had a vertical jump of 20 inches a chest pass of 20 feet, and a sit-up and throw of 20 feet we would expect the baseline shot test to be 30 feet. We are testing both the left and right sides and looking for symmetry between the sides.
Reading The Results
If there’s a big difference between one segment and another that identifies what’s working and what’s not. And a lot of time this will actually show up in the golf swing.
If you are one of those players that comes over-the-top, that might be a little steep in your swing, that divot bit deep, you are likely an arm dominant player, and that will reflect in your results being proportionately higher in the push-pass and sit-up and throw in comparison to the vertical jump test.
NOTE: A pre-existing injury could cause one segment to be more dominant.
Special Consideration For Older Golfers:
As we get older we tend to lose our Lower Body strength and power. We lose muscle mass in the glutes and our hips don’t fire as well as they used to, but male golfers tend to maintain their Upper Body strength for quite a long time. While it is true that we lose power and strength as we age, with a carefully designed exercise program you can defy age for quite a long time. Just check out my article: Functional Strength and Power Training for The Senior Golfer recently published on www.mytpi.com
click here to click to read the article:
“If you can jump higher and run faster you can hit the golf ball further!” ~ Robert Yang, TPI Advisory Board, Olympic Lifting Instructor
Here are a few examples of exercises that, when progressed properly, will improve power in golfers at any age!
Brett’s Bottom Line:
“To be able to be powerful, to deliver a lot of force in a short time period of time you’ve got to be mobile, you’ve got to be stable, you’ve got to be strong, you’ve got to be fast!”
To see the ultimate expression of flexibility and strength take a look at this video of my friend Justin James, World Long Drive Champion.
To find out where your power is coming from contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (917) 596-8485 and find out how testing works.