One of the features of Active Health Solutions is our indoor golf net. My personal vision was to have the ability to hit balls all year round. I’ve been a golf professional since 1997, a part of the sport since I was introduced to it when I was 5 years old, and I’ve come to realize that people that love golf, really LOVE golf.
Unfortunately, in northern climates, this sport is seasonal and we can only enjoy playing for 5 months every summer. So for many people, they will cram a lot of golf into this short time-frame, as they know that by September that there is a long winter ahead. The golf swing is a single-action, single-sided, ballistic movement and the goal is to create rotational power for distance (as golfers know that hitting the ball further, means lower scores). This can be hard on the body, especially the back and shoulders. And when the golf swing is repeated over and over – each round, each season, and over many years – injuries and issues can crop up. Compounding the concern is that as we age, we lose muscle mass, flexibility, and endurance, which are all fundamentals to the golf swing.
What is one of the most common issues for older golfers? Rounded shoulders and heads poking forward into a hunched posture. This position makes us look like a ‘letter C’, including a rounded lower back (for compensation) and an inability to rotate the pelvis anteriorly into a proper spine angle at address (translation – you need to stick out your behind instead of tucking it under). Which therefore means rotation for the backswing is compromised and people swing with their arms (instead of turning their shoulders) … and ultimately this causes a reduction in club head speed and weak shots that fade to the right. This position also means that people tend to generate more shearing forces on their thoracic vertebrae (equaling pain in their lower back). And finally, the rounded shoulders will reduce the space for the upper arm bone (the humerus) to move within the joint and people will start to complain of rotator cuff problems and injuries.
So now what? If this describes you or a golfer that you know, what can be done? And don’t worry, it’s not hopeless!
Off-season training will help maintain the flexibility, endurance, and strength you gained in your golf swing over the summer. Instead of taking the winter off, come and try working on all of these fitness essentials for the sport you enjoy. When the snow is off the course in the spring, you will be ready and in ‘peak season shape’ rather than feeling like you are starting fresh every year. Simply committing to a few days per week and training sport-specific functional exercises, you won’t have the declines in your physical body like in years past. And the best news, we hit golf balls into the indoor net in every class. There is nothing more fun than whacking balls in the middle of winter!