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Since 2003, the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) has been studying golfers of all ability levels, shapes, and sizes. They’ve used the immense amount of collected data to build an advanced training program to correct physical limitations in players — which allows them to play a better round of golf.
Now, AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach has launched a new Golf Fitness program to help educate golfers on the body’s anatomy and how to safely improve a golf swing. To get on par with the latest in golf-specific sports medicine, we spoke with AdventHealth New Smyrna Beach physical therapist and TPI Certified Fitness and Power Coach, Philip Tremblay, DPT, GCS, OCS[CLE1] .
Addressing Physical Limitations
“A lot of players, especially older players and those that have suffered injuries, have physical limitations that hinder their ability to play the game the best of their abilities,” Tremblay explained. “After years of research, Titleist recognized this and developed the TPI certification program in order to help golfers keep golfing longer. Through this program, they put specialists in the field who could correct these limitations and not only improve these golfers’ games, but also reduce or remove any pain that they may experience during or after hitting the links.”
Tremblay explained that there’s a big difference between getting critiqued and getting actual physical guidance.
“Golf pros only analyze your swing pattern and help correct any mistakes you may be making but they don’t address or know how to correct any physical limitations that are causing your swing faults. That’s where physical therapists like myself come in. We focus on these physical limitations which usually come down to either motor problems or joint stiffness or both.”
Motor problems occur when there’s a disconnect between your central nervous system and your muscles. These frustrating issues can be caused by a number of things, but can usually be corrected through physical therapy, unless they’re caused by a chronic disease.
Joint stiffness can be caused by anything from bad habits, like poor posture, to arthritis. With physical therapy and proper medications, joint stiffness can be loosened up, allowing you to start swinging the club properly.
Finding Your Personal Swing
“There are as many swing styles as there are golfers,” Tremblay said. “You have one, most efficient way to swing the club and it’s based on what you’re physically capable of doing. To achieve this unique, personal best swing you need to be screened.”
TPI developed a screening process that’s comprised of 16 individual tests to determine any physical limitations. Your physical therapist then maps out a personalized plan to correct those limitations, or work around them if they can’t be corrected, in order to help you achieve your most efficient swing.
“After the screening is done and I’ve analyzed your results, then I can develop a unique plan for you. Your plan may include physical therapy, fitness training, and treatment. After you’ve completed your customized plan, I can almost guarantee that you’ll not only have a better swing, but you’ll also be in less pain after a full 18 holes.”
Going the Distance
The TPI has also developed a second tier of training devoted to increasing ball speed which directly translates to longer drives. From the research they’ve accumulated, they know exactly what the best players in the world do and how that information can be used to help you maximize your potential by increasing your body, ball, and club speed.
“There are three tests that can determine if you can hit the ball far,” says Tremblay. “With just three tests we can know if you’re a distance driver. If you’re not, then we can develop those muscle groups with training and get you where you want to be.”