Every golfer’s dream is to figure out how to hit the ball further and hit the ball straighter. Imagine a perfect Sunday morning meeting up with your buddies at your favorite course. It’s going to be a beautiful day, the sun is just starting to rise and you can see the morning dew on the first tee box. You strap your bag into the cart and think “I feel good about today. Today is the day” as you hop in and drive up to the first tee.
After exchanging pleasantries, the age-old question pops up…
Who wants to go first?
Normally, you get a pang of anxiety in your stomach and hope it doesn’t come down to you.
You don’t want to be the one to duff it off the first tee or shank one off into the trees to start the round. Sure you can scramble but where’s the fun in that? But today is different. You stride out of your cart and triumphantly say “I’m up first!” with the utmost confidence.
You know all the work you’ve been doing has made you into a golf sniper who can put the ball wherever they want. Your nagging aches and pains are a thing of the past, so you know you can step up, grip it and rip it.
Your golf buddies, typically knowing you to be a bit gun-shy at times, are slightly taken aback by your new-found confidence. You calmly and coolly take the driver head cover off, grab your brand new ProV1 golf ball (you buy the nice golf balls now because you know you won’t lose them) and a tee. You strut up to the tee box, put the tee into the freshly cut, green grass and the ball at the perfect height. Today is the day you show everyone how all your work
has paid off. One last look down the middle of the fairway...
You STRIPE one off the center of the clubface, swinging effortlessly and free from any twinge of pain. It felt like you hardly swung at all. The ball POPS off the club with perfect height and you finish your follow-through, posing for the gallery to see…Just like Tiger at the Masters.
Straight down the middle and 20-30 yards further than last year. You don’t even need to look back at your buddies, you can feel the astonishment and the “who is this guy?” vibe from the tee box.
You give them a half smile, walk back to your cart and slip the club back into your bag like a knight sheathing his sword after a victorious battle. Now cross your arms, lean back against your cart and watch your buddies do their best to keep up with you.
Today’s the day.
The first exercise will help increase your hip mobility.
Think about those times you get out of the car, rush up to the tee box (without doing a proper warmup) and take your first few practice swings…Have you ever had the sensation that your lower body just doesn’t want to move? Or maybe you notice it the most during your backswing when you can’t get a big enough turn to generate the power you want. Most likely, your hips need some mobility work! Here’s my favorite… Lie on the floor with your knees bent.
Walk your feet out as far as you can to the side. Stabilize your shoulder blades and draw your rib cage down so it’s not flaring. Take your arms out to your sides. Drop your knees so they get as close to the ground as they can. Your low back should NOT come off the ground here and neither should your shoulder blades. This is purely a hip movement!
Perform 3 sets of 10 reps - 2-3x a week.
I know you might be thinking this has NO place in a golf tips book about how to hit the ball straighter and further. But what if I told you your ability to do this exercise directly relates to your posture when you address your ball, all the way through your backswing, at impact and with your follow-through? What if I added that this exercise also helps put more force into the ground better ability to open up your hips in your swing MORE POWER. MORE CONSISTENTLY.
Okay now that I’ve got your attention, take a look at Squat-To-A-Box!
Place a chair 1 - 2 foot widths behind you. Sit down and back to reach the chair with your hips and your buttocks. The seat of your pants should touch the chair but not rest. Push your weight through the laces/arches of your feet to come back up. You’ll need to perform 3 sets of 10 every day with these to see the tremendous benefits we see every day in our office (and on the course) from mastering this movement.
Do sit at a desk all day then try to run out and play 9 after work and get frustrated because you’re SO STIFF your backswing goes
This one’s for you!
It works, I promise. You’ll need a piece of equipment for this mobility exercise. It’ll run you anywhere from $10-$40, so hold off on buying that ridiculous neon golf shirt and spend money on a Foam Roller instead…trust me this will help you hit the ball so much better that nobody will care about your wardrobe.
Lie on your back and place the foam roller horizontally over your shoulder blades. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. You may hear some Rice Krispies (Snap, crackle, pop) as you’re rocking back and forth and that’s okay! Do this for at least 60 seconds daily!
This is where the money is made ladies and gentlemen. If you want to hit the ball further more consistently, THIS exercise is an absolute must. This exercise is a PRO LEVEL exercise because we’re hitting 3 things every GOOD golfer needs:
POWER. SPEED. STRENGTH.
We call this exercise the “Chop/Lift” for reasons you’ll understand by
Start this move by assuming a tall-kneeling position, or kneeling on both knees and staying nice and tall. To perform the “chop” portion of this movement, attach a band or cable up high as shown below. Keeping your rib cage tucked and not flared and arms straight, you’ll pull the band down across your body. Hold hips directly under the trunk and spine straight with the shoulders back. Pull band or cable down and across the chest while keeping it close to your body.
Your trunk should remain square and stable and your head should face forward.
The Lift portion of this exercise is the opposite of Chop. Stay in your kneeling posture, attach a band or cable lower and this time you’ll pull up and across your body. The tubing should come across the body from the hip closest to the point of attachment to opposite shoulder and palms facing away. All actions should be done with the arms lifting. The band or cable should be in line with closest arm. For more resistance, slide further away from the point of attachment. Before starting your exercise, please make sure the point of attachment for the tubing is secure. Now do the same process but attach the band or cable to the other side of your body.
Aim for 3x10 in EACH direction.
Did you know shoulder mobility generates about 20% of total clubhead speed?
That means if you’ve got cranky shoulders that don’t want to move, you could be left with only 80% of your clubhead speed.
So let’s look at an example…if you swing your driver 90mph, on an average you would hit the ball about 235 yards. If you have cranky shoulders that don’t want to move, that would knock your club head speed down to 72mph and drops you an astonishing 52 yards off your drive! Instead of hitting an 8-iron into the green, you’ve got to consider taking out a hybrid. BIG difference. Let’s get those shoulders moving! Lay on your back with your hands reaching out towards the ceiling.
Hold a towel (or a band as in the picture) between your hands and take one arm overhead. As that arm goes overhead, the other arm goes down towards your side. Both arms should get close to touching the floor. Then turn your head towards the overhead arm at the end for some finishing stability plus some bonus neck range of motion.
Do 3 sets of 5 2-3 times per week.
This is a necessity. It doesn’t matter if your therapist or doctor plays golf, the level of understanding from a TPI certified practitioner is well worth the
search. We all have that one family member who’s “pretty good with their hands” and “could probably fix that ceiling fan that got fried by the lightning strike last week”, but you and I BOTH know it’s much better to hire an electrician who’s done it many times before.
I have no doubts your current therapist or doctor is good. If you’re happy with how you’re hitting the ball, then I suggest you stay with them. But I’m guessing you’ve picked up this book because you want something more.
You know there’s something better out there…for all the hours and effort (and $$$) you’ve dedicated to this passion of yours, you want more to show for it.
Find a TPI certified professional. It makes a huge difference. They’ll be able to seamlessly weave both the golf and medical world together in a way that will help your golf game explode.
The above should not be substituted for medical advice. When sharp or achy pain persists for more than 24-36 hours and is consistently painful, you should immediately consult with a trained medical professional. This could be your chiropractor, physical therapist, orthopedist or MD). If managed within a timely manner, shoulder pain can be addressed and resolved with the correct applications,
Dr. Chad Cohle is owner of Cohle Performance Chiropractic, the Cohle Golf Academy and your Central PA authority on all things golf. He’s enjoyed the game from an early age, learning to play golf with his parents. He created the Cohle Golf Academy in 2019 because he saw the need for a TPI-certified professional to help golfers bridge the gap between their physical fitness and medical capabilities and their golf skills. He enjoys working with golfers of all abilities to hit the ball straighter, further and enjoying golf more. If you’re an avid golfer annoyed with your game because it is inconsistent and unpredictable, causing you to play below your expectations, we can help. Visit www.cohlechiro.com or call 717 503 9454 to set up an initial consult.