TPI Fitness Training Program
To manage the Fitness component of the ICE GOLF ACADEMY - FOUR FOUNDATIONS, follow the drills below to attack the body-swing connections.
Early Extension is defined as any forward movement (thrust) of the lower body towards the golf ball during the downswing. This swing characteristic causes the arms and club to get stuck behind your body during the downswing, and forces your torso to raise up and elevate through the hitting zone. Early Extension usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left. And as most competitive players know, having two misses, one to the right and one to the left, can be disastrous in tournament play. Players that have this fault will also complain of getting stuck or trapped, this is due to the fact that the lower body has moved closer to the golf ball on the downswing. As a result the body is in the way of the arms on the downswing and thus the term I feel stuck or trapped.
Flat Shoulder Plane
Flat shoulder plane describes the plane of the shoulders as the student turns to the top of their backswing. At address the spine is tilted due to the setup position. In the ideal world the shoulders should move perpendicular to the tilt of the spine on the backswing. A flat shoulder plane is when the shoulders turn on a more horizontal plane than the axis of the original spine angle.
A flat shoulder turn can cause the club to be out of position on the backswing and creates a shift in swing planes on the downswing which reduces the efficiency of the motion. As a result the player will usually have to make compensations on the downswing with the body or hands to square the clubface consistently. This can also cause a loss of power in the swing as well as inconsistent ball striking.
Reverse Spine Angle
A Reverse Spine Angle is defined as any excessive upper body backward bend (trunk leaning towards the target) or excessive left lateral upper body bend (for a right-handed player) during the backswing. This swing fault makes it very difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence, due to the lower body being placed in a position that usually limits its ability to initiate the downswing. This swing characteristic is also one of the prime causes of lower back pain in golfers. When the lower body can't start the downswing or has a limited ability to initiate the movement, the upper body tends to dominate the swing which will eventually create path problems and limited power output. Reverse spine angle puts excessive tension on the lower back due to a forced inhibition of the abdominal musculature during the backswing, and excessive compressive loads placed on the right side of the spine at impact.