Anyone for a Rory McIlroy Golf Body…?
The last couple of weeks I haven’t played a lot of actual golf. Firstly, its that festive time of year when you have shed loads going on and secondly, we’ve been sharing lots of family illness! If you have young children, you’ll have sympathy on this one. It feels like we’ve been less than 100% for the last three weeks!
That said, it has given me time to focus some time on practice and my golf technique as well as something that many of us amateur golfers don’t spend enough time thinking about. Golf specific strength and fitness.
Firstly, lets talk about my golf practice. As you may know if you’ve read previous posts, a lot of my issues come from my club head angle at impact. My natural swing is to come from the inside, but then get a little trapped and overuse my hands. Depending on by what degree and the position of my body determines whether or not I a) hit a hook, b) just get away with it or c) hit a push. Either way, what I don’t have is a consistent strike.
One of the things Ryan (Rastall!) established was a huge contributing factor, was the way that I’m transferring my weight through the swing. I’m tending to hang back off the ball, meaning I get really trapped and need to flip my hands even more. So, we’ve been working really hard on transferring my weight onto my left side as I get through the ball.
The impact on my strikes when I actually get this right has been huge. I’m striking the ball far more consistently, and it’s a far more powerful strike. I’m hitting my irons a good 15 yards further when I nail it. That said, it’s still a new movement for me so the need to really drill it in is massively important now.
Now, the golf fitness thing. I’m probably the same as many of you reading this when it comes to fitness. It’s bottom of the queue when it comes to my ‘list of stuff to get done’. I’m one of those people who have gym memberships that I use sporadically at best. Now, I know that my golf body is not in the best shape. I have huge posture issues from many years sat in front of computers. That combined with general lack of fitness and strength is certainly not helping my game. You have to just look at Rory McIlroy to see the difference he’s made to his physical strength and fitness from that 18 year old that burst on the scene. That has definitely helped him become so dominant. Therefore, I think getting my very own Rory McIlroy Golf Body is the key here!
Over the few weeks, I’ve been working with a company in Leeds called Dynamic Golf, who focus specifically on golf fitness. Before you start, they do a screening which not only looks at your golf swing, but your range of movements and any physical restrictions that may be contributing to swing issues. Turns out I have quite a few! Once they’ve worked out how they can help your physical golf swing, they put together a program.
Of course, my posture and rounded shoulders were the first on the hit list, closely followed by a lack of rotation, mostly caused by having no ability to rotate my torso without my entire body following, known as dissociation. I also have a severe lack of arse (aka glutes!) and poor core, meaning my stability is poor. Basically, that Rory McIlory golf body is a long, long way away!
So, I’ve been having a session a week with Rachael, which I can already feel the benefits of. We’ve only worked on bodyweight stuff, and the great thing is it’s all training I can replicate at home in 30 minutes, so works perfectly for me.
This is one of the things I’ve been trying to do every day – it’s called kinoga, and it’s a quick yoga based, but golf specific range of movements. When I first did this, I really struggled. But, now I’m finding it much easier. It’s pretty tough…
The close hand hover press up thing was the bit that got me at first, but now after a couple of weeks with Rachael I can pretty much get through the entire thing without collapsing! That means it must be helping my golf right?
Well, I certainly feel stronger and when I’m hitting the ball in practice I am hitting it further. It’s just difficult to be able to really test it out on the course right now. That said, winter is really about practice and getting yourself in the best possible shape ready to start the new season… which is exactly what I’m doing.
With all that in mind, I did play in the Winter League this weekend at The Manor, and despite turning up still perhaps a little tipsy from the night before, I actually played pretty well. As you’ll know, my history of golf with hangovers is not usually good, but this time it seemed to work ok. We finished with 36 stableford points for 16 holes, and thankfully I contributed this time!
So, maybe this Rory McIlroy golf body thing will work out after all? Now, anyone for a mince pie?