In my last article, I discussed the two different types of posture, S-Posture and C-Posture, and how important posture is to the game of golf. Recapping, posture is crucial in every shot you are attempting to hit. However, what part of the body plays the leading role in keeping our posture on point during the actual golf swing? If you guessed your elbows, you’re completely wrong. The answer you were looking for is the pelvis.
Why is the pelvis so important for golf performance? The pelvis plays an important role in keeping a neutral spine at address and throughout the swing. Pelvis movement is required in order to create an efficient swing for each golfer. The pelvis connects the upper body to the lower back providing stability and balance, which allows us to create more power with each swing. What does creating more power allow us to do? It allows us to hit the ball farther, which is something almost every golfer desires to do.
There are several muscle imbalances that can affect improper pelvic movement and positioning. The major causes are tight hamstrings, tight or overactive lower back muscles, tight hip flexors, weak or inactive core muscles and glutes. If you read my previous article on posture, you would recognize that all of these muscle imbalances are also problems when it comes to proper posture. However, the hips and glutes play a primary role in keeping proper and healthy pelvis movement. Tight hips cause a world of problems and injuries for golfers. Tight hips in many cases can result in knee pain, low back pain, foot problems and sciatic nerve pain. Many of these injuries can result in a golfer needing to take time off, if he or she is not careful or refuses to do anything to correct the issue. Weak glutes can also contribute to many of the same problems, as tight hips. However, weak glutes are also the cause of two major swing characteristics that golfers don’t want, early extension and loss of posture.
What is the best way to check the condition of your pelvis? If you’re looking for a test you can do at home, perform the pelvic tilt test. It’s very simple. Get in golf position and tilt your pelvis out and try to tilt your pelvis back underneath you. Here is an example:
If you have smooth movement in both directions with no pain or shake-n-bake, you’re in good shape. If you experience pain, especially in your lower back, or have little to no control, you have some work to do. I suggest you find a local TPI certified professional to help you figure out what is exactly going on. As you can see from everything I’ve talked about in this article, your pelvis plays a very crucial part in golf performance. So, make sure that your body is ready for everything golf throws at it, for every golfer knows you really have no idea what’s going to happen on the course.