The driving range is my therapist.
Hitting balls on the range calms me. I put on my headphones and turn on Pandora. I’m in heaven. I’m in the zone.
Many people meditate – I go to the driving range.
Years ago, I was no different. Hour upon hour, I honed my skills. Back then though (way back in 1997), the headphones I used were huge and looked like Princess Leia’s buns.
To match my Princess Leia buns, I also employed a portable CD player that I hooked on to the back of my belt. Each time I would strike the ball.. Metallica would skip a few beats.
All of this ball beating doesn’t come without a price.
Perform any repetitive task long enough and you are going to have issues. Especially, if you are performing repetitions on only one side of your body (the golf swing).
All golfers know the sport is physically one-sided.
Back in 1999 I discovered that my spinae erector on the my left side was larger than the right side. Not only did it feel larger, you could visibly see the difference.
You might think this was a good thing.
Being out of balance, my body suffered. I experienced pain in my right hip, low-back tightness, and I had trouble touching my toes.
Years of range time, golf, getting in and out of a golf cart (from drivers side) all built this muscle. The right side of my body was underdeveloped.
Hulk Hogan on one side, Princess Leia on the other.
I’m guessing you may have a similar situation, to a lessor degree.
Some personal trainers would say I was ‘out of balance’.
In golf, it is very important that we not only maintain good balance during our swing, but that we also develop a balanced body. This is very important as I will explain below.
Balance is defined as:
An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.
Keep our put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall: “a mug the she balanced on her knee.”
As golfers we know that we may be standing in one spot, but we are certainly not in a steady position. No, we are rotating, shifting weight, swinging the club through the back of a ball and collecting it. Re-balancing ourselves. Then, we must decelerate the clubhead.
The definition of the word ‘balance’ does not work for golf.
I think a much more fitting word is Equilibrium.
Equilibrium is defined as:
1. A state in which two opposing forces or influences are balanced.
2. A state of physical balance.
The golf swing generates power by winding your body up like a coil. This energy is released on the downswing and then you must resist this energy to bring the club to a nice finish.
A state in which two opposing forces or influences are balanced.
As such, we need to develop the body as a whole, favoring neither side.
Golf fitness should take in to account all forms of movement, and not just the rotational aspect.
Equilibrium can only be achieved if two opposing forces are equally balanced.
Christian Henning, NASM-CPT, gfs, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
P.S. Let me know what you think of this article. I love hearing your feedback.