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Dr. Nick Curry is a chiropractor that is also certified through the highly esteemed Titleist Performance Institute as a medical, fitness, and junior golf wellness professional.  He is the owner of Integrative Health and Sports Performance in Bellbrook and serves at the Team Chiropractor to Wright State and Miami Universities.  To Visit their Website or call 937-848-8500
- Visualization is a powerful tool

Visual_Alignment_Image- Both positively and negatively.  Can you visualize the putt dropping in the cup, or missing?  Can you visualize your shot shape?  Can you visualize your alignment?  How accurate is your visualization?  Visualization is the process of creating internal mental images, largely with the mind and partly with the eyes.  While this is mostly a “mental” skill your visual system still plays a small role.  You can only visualize images as well as you can see them with your eyes.  If your eyes are out of focus then your mind will be out of focus.  These visualization skills are developed through age and, like other skills, some people develop visualization skills better than others.  The good news is these skills can be practiced and improved but understanding whether or not you are a good visualizer and how it affects your game is just as important.

There are quite a few different ways to test your ability to visualize.  In the office we use the Block Flip Test and parquetry patterns.  I’m sure many of you have seen images that test your ability to see different images within one image or convert a 2D object into a 3D object like the one below.

A simple test you can take online is at https://www.123test.com/spatial-reasoning-test/.  When taking these tests you should be able to complete them relatively quickly.  Some people have the ability to use logic to work their way through the problem.  That is not visualization.  Great visualizers will be able to see the answer almost immediately.   Interestingly, these tests also give us a little insight into other mental traits.  Do you get angry or frustrated when trying to figure out these tests?  That can be a sign that you will struggle to maintain focus throughout a round.

Visualization_Test

 

Great Visualizers:

     No lines or alignment of letters on the ball for putting

     Minimize the amount of lines and alignment markers on the putter

     Should concentrate on target and trajectory before taking a swing

     First instinct is usually the best!

 

Poor Visualizers:

     Draw a line or align the letters on the ball towards the target before putting

     Maximize the amount of lines or alignment markings on the putter

     Can think mechanical thoughts and focus on alignment of body before a swing

     Make thought out and educated decisions - check and double check!

 

Good Visualizers:

     Can go either way - lines or no lines - need to experiment 

Archive 
 
Visual System Part 2 - Visualization- Visualization is a powerful tool - B oth positively and negatively. Can you visualize the putt dropping in the cup, or missing? Can you visualize your shot shape? Can you visualize your alignment? How accurate is your visualization? Visualization is the process of creating internal mental images, largely with the mind and partly with the eyes. While this is mostly a “mental” skill your visual system still plays a small role. You can only visualize images as well as you can see them with your eyes. If your eyes are out of focus...
The Visual System:Part 1 The Visual System:Part 1 - A PuttingGame-Changer The development and use of your visual systemhas an impact on every aspect of your golf game. How you can read a putt, how you align yourbody, how you maintain your balance, and how well you see the target and visualizeyour shot are all dependent on your vision or are influenced by vision. Today’s golfer relies heavily on the use ofrangefinders or GPS, unless you are playing highly competitive golf and can’tuse one. However, around the green isone place on the course where your vision can have a major impact. We...
The Three R'sThe Three R's - A Guide To Treatment and Exercise As we move into the off-season for golf we will be seeing more and more people wanting to start exercise programming. It can be very tempting to jump right into strength training exercises or doing the latest exercises you have seen on social media. However, there is definitely a progression of exercises that all individuals should go through to reduce the risk of injury and to get the most out of the programming. If you skip steps and start doing strengthening exercises around a dysfunctional movement pattern, then you...
The Seated Trunk Rotation Test The Seated Trunk Rotation Test The Seated Trunk Rotation Test is designed to identify how much rotational mobility is present in the thoraco-lumbar spine. Good separation between the upper and lower body is important to help generate speed and maintain a stable posture during the golf swing. Many golfers lack true thoracic spine rotation. The lack of rotation may cause you to create excessive lumbar spine rotational forces or overuse the shoulder joint to compensate for limited thoracic spine mobility. Performing the Seated Trunk Rotation Test In a seated position, r...
Toe TouchToe Touch We often associate the inability to touch our toes with tight hamstrings. While the Toe Touch Test is a great test for overall mobility in the spine and hamstrings, it can also help identify a hip problem versus a lower back/core limitation. We aren’t just looking for whether or not you can touch your toes. We also want to see your ability to demonstrate good hip hinge or forward bend. This range of motion is important for golfers because any restriction in hip hinge mechanics can lead to poor address and dynamic posture. Players will tend to get too roun...
Take the Lat TestThe Lat Test - The Lat Test evaluates shoulder flexionwhich includes the flexibility of the latissimus dorsi muscle group, shoulderjoint restrictions and scapular motion limitations. The lat muscle spans the entire back andinserts onto the arm. Tightness in the lat can lead to loss of spinal postureanytime the arms are elevated, such as during the backswing. Also, the latmuscle can limit the ability of the player to rotate their shoulders on thebackswing or the follow-through. The lat muscle is a powerful internal rotatorand adductor of the humerus. Therefore, it is a major contribut...
The Perfect MealTHE PERFECT MEAL - Example Recipe Sheets Each meal should consist of fresh, minimally processedfoods. This includes protein, vegetables, smart carbohydrates and healthy fats.This is good information to know, but how do you turn these foods into adelicious meal? Flavors, seasonings and cooking methods are they key to makingyour meal perfect. 1 - CHOOSE YOUR INGREDIENTS When choosing your ingredients, there are a couple of thingsto consider. First, what are you in the mood for? You’ll be more likely toenjoy your meal if it consists of foods you actually wantto eat....
Stop Wasting Time ExercisingStop Wasting Time Exercising The number one reason I hear why people don’tincorporate fitness into their day is “time”. Now let’s get real, I believe that anyone can find that time if theyreally make it a priority. But I getit. Between work, kids, golf, etc. itcan be challenging to make the time. IfI asked you to find 60 minutes in a day only 3 days per week, you couldprobably do that. What about 45minutes? 30 minutes? I think we are just kidding ourselves if wesay we can’t find 30 minutes in a day to devote to our health and fitness. You don&rs...
Loading the CoreLoading the Core The first few tests we take golfers through when performing a TPI golf physical screen are to look at how well you can control your “core”. We first look at your ability to tilt your pelvis forward and backward and then your ability to dissociate your upper body from your lower body. The ability to perform these movements is critical to have a proper kinematic sequence, which is essential for swing efficiency and transfer of power. One of the primary muscles involved in these movement patterns is the external oblique abdominal muscle. This muscl...
Over the TopOver the Top - Over-the-Top is perhaps the most common swing characteristic among high handicap golfers. It usually occurs because of overuse or over-dominance of the upper body during the downswing. As a result, the club is thrown outside of the intended swing plane, with the club head approaching the ball in an out-to-in motion. This creates a pull if the clubface is square or a slice if the clubface is open. This can create a lot of issues if your “misses” are potentially going in two different directions. This over-the-top characteristic can rob you of p...
Early ExtensionEarly Extension Early Extension occurs when the hips and spineof a golfer start to go into extension, or straighten up too early, on thedownswing. This can be seen when the pelvis moves closer to the ball on thedownswing. The lower body does not easily rotate through impact, instead itpushes forward and the person stands up. Players will often complain of being stuck ortrapped with their arms on the downswing. This is because the lower body hasmoved into the space where the arms need to go. The result can be a block orhook as the hands and arms desperately try to deliver th...
Reverse Spine AngleReverse Spin Angle A Reverse Spine Angle is any excessive upper body backward bend or excessive left lateral (for right handed golfers) upper body bend during the backswing. Essentially it is when your spine/head is angled toward your target during the backswing. This swing characteristic makes it difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence, because the lower body is in a position that usually limits its ability to initiate the downswing. The upper body tends to dominate the swing when the lower body can’t start the downswing or has a limited ability to initiate...
Hit The Golf Ball FurtherI think just about everyone wants to hit the ball farther. We have covered a lot of topics on how to increase power and speed in your golf swing. But we haven’t really gotten into the “why”. Once you understand the why I believe it is much easier to apply those principles into your training.
HydrationHydration on the Course It's finally starting to get warmer and we are seeing the temperatures jump up pretty quickly. These high temperatures can sneak up on us and it’s important to keep up on hydration- especially when playing a round of golf. In order for our bodies to function, we have to replenish its water stores. After all, the body is made up of 70% water! Proper hydration will help you: Make better decisions on the course Minimize muscle soreness after golf or your fitness routine Manage stress on and off the course Maintain your ability to drive the ball...
Mobility MayMobility May In celebration of ‘Mobility May’ it seemed only fitting that we talk about mobility. Mobility and flexibility, or lack of, is one of the most common reasons golfers come to our facility. Most people think that mobility and flexibility are the same, when in fact they are two very different concepts. Flexibility is the ability of a muscle, or muscle group, to lengthen passively through a range of motion. Mobility is the ability of a joint to move actively through a range of motion. Mobility also takes into account the component of motor control with the...
Is Your Neck Killing your GameIs Your Neck Killing Your Game Many golfers have limited range of motion with their golf swing. Limitations during the back swing can be particularly problematic. There can be numerous factors for these limitations. Decreased external rotation with the lead hip, limited internal rotation of the trail hip or limited thoracic rotation are some of the common culprits. One area that is often overlooked with the golf swing is cervical rotation, or turning your head side to side. Many people don’t think that movement will have an impact on your swing but it is actually one of th...
Do you know how to Practice?Do you know how to Practice? Let’s face it, hitting golf balls on the range just isn’t as fun as playing a round with your buddies. But let’s say you go out to the range every once and awhile to work on your game. Did you know that how you practice (how most people I see on the range practicing) could be actually hurting your game? Or at the very least not helping. Blocked vs Random - Let’s talk about the different styles of practice first. There are 2 main styles of practice, Blocked and Random. Blocked practice is when you go out and hit the sam...
Teaching an Old Dog New TricksTeaching an Old Dog New Tricks Have you ever stood over a golf ball with full confidence only to hit a terrible shot and just wonder how in the world you just did that? Have you ever wondered why you need to keep working on the same swing drills over and over? The answer is in how our brain learns skills. There are 2 types of skills, motor and cognitive. Motor skills are like riding a bike or swinging a golf club. Cognitive skills are like learning a new language or mathematics. Our brain stores these skills in 2 completely different ways. For example, if you learned...
The Importance of Sleep in RecoveryThe importance of Sleep in Recovery Golfers ask me all the time, ‘what are the best tools for recovery?’ Everyone wants to know all the new andgreatest gadgets and tools to help with recovery. This list can get lengthy and expensive asthere is no shortage of different “recovery” tools on the market. Foam rollers, trigger point balls, NormaTeccompression boots, MarcPro, massage guns, hyperbaric chambers, saunas, floattanks….I could go on for a while. Weoffer a lot of these tools in the office to help with injury recovery and mostdo have a lot o...
The X Factor - Torso RotationThe X Factor - Torso Rotation One of the first tests we take golfers through during the TPI assessment is the Torso Rotation Test. This test looks at the golfer’s ability to rotate the upper body independently from the lower body, or dissociate. This is an important skill for properly sequencing the backswing and generating a good separation or coil. This is the “X-Factor”, creating the whip-like action in your swing and one of the key factors in power generation. For the test, start in a normal “five-iron posture” and then cross your arms across yo...
Muscle Activation Techniques (MAT)MUSCLE ACTIVATION TECHNIQUES (MAT) Many of you may have become familiar with Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) this past year or so. Although the technique has been around for years and utilized by us on the healthcare side, it has become very popular in the golf world due to the success of Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson is a huge advocate for MAT because it has helped him not only stay healthy but also improve his power and performance. MAT is an exercise method that tests for individual muscle weakness and when found, activates them through a simple technique to restore both t...
Hip Hinge Advanced ProgressionsHip Hinge Advanced Progressions The hip hinge is one of the most fundamental movements for normal activities of daily living but also extremely important for the golf swing. The hip hinge involves a controlled bending at the hips by pushing the butt backwards and keeping the spine straight, followed by extension of the hips (thrusting the butt forward) to come back upright. The most common exercise that involves the hip hinge is the deadlift. Done correctly, the hip hinge is very physically demanding. It involves mobility, flexibility, and strength throughout the entire body....
Single Leg BalanceSINGLE LEG BALANCE The screen that we hear the most groans with during our golf fitness assessments is the single leg balance screen. Almost every golfer knows that they are going to be bad at it. The funny part about it is that it is probably the easiest fitness characteristic to get better at, quickly. The screen measures your overall balance and highlights any proprioceptive imbalances from left to right as well as overall “core” stability. Our bodies use 3 internal control systems to help maintain balance throughout the golf swing: eyes, ears (inner ear), and...
Staring a Strength ProgramStarting a Strength Program Last week we talked about things NOT to do when starting a strength training program. If you avoid making a lot of those common mistakes then you will probably be on a good path with your program. So now that you know what not to do, let’s talk about the easiest way to start a basic strength training program. Assess, Don’t Guess You will always hear me say an assessment is the first step when working towards any goal. Can you start a program without an assessment? Sure. But entering into a fitness program without an a...
What Not to Do when Starting a Golf Fitness ProgramWhat Not to Do when Starting a Golf Fitness Program Guessing, Not Assessing Not assessing your weaknesses and strengths is one of the worst things you can do during a training program. If you are going into a workout without a clear goal for the day, month, or even year then you are not getting the most out of your workouts. There are benefits to exercise for general health but if you really want to improve your golf game then you need to know the areas that need to be worked on. Having a professional take you through a TPI screen is a great place to start. Imprope...
Pull StrengthPull Strength We have spent the last month talking about speed and power production and how to incorporate that into a training program. If you watched the US Open this past weekend, you saw how advantageous strength and power can be. The style of play where you just hit it as far as you can and deal with whatever lie you have hasn’t been very well received by traditional golfers, but we can see that it can clearly be effective. Sure, power is great for hitting the ball farther, but just as important (or more important) was the strength to hit out of that thick rough. Ev...
Elbow-Wrist Release PowerElbow-Wrist Release Power The last power source we like to develop iswrist and elbow power. Wrist releasespeed has been shown to be very important in adding power to the swing. The wrist can actually create power in 3different directions. It can extend,rotate and hinge. The most powerfulgolfers utilize all three planes for speed and power. The elbow can also be used as another link inthe chain of power, and is commonly used by the long drive tour players. To incorporate the elbow link, the playerwill have to bend the elbow at the top of the backswing. This allows th...
Arm Chopping PowerArm Chopping Power The ability to deliver explosive speed withthe arms is one of the most important aspects for power in the golf swing. We call it the Arm-Chopping motion, becausethe arms need to start up over the trail shoulder and explosively fire downacross the body to over the lead hip. Many players tend to eliminate this power source by trying to keep theirarms pinned to their chest during the downswing. This may help improve accuracy but it willdefinitely limit power development. Here are some examples of exercises weincorporate to develop arm-chopping power: χ...
Truck Rotary PowerTrunk Rotary Power The “trunk” refers to the combination of the pelvis and thorax. By monitoring the rotary speeds a player develops in those two body segments we can get a good indicator of what type of power they can ultimately generate in the club. The best way to measure these speeds is by analyzing a kinematic sequence with a 3D motion capture. Not only does the kinematic sequence give us the speeds being produced but it also tells us the order in which they are being utilized during the swing. If that sequence is out of order a lot of power can be lost in...
Vertical Thrust PowerVertical Thrust Power Have you ever noticed that many kids have a large jump during their downswing? The reason is because the jump (vertical thrust) is one of the first power sources developed in kids. The vertical jump is also a technique used by some of the most powerful golfers in the world. Despite vertical thrust power being arguably the greatest source of power it is one that is often neglected by golfers. We utilize some of the following methods to develop strength, speed, and power for vertical thrust: ● Skipping warm-up ●...
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