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Be Aware! The wrong advice can compound the potential for injury- hurting your swing and your body.

Bad golf swings have been blamed on everything from lack of talent to lack of flexibility. A bad golf swing can do more than just frustrate you, it can create cumulative physical trauma that can lead to injury. Ironically, the myriad of readily available swing and fitness information may be a major contributing factor causing bad golf swings and injuries.

It’s not that all of the information being espoused is bad, the problem is the information isn’t always applicable to most struggling golfers. As a result the golfers we see tend to be confused and frustrated with their golf swings. Many are also experiencing physical stiffness, aches and pains.

The potential for injury increases when golf instruction is doled out without an understanding of the potential physical consequences of position and movement. An example of advice that has the potential for negative physical consequences is “Snapping your left knee straight” on the downswing to create faster hip rotation for more power. Not only does this create a chain reaction of movement that can lead to knee, hip and back injury, it is simply not applicable to the majority of amateur golfers who have trouble maintaining proper dynamic posture on the downswing. Body rotation is not the issue - the real issue is their inability to swing their arms fast. Trying to create more speed with their body is the wrong antidote for what ails them and just makes it more difficult to swing the arms properly by creating tension filled manipulation that feels like powerless effort instead of effortless power.

Like any great athlete who appears to perform effortlessly, great golf swings use less motion and effort to create speed. Snapping the knee straight encourages the body to rotate faster necessitating physical manipulations that create inefficient movement and force the body into compromising anatomical positions. By learning to move efficiently, golfers can avoid unnecessary physical stress that can lead to cumulative trauma and injury.

In future articles we will focus on applying only relevant information to your golf swing and identify more examples of widely communicated and accepted advice that is potentially damaging to your golf swing and your physical well being.

Jon Manack is the Director of Instruction for Leap Golf at SilverRock Resort in La Quinta, CA and Shadow Hills Golf Club in Indio, CA. This article contains excerpts from Jon’s forthcoming book The Anatomy of an Efficient Golf Swing. For more information please visit or contact Jon Manack at 281-415-6613 to set up an appointment.

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About the Author

Jon Manack, Jon Manack Golf Instruction
Indio, CA 92203

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