Titleist Performance Institute Golf Assessments at Physiolete PT
October 6, 2020
Titleist Performance Institute is the world's leading educational organization dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing. Since 2003, TPI has been conducting research on thousands of golfers from professionals on the Tour to weekend golf enthusiasts. TPI has taken over two decades of research on movement mechanics as it relates to the golf swing and created the concept of the Body-Swing Connection.™ What is the Body-Swing Connection? Essentially it is a concept that emphasizes there isn’t one right way to swing a golf club, but there is a most efficient swing “pattern” for each golfer. Golfers who have limitations in either stability, flexibility, and/or mobility may begin to compensate with altered movement patterns which may disrupt the Body-Swing Connection and create swing faults.
What is stability, flexibility, and mobility?
- Stability is essentially a term to describe strength and muscle activation. Golfers need good stability at the joints that move the most: ankles, hips, core, and shoulders. One great example is the shoulder. The shoulder is a ball and socket joint, if you are a visual person think about how the golf ball rests on a golf tee. If the rotator cuff is strong or lacks muscle endurance, it won’t stabilize the shoulder (ball) on the socket (scapula) as well for a full 18 holes of golf and could cause pain and/or dysfunction.
- Mobility is essentially a term to describe how a joint moves around its axis. Golfers who have had previous injuries or surgeries may have a joint that is hypomobile, which would limit the range of motion of the joint. Hypomobile golfers need to perform exercises to improve joint mobility, not necessarily increase soft tissue flexibility. Golfers can also be hypermobile, having too much motion at a joint in which case they would benefit from a stability program
- Flexibility describes the stiffness of the soft tissue. Someone with great flexibility needs a good dynamic warm-up prior to golf, but probably doesn’t need to perform static stretches for 10-15 minutes daily. Whereas, someone who has stiff hamstrings would probably benefit from soft tissue mobilization techniques and static stretches more frequently to improve muscle length.
The TPI Movement Screen was created by Dr. Greg Rose, Dave Phillips, and a 52 member advisory staff of the leading experts in the golf industry. The TPI Screen is a comprehensive 16-point physical screen that looks at stability, mobility, and flexibility throughout the entire body. The 16-point tests are listed below:
- Pelvic Tilt
- Pelvic Rotation
- Torso Rotation
- Overhead Deep Squat
- Toe Touch
- Single Leg Balance
- Lat Length Test
- Lower Quarter Rotation
- Seated Trunk Rotation
- Bridge with Leg Extension
- Cervical Rotation
- Forearm Rotation
- Wrist Hinge
- Wrist Flexion
- Wrist Extension
TPI has researched hundreds of professional golfers and have created normative data to determine what is normal, what is a yellow flag related to movement, and what is a red flag.
- Normal movement on any of the 16 tests does not warrant any further instruction or exercises.
- Yellow flags are essentially a blip on the radar. They may be altered movement patterns that an athlete can “work-through” or compensate around. Yellow flags generally mean that while this isn’t an issue now, it could become one. For example, an athlete may be unable to perform a single leg glute bridge for the full amount of time without cramping or rest. Does this mean that they have back pain now? No, but it could be an issue that down the road leads to low back pain. Also, if the athlete doesn’t have good strength and stability in their glute to perform the test correctly, he or she would probably benefit from glute strengthening in order to increase power in the golf swing-thus improving performance. Yellow flags can be a warning for what is to come.
- Red flags are usually an issue that the athlete is aware of. This could be pain that occurs during certain parts of the swing, mobility/flexibility deficits that limit the swing, or even strength deficits that reduce efficiency and power behind the swing. An example of this could be that a right-handed golfer lacks hip internal rotation in the right hip. If the athlete is unable to fully achieve hip internal rotation in his or her backswing, he or she will likely compensate by altering movement mechanics at the joint above or below-creating a swing fault. Red flags need to be corrected now!
At Physiolete Therapy and Performance, we partner with Cammie Bentley, former University of Alabama golfer and golf instructor/owner of Ao1 Golf Academy (Audience of One) to perform our TPI screens. At the end of each screen, Nadia Jones and Cammie Bentley perform individual assessments of your results. They then will collaborate with you to discuss corrective exercises for any movement faults as well as discuss how it may improve efficiency behind your golf swing.
No matter what level golfer you are, you will benefit from a TPI screen. You don't have to be injured to do a TPI screen, in fact, Titleist Performance Institute recommends that healthy golfers do one to establish a "normal" baseline. It's important to keep in mind that even professional golfers aren’t receiving a perfect score on the TPI screen. This means there is always room to improve your golf game. Golf is widely known as a life-time sport. If you want to stay in the game, swing more efficiently, prevent injury, and/or reduce pain-do yourself a favor and sign up for a screen. We want to keep you playing golf for life!
Call Physiolete Therapy and Performance today at 205.409.8060, DM us on social media, or email us at [email protected] if you would like more information OR if you'd like to set up your TPI screen!