I’ve been teaching people how to play golf for nearly 45 years. In that time, I’ve observed several things that create injury and pain in golfers. Some only manifest after several years – here is an example to start the second part of my list:
#1 – “OPEN HIP” STRAIN. Since 1957, when Mr. Hogan published his book – “The Modern Fundamentals of Golf”, golfers across the globe have had their left foot turned outwards, whilst their right foot would be “square” to the Target Line. For a while, we were told that although the player’s toe line would appear to be open to target – it didn’t matter because the line across the heels was parallel to the Target Line.
Wrong! Even when the line across the heels is parallel to the Ball/ Target Line, if we turn the Left Foot outwards, whilst keeping the Right foot 90 degrees to the Target Line – THE HIPS WILL BE OBLIGED TO FALL “OPEN” TO TARGET.
So, for right handers, it is not uncommon to feel a little niggle in the lower back and right hip. A Shoulder turn of 90 degrees causes the hips to coil through 45 degrees – thus, if the hips are open to the target line, the torso is coiling against a restricted right hip.
I discovered this, thanks to my good friend Gary Lenaghan, who is the Club Professional at the superb Trevose Golf Club on the north coast of Cornwall. We were playing a few holes one evening and he noticed my hips were “open” – this surprised me as I knew my heel line was parallel to target. For many years, I had carried that niggle in my right hip.
Since that evening, I recommend a pupil has their feet turned out equal amounts at Address. Within six weeks the pain in my right hip disappeared, never to return.
Again, it is hard for younger golfers to apply such a subtle change. At 60, I have the benefit of hindsight; an injury that I had carried for over 20 years, was cured in only a short time.
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