When it comes to looking at the golf swing, there are so many places to look whenever you tape your swing or have a lesson. But, one area that is often lost in the shuffle is the first point of contact a player has to create kinetic energy from the ground the create power, the ankles.
Anyone who has played sports throughout the life has probably “sprained” at least one of their ankles on multiple occasions. This is not something to take lightly. A past ankle injury, especially one to a ligament (which is a sprain by definition), creates an instability to the joint that can then cause a cascade of factors to occur. First, the tear will signal to the body to begin the inflammatory process and send fluid to the area containing helpful nutrients and healing factors that are meant to allow the area to recover. (I'm sure most of you remember Tony Finau's ankle injury during the Masters Par 3 contest a couple of years ago.) However, if the area is still stressed (meaning playing injured) then the injury can turn into a chronic ankle issue that will then begin to alter ankle joint mechanics and likely cause bony connections to stiffen and other areas to make up for the stability that was lost when the ligament was injured. This decreased ankle mobility and injury to a motion-sensor rich ligament causes difficulty with the brain being able to interpret ankle position, ultimately impacting the individuals balance and stability. (Take a look here at how one of the best players on the PGA Tour struggled with an injured ankle.)
And here is where the golf swing compensations are likely to be shown.
Whether it be excessive lateral sliding, loss of posture throughout the swing, or an inability to maintain stability throughout the swing to create a repetitive clean contact, an ankle injury is no joke. Get that ankle looked at by your certified TPI professional to make the difference in your swing and offeason training this year!
What is TPI?
The Titleist Performance Institute is a branch of the golf company, Titleist, that aims to improve the performance, health, and efficiency of a golfer's body and their swing. The TPI screening is a group of golf specific tests that, depending on their results, indicate where a physical impairments may exist and translate into a swing limitation or potential injury. This screening then allows a certified professional to create a comprehensive program to target those impairments and build a more efficient body to support its unique golf swing. For more information about TPI and their amazing history, visit their website at http://www.mytpi.com/
Dr. Daniel Strack PT, DPT, is the TPI certified specialist for Agape, and is located at our Chili clinic. Dr. Strack played collegiate golf while attaining his Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Nazareth College of Rochester, and has continued to be an avid golfer. Between his occupation as a therapist and his specialty as a TPI instructor, Dr. Strack is well equipped to assist you in your road to better golf performance!
If you are interested in learning more about a TPI screen and/or golf performance, please email Daniel at [email protected]