It’s often said golf is a game for anybody – the young and old, women and men, amateurs and top-level athletes.
If you’ve played the game, you also know it’s arguably one of the frustrating and challenging activities in the world of sports — and those difficulties can be compounded when golfers’ bodies don’t cooperate.
Whether because of injury, the natural effects of aging, poor flexibility or weakness in certain muscle groups, golfers will often struggle on the course because of physical limitations that affect their movement. In some cases, golfers aren’t even aware a problem exists.
The good news?
There are professionals out there who can assess and help fix these problems. And Richard Morris is one of them.
Morris, clinical conditioning coordinator at Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness in Pawleys Island, specializes in helping golfers maximize their physical abilities. He’s not a swing coach; instead, Morris looks at how factors such as strength, flexibility, balance, endurance, nutrition, stability, power and posture all influence a client’s mechanics.
Trained and certified through the Titleist Performance Institute, Morris has developed a broad understanding of how the body can impact the golf swing. By working individually with his clients, he pinpoints problem areas, accents areas of strength and helps golfers of all ages and abilities lower their scores and enjoy the game more than ever before.
Since its inception in 2003, the Titleist Performance Institute has studied thousands of golfers ranging from top professional players to weekend enthusiasts to identify how a properly functioning body allows a player to swing a golf club in the most efficient way possible. The institute, in turn, trains professionals such as Morris to help golfers improve their game.
“When I’m screening golfers, I’m looking at a broad variety of factors that relate to their swings,” explains Morris. “I’m looking at their hamstrings, their shoulder turn, their glute strength and more, all to get a sense of where they’re at physically. Every golfer is different.”
Indeed, Morris notes that because every golfer faces unique challenges, he works with his clients individually. After examining a golfer’s swing and gaining a full understanding of the client’s problem areas, he will develop a workout plan that can result in longer drives, more accurate shots and happier days on the course.
“The game is simply more fun when you’re playing better,” Morris says. “That’s our goal with everyone we work with here.”
The biggest message Morris sends to his clients, he says, is that achieving the best possible outcomes on the golf course requires an understanding of how the entire body–literally from head to toe–impacts the quality of a golf swing.
For any golfer, the process of breaking down and rebuilding a swing requires work and commitment. But Morris says those who follow his advice often get exactly what they were seeking in the first place: more success, from tee to green.
“Some of the best moments I’ve had are when I hear from somebody who has scoliosis or some other kind of severe back condition and they do their workouts and tell me they’re playing pain free for the first time in 10 years,” Morris says. “If you’ve got pain, obviously, you’re not going to be able to play up to your ability.
“The next person I talk to might say that I helped them add 30 yards to their drive. So when we can help people like that, it’s just a great feeling.”
Clinical Conditioning Coordinator, Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness