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Get in the swing of it

Health
Golfer on the course.

We all know the many benefits of exercise, but did you know that specific exercises can help improve your golf game and help you feel better as you play a round? Richard Morris, clinical conditioning coordinator at Tidelands HealthPoint Center for Health and Fitness, shares some basic exercises and fills us in on the TPI program, which can create a custom exercise routine for you.

What is the TPI program?

TPI stands for Titleist Performance Institute. It’s not really related to the golf equipment or the golf ball, but it’s related to an exercise program. We offer the TPI program at Tidelands HealthPoint. I assess the participant’s physical abilities and then design a program based on that individual. Whether it’s someone with tight hamstrings, weak glutes or someone who has had shoulder surgery, I specify each workout for each individual.

Who is a good fit for the TPI program?

Anyone who enjoys playing golf could be a candidate. Doing the golf exercises works on things such as shoulder turn, hip turn, golf flexibility and golf strength. The general exercise program is great, but this would specify more toward your golf game.

Tell us about the assessment.

I look at up to 12 different things, including hip rotation, shoulder turn, hamstring flexibility, shoulder flexibility, balance and glute strength. Usually, I can find a problem with someone or identify something he or she can work on based on the evaluation.

After the assessment, you come up with a specific plan for that person?

Correct. I’m at Tidelands HealthPoint in Pawleys Island, which is a popular community for retirees. So, a lot of my clients could have had various knees surgeries, back surgeries, shoulder surgeries. I’ve pretty much seen it all. Some people may be working on just playing golf with no pain. I can see what they did in physical therapy and work with what they’ve got.

Generally, what types of exercises do you prescribe?

Working on hamstring flexibility. You could do some leg kicks straight forward. You could do some bridges lying on a mat where you lift your hips up. Working on glute strength, which a lot of people don’t work on.A lot of guys tend to do weight training but not band training and not golf-specific exercises.

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One of my favorites is a ball toss – toss a heavy ball against a wall working on shoulder turn, core strength, glute strength. Then when you grab a golf club, it feels like a feather. Those are just a few of the exercises. I’ve seen people play pain free and hit the ball farther by incorporating those exercises into their routines.

So you’re trying to find a balance between strength and flexibility?

Yes, a combination of both. I also recommend doing cardio just for the endurance to have the strength to go on the golf course. A lot of people go to the golf course cold. They don’t come in and do a routine. If they are going to play golf, there’s a 10- to 15-minute warmup you can do in your golf outfit. That way, you don’t go to the first hole cold with cold muscles and start your round badly.

I’m just starting to pick up golf and only played a few rounds.Can I still join the program?

I’m just starting to pick up golf and only played a few rounds.Can I still join the program?Absolutely. This is for everybody. This is not just for pro golfers or people with rehab. It can work for anyone.

Want to learn more about the TPI program at Tidelands HealthPoint? Contact Richard Morris at 843-237-2205.

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