Course Review: TPI Level 1

Titleist Performance Institute logo.jpg

This past weekend myself (Joe Gambino) and Vikash Sharma attended the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) for their level one certification on golf performance.  I found it interesting that every time I told some one that I was going to a golf related seminar - I always got a confused look and the response; golf?

Why would a golfer need special training for their needs? And why would a rehab professional go and learn about the golf swing?  It seems that many people view golf as a simple sport that couldn't possibly require an entire weekend seminar to learn about.  

It may or may not surprise you - but the ability to maintain your posture, while producing high amounts of force in a coordinated state is the exact definition of athletic.  There shouldn't be any surprise that the human body needs to function at a high level to play top notch golf.

This is what TPI realized.  And they have done an amazing job creating a system that not only revolves around the golf swing, but that your body's ability to move efficiently is key to having an efficient golf swing

TPI's core philosophies describes just this; "TPI believes golfers will benefit the most from a healthy and efficient body".  Meaning that every golfer should have a physical screen completed that not only incorporates their golf swing and biomechanics, but also their physical fitness, movement quality and current health. 

The bottom line being as fitness and rehab professionals - we play an important role in keeping golfers healthy and swinging their clubs to their best abilities. 

Fact #1 - Low back pain is the number one injury in golf.

Fact #2 - Low back pain is the number one reason why golfers STOP playing golf.

Fact #3 - Static posture in the set up of the golf swing can highly influence the biomechanics of your swing.

Fact #4 - Correcting the static posture of your golf stance is a powerful way to improve a golfers swing. 

Fact #5 - Shoulder range of motion and stability is highly correlated with your ability to control the club. 

Fact #6 - Just about every golf swing fault can be caused by lack of stability and decreased strength.  The "Glute is King" - weakness here can highly effect performance and cause a non-efficient swing. 

Those are a couple of points made on how physical limitations of the body can effect your swing. 

Because of this TPI created a 16 test screen that analyses your movement quality to help identify faulty stability/mobility patterns that can limit your ability to get into certain parts of the golf swing.  The ability to disassociate your hips from your spine is a key component to a pain free swing.  We also look at your shoulder mobility; as lack of shoulder ROM can effect positioning of your club and impact your swing. 

TPI doesn't only teach you how to swing, but also how to record a golfers swing in order to identify what they call the 12 Most Common Swing Characteristics.  They Include; 

  1. S-Posture
  2. C-Posture
  3. Loss of Posture
  4. Flat Shoulder Plane
  5. Early Extension
  6. Over-The-Top
  7. Sway
  8. Slide
  9. Reverse Spine Angle
  10. Hanging Back
  11. Casting/Early Release/Scooping
  12. Chicken Winging

What TPI does exceptionally well is teach you how the "Body-Swing Connection" works.  How each piece of the screen can cause the swing characteristics mentioned above. 

For example, failing the overhead squat test would likely cause the early extension and/or loss of posture swing characteristic.  

The ability to screen out, correct movement patterns and increase strength fully compliment the role of the swing coach, which allows for the golfer to have a team that will not only improve their game, but keep them playing better, longer and keep them free of pain. 

If you want to work with golfers, I highly suggest you learn from the leaders of the industry and check out TPI yourself. 

Until next time, Happy Rehabbing.