A question that I have been getting a lot from all level of golfers is “What is TPI?”.
TPI stands for the Titleist Performance Institute. They have analyzed thousands of golfers from all ability levels and identified a connection between a person’s physical abilities and the swing that they are producing. They called this: the body swing connection.
In order to give the player the best chance of peak performance, all aspects of the player must be reviewed from the golf swing/technique, the physical movement range, any impingements or limited range of motion/Injuries, their diet/nutrition, fitness levels and mental strength.
Of the last 20 major championship winners, 18 were advised by a TPI Certified expert. The golf coach has a team of experts around them to keep the athlete in the best possible shape for maximizing performance and reducing the chance of injury keeping the player on the course for longer. At Proformance, I have consulted with and put together a team of experts ranging from Physiotherapists, Deep tissue masseuse, a Master club builder, nutritionist, motivation and mental focus coach and a Golf specific Yoga teacher. The aim is to provide all levels of golfer, the same experience that the best players in the world have access to.
As a golf coach, it is vital to view every player as a blank canvas where no assumptions are being made and the TPI assessment is part of this process.
There are 16 TPI tests within the screen which check the current health, client history, swing mechanics and biomechanical movement a person has which depending on the results, can be seen in the 12 characteristics of the golf swing listed by TPI. There is more than one way to swing a golf club with some of the best players in the world, swinging with one or more of these characteristics. It is not to identify a right and wrong way of swinging but to make you swing in the most efficient way for maximizing power while reducing the potential for any injuries.
The 12 swing Characteristics are how the body is swinging the club with some of the common ones being, early extension, loss of posture, sway and slide to name a few. Once they have been analyzed, we can see from the assessment if there is a limitation; this is where the team comes in. We need to identify if any limitation is being caused by a previous injury. If so, can the medical expert fix the issue (if joint issue), can the fitness expert help stabilize the joint, increase mobility and flexibility or improve the strength in the area or is it a case that there is no limitation but you just do not know how to move your body correctly which is where the golf professional would come in.
Once we have identified and assessed these areas then we can start to prepare you to play your best golf. The Fitness expert can do a separate assessment to check your fitness level, strength, power and overall movement, your medical expert can check that all joints are working correctly and suggest any exercises needed if there is an issue found that can be corrected (non-biological issue) or if it is a biological issue like arthritis, this is what we need to know. The golf coach armed with this information can then look to making your movements as efficient as possible to maximize your playing potential knowing that there are areas of the swing that need to be modified.
To give you an example:
During the backswing you are internally rotating into your non-target side hip (Right hip for right handed golfers and left hip for Left handed golfers). The base level identified is an ability to internally rotate 60 degrees or more which is checked using the lower Quarter Rotation test during the screen. If you can pass this test then you should have no issues in maintaining your set up angles during the backswing. If you have less than 60 degrees rotation, your hip is not functioning correctly and can be seen as a loss of posture on the back swing. This is where the Medical professional comes in first to identify the cause and if they need to do some manipulation of the joint to free it up or if it is a joint issue where there is an abnormal bone growth which is restricting the movement for example. If the joint is just stiff and the range can be increased by just exercise then the Fitness expert can guide you through this process.
As the golf professional, we still need to get you to perform with your current range of motion so we look at how to set up your body to work around this limitation. For the right handed golfer we can have foot flare with your right foot (left foot for Left handed golfer). This places the foot in a neutral position so when you turn to your backswing, rather than having you turn into your hip which we know you can’t do, you are turning in to a position as if you are standing in a natural stacked position, removing the need for the internal hip rotation. This allows you to turn more and allows you to maintain the angles better during the swing. With this adjustment, we need to pay attention to how you transition, as this can load and strain the knee if moved aggressively in an incorrect motion.
The main thing we are trying to do is reduce any possible injury due to compensating joints but freeing you up to maximize your turn, speed, strength and power.
If you would like to see more on the TPI please visit http://www.mytpi.com. You can find an expert in your local area.
If you are interested in getting an assessment and seeing what your physical screen handicap is and based around Dublin (the better the movement the lower the handicap), you can contact Proformance_golf on Instagram, twitter, Facebook and by E-mail at email@example.com.