Starting your golf fitness journey

Having decided you’re ready to get fit for golf, it’s time to begin your journey with an assessment of your physical abilities and restrictions. But what does an individual Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) assessment entail, and why is it so important? With Shawn O’Neil

In my first column, I briefly mentioned an assessment and that it is vital in order to make sure you’re prioritising what will benefit you the most, especially if your time is limited.

TPI is the world leader when it comes to fitness for golfers. Right now, 18 of the last 20 male major champions and 25 of the top 30 players in the OGWR are advised by a TPI-certified professional. With access to the best players in the world and data on hundreds of thousands of golfers, the people behind the TPI system have been able to create a comprehensive screening process.

This assessment is made up of 16 different screens which look at the mobility in certain joints, how well you can stabilise certain movements, and if muscles pass a certain strength test.

From there, we are able to link physical attributes and limitations to your golf swing and use our data to analyse and support change in certain swing characteristics.

For example, if you’re a player who makes an over-the-top move, can you rotate your hips while keeping your shoulders very still? If you struggle with too much lateral sway and/or slide in your golf swing, do you have adequate internal hip rotation? If either answer is no, then it’s unlikely you’ll fix the swing issue without addressing the physical limitation.

There is a strong correlation between higher assessment scores and lower handicap indexes – in general better physical capability produces better golfers. That said, every golfer can benefit from an assessment, and following it up with a specific programme to reduce their limitations and enhance the things they already do well.