For all of you that are unaware, I am at an AMF meeting today(Monday and tomorrow) in Dallas, Texas. AMF is an organization of like minded golf professionals that will get together to share information on all subjects golf. Each year, there is an AMF Instructor Division Summit that brings a bunch of us together in an effort to learn and share ideas about the golf swing and/or playing golf. It’s a great place to network and learn some new information about teaching this great game.
Our first presentation was from Rod Cook and Dr. Troy Van Biezen about the subject of “Injury Prevention/Performance Improvement.” A nice presentation on some of the physical issues juniors are beginning to face and some steps they have taken to help prevent golf related injuries. Dr. Van Biezen gave us some staggering quotes about numbers of doctor visits that were occurring each year related to golf. Care to guess? If you said 15 million, you are a brighter person than me. 15 million doctor visits related to pain created from the golf movement.
From all accounts, Dr. Van Biezen is a leader in the industry as confirmed by TPI founder Dave Phillips and many other golf professionals that use his services. He is certified in a special category of soft tissue rehabilitation called A.R.T. This stands for Active Release Therapy and we were recommended to find an A.R.T. doctor to join our team in working with our students. There was a long discussion about information that was covered in the first TPI Golf Fitness Instructor seminar about physical problems and their impact on the golf swing and the likelihood of future injury.
One of the big areas Dr. Van Biezen mentioned that contributed to a great many injuries was the combination of reverse pivot in the backswing and reverse ‘C’ position in the follow through. Very shortly after that because we all were golf professionals, some one noted that those things looked like what some had read about the Stack and Tilt swing. Instantly, Dr Van Biezen became somewhat uncomfortable and asked Dave Phillips to respond to this area. Dave was also quite reluctant to answer but rather reminded everyone exactly what the Stack and Tilt backswing should be like and that it wasn’t a target leaning spinal condition at the top of the backswing. Rather, it is a spinal tilting to the golfers left side that is rotated.
Shortly after, Dr Van Biezen tells some stories from his time traveling with the PGA Tour Fitness van about how many players are getting treated week in and week out. Some names get thrown around and some questions are asked along with some success stories.
I felt that this Dr Van Biezen seemed like a very bright and respected guy in the industry so I put my hand up to ask the question everyone wants to know the answer to. I have a tendency to stir the pot a little and I thought I would give it a try. It gets to my turn and I ask, “In your opinion, relative to injury prevention, is there a best anatomical/biomechanical way to swing a golf club that is the easiest on the body?” “Is there a best way.” Dr. Van Biezen says, “You’re going to make me say it aren’t you.” I start to get excited. No one ever answers that question. I had no idea what was going to happen next. His answer……
Stack and Tilt!
The room shut down. All the talk stopped. Up till then, I could here little snickers about the system when they were talking about injury. This was especially true when the subject of reverse pivot and reverse ‘C’ was being discussed. During that talk Dr. Van Biezen mentioned that he had worked with some stack and tilters on there sore backs while he was treating players on tour.
He went on to say, assuming the player had no imbalances or weaknesses that stack and tilt presented the least amount of sheering forces in the spinal region when performed correctly. Amazing as it sounded to many, it just made me laugh. I love when people that don’t research get slammed. To me, and from second hand information, it seems pretty clear that TPI is in agreement with what Dr. Van Biezen was saying. I hypothesize that this information will come out in a big way at the TPI World Fitness Summit but that’s just a guess.
Please feel free to ask any questions or leave comments on this post. Hopefully, at some point, AMF will post the video of this presentation and all doubt will be cleared up about if what I am saying actually happened. My guess is some of you won’t believe me but I promise you the information contained above is accurate.