Driving Range Evaluation Form
The driving range evaluation form helps to assess the individual fitness components of posture, balance stability, coordinated stability, and functional mobility. The evaluation process helps you to identify musculoskeletal limitations before signing up for swing lessons. A player who is unable to do a crossover step either to the right or left, for example, might be unable to complete the swing follow-through due to inadequate hip mobility. It also might mean that a compensating factor is going to occur in this player's backswing, one that will not allow proper loading or coiling to take place.
You and a friend might want to assess one another for these factors at the driving range before and after hitting balls. You do need someone to help be your eyes for this assessment. See the Driving Range Evaluation Form (below) for more information.
In front of a mirror, evaluate your lower back posture from behind and from the side. Do you have a flat back? Are your buttocks tucked beneath your body? Or do you have a swayback, such that your buttocks stick out? If your posture does not exhibit these qualities, for the sake of this evaluation, you can consider your posture to be normal. Circle your exhibited posture:
If your posture is other than normal, focus particularly on exercises to improve your postural stability.
Single leg stance - Stand on your right leg first and evaluate howlong you can hold your balance. A passing score is 10 seconds. Perform the trial 3 times on each leg or until you can stand for 10 seconds on each leg. Single leg stance for 10 seconds:
Pelvic height - Check your pelvic height by having someone stand behind you and place their hands on the tops of each side of you rhip bone. Your partner should be able to tell by placing his or her hands on your hips and viewing from eye level whether one hip is higher or lower than the other or if they are level. Record your findings:
|Right hip is higher.||Right hip is lower.||Hips are level.|
If you were unable to stand for more than 10 seconds on one leg or if your hips are not level, exercises can help youalleviate imbalances and improve your golf swing.
Standing pelvic tilt - Get into your normal golf set-up stance and evaluate the position of your pelvis. Now slightly bend your knees and attempt to tilt your pelvis independently of the rest of your body by first moving it backward and then forward. If you are unable to do this without moving parts of your body other than your pelvis, you may be restricted by tight or weak musculature or an inability to coordinate the motion. Were you able to tilt your pelvis (circle one)?
Crossover step - While keeping your trunk facing straight ahead, take your left foot and cross it over your right foot. If you have to roll to the outside part of your planted foot or are unable to keep your planted foot firmly on the ground when crossing the other leg over, you may be prone to substituting other body movements during the backswing or during the follow through of your golf swing. Look to see that you don't rotate your body to achieve a foot flat position; this can tell you a lot about what is happening during your swing. Record your results by circling the correct response: When your right foot was planted, did it roll to the outside or come off the ground when you crossed with your left leg?
When your left foot was planted, did it roll to the outside or come off the ground when you crossed with your right leg?
If you were unable to tilt your pelvis, emphasize incorporating into your complete conditioning program.
Elevated side bending - stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grasp a club with both hands and extend your arms over your head. Place your right foot behind your left foot. Allow the right foot or hip to move to the right and then bend to your left side, being sure to only move from the trunk. Finally, use your left armto pull your right arm over the top of your head. By sequencing thismovement from the hip to the trunk to the arm you can see whereyou have flexibility limitations - in the hip, trunk, or shoulder region. Reverse this side bend and repeat on the opposite side. Record where your flexibility limitations are.
Hip on trunk - Stand in a golf stance and fold your arms in front of your chest. Your partner stands behind you and places his or her hands on your hips. Rotate to the side with your upper body while your partner holds your hips and evaluates your shoulder turn independently of hip turn. If you are able to rotate your upper body without moving from your hips, your weight is shifting and loading correctly. If you rotate to the right and put all of your weight on the left side, you are setting yourself up for poor swing technique - specifically a reverse pivot.
You can also try this sitting down. Have your partner place his or her hands beneath your buttocks, palm down. Rotate from your shoulders. If you are unable to rotate without your partner feeling the weight of the right side of your body pressed onto his or her right hand, you are not shifting your weight for your best golf swing; you are setting yourself up for a reverse pivot. The motion you are trying to achieve is to rotate your body and load the right side. Repeat this on the opposite side.
Trunk on hip - This test evaluates hip or lower body rotation,independent of upper body rotation. Assume a golf stance androtate like you would for a backswing. Once in the backswing position have your partner stabilize your upper body by placing his or her left hand on the upper front part of your left shoulder and his or her right hand on the back of your right shoulder. Once your partner has stabilized you, perform a forward swing motion using your hips and trunk and then perform your backswing.
Arm cross on trunk - Stand in a golf stance and pull your arm across the front part of your body without rotating your trunk. Keep a stable lower body and a stable upper body. Do not rotate from thetrunk. As you pull your arms across your body, notice when your elbow starts to bend. If it starts to bend almost immediately, you need to recruit more flexibility from the left shoulder region. If your flexibility appears to be adequate, repeat on the opposite side and continue on to the next test.
Neck on trunk - Assume your golf stance and rotate your head to the right, keeping your upper body stable. Note the position ofyour chin at the end range of motion. Repeat on opposite side.
Are you able to rotate your chin so it looks directly over your right shoulder? If you are unable to rotate your head completely to either direction, you are probably substituting another muscle group during your swing. This may occur during the backswing, in which you have to come off the ball to gain motion, or during the downswing, in which you have to pick up your head to keep your eye on the ball due to mobility insufficiencies in the shoulder girdle and neck.
|Full Rotation||Right||Partial Rotation|
|Full Rotation||Left||Partial Rotation|
If you experienced flexibility and rotation limitations, emphasize incorporating drills and exercises into your complete conditioning program.
Remember that the main purpose of the self-evaluation package is to identify deficiencies in your musculoskeletal system that could affect both golf performance and injury potential. Of course, the next step isto apply the test results to a properly designed and progressive physicalc onditioning program. Once you are reasonably fit, you can better assess your driving abilities and limitations using the driving range evaluation form.