Coordination for the Golf Swing
Tom Watson continued to win on the PGA Tour until his late 40s. Each week he competed against players half his age.
His ball striking ability was always one of the best on the tour. Although he has lost some driving distance, compared to 10 years ago, he continues to drive the ball an exceptionally long way.
At the 1994 U.S. Open played at Oakmont, Tom was paired with two very long hitters during one of the rounds. On a short, uphill par-4 that measured a little over 300 yards, several players had tried unsuccessfully to reach the green off the tee. The one player who had the length and accuracy to put his tee shot on the edge of the green was Tom Watson.
Tom was 44 years old then. When you look at his build, you wouldn't think that he could hit the ball that far, but his superb swing sequence enables him to generate exceptional power for his body type and size.
Sequencing of the swing with efficiency and power is much more important than absolute strength.
We define movement as a series of repeated muscular contractions regulated by the nervous system and directed by motor learning pathways. Purposeful movement depends on intimate communication among all the mechanisms that regulate muscle length and tension.
In athletics, success depends on the speed and sequence at which these impulses are transmitted to achieve the desired body action.
Because all movements in both competitive athletics and normal daily activities involve a repeated series of muscle stretch and shortening cycles, specific functional exercise best prepares the individual for the activity.
The central nervous system processes information provided through five basic sensory analyzers:
|Proprioceptive or body awareness|
|Tactile or sense of touch|
|Vestibular or balance and equilibrium|
|Optic or visual|
|Acoustic or auditory|
At least three of these information processing and feedback systems - body awareness, balance, and visual focus - are important factors in developing a productive and reproducible golf swing.