Golf

Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) is the world’s leading educational organization and research facility dedicated to the study of how the human body functions in relation to the golf swing.  After studying golfers of all levels, TPI has discovered a properly functioning body allows a player to swing a golf club in the most efficient way possible. Additionally TPI has analyzed how physical limitation in a player’s body can adversely affect the golf swing and possibly lead to injury.

Body Swing Connection

Do you play golf? If so do you Slice? Hook? Block? Push? Pull? Even occasionally? You no doubt have worked on your grip, stance, posture and rotation. Have you considered that your own body is preventing you from holding that perfect posture and rotation through impact?

With a lack of mobility and any core weakness, you struggle to maintain proper position and rotation during the golf swing.
The aim of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) Movement Screen is to identify physical limitations that may hinder your golf performance. They studied the relationships between the movement screen results and swing faults and found significant correlations.

TPI identified three of the most common golf swing faults: loss of posture, early hip extension, and hip slide.

Loss of posture from address position to impact, is most commonly seen as a changed head position, but may appear as knee flexion or trunk flexion. The loss of posture is an indicator of an incorrect golf swing because you are unable to return the club on plane during the downswing. To compensate, you would instinctively use your hands to square the club face at impact, which requires exceptional athletic ability to repeat consistently.

Early hip extension makes it difficult for you to drop your arms down into the proper ‘slot’ for the downswing and can lead to blocked or hooked shots. Early hip extension may also affect your ability to properly rotate your hips. To compensate, you probably slide your hips during the downswing.

Hip slide is the undesirable excessive shift of the hips toward the target during the downswing, making it challenging to stabilize the lower body during the downswing. In addition to inconsistent contact, most of the power created during the coiling of the upper body during the backswing will be lost.

Based on analysis of the TPI data, the following tests that most directly relate to the above swing faults were:
• Overhead deep squat
• Single-leg balance
• Toe touch
• Bridge

 

TPI analysis shows that if you are unable to do an overhead deep squat or single-leg balance on your leading leg, you are 2-3 times more likely to demonstrate loss of posture, early hip extension, and slide. The inability to toe touch increases the likelihood of an early hip extension by 6x. Weakness during a glut bridge test would suggest you are 5x more likely to suffer early hip extension and 6x more likely to lose your posture.


The TPI Movement Screen is made up of specific tests and will identify your physical limitations (and strengths!). At Lee Chiropractic Clinic, we can help explain how your personal test results may be impacting your golf swing. Your body takes the path of least resistance to execute your defaulted swing not necessarily the correct swing. So, is your own body holding you back? Come and get your movements screened and discover your body-swing connection.

Movement Screen

Pelvic Tilt Test

Tests for the ability to move and control the position of the pelvis; is critical for optimal power transfer from the lower body to the upper body during the golf swing.

Possible Cause

• lumbar spine mobility
• lower cross syndrome
• poor coordination

 

Swing Faults

• S posture
• Early Extension
• Reverse Spine Angle

Pelvic Rotation Test
Tests for the ability to rotate the lower body independently from the upper body; is important for properly sequencing the downswing and generating a good separation between the lower and upper body. Requires good mobility of the spine, hips and pelvis along with simultaneous stability of the Thorax.

 

Possible Cause

• thoracic and lumbar spine mobility
• muscular and myofascial restrictions in the thorax and spinal muscles
• hip mobility
• thorax stability
• poor coordination (lateral shift vs. rotary)

 

Swing Faults
• Over the Top
• Casting
• Scooping
• Chicken Winging
• Slide
• Sway
•Hanging Back

Torso Rotational Test
Tests for the ability to rotate the upper body independently from the lower body; is important for properly sequencing the backswing and generating a good separation between the upper and lower body (coil). Requires good mobility of the Thoracic spine and simultaneous stability of the lower body.

 

Possible Cause

• thoracic spine mobility
• muscular and myofascial restrictions in the thorax and spinal muscles
• cervical spine mobility
• pelvic stability
• poor coordination (reverse spine angle vs. rotation)

 

Swing Faults

• Loss of Posture
• Flat Shoulder Plane
• Early Extension
• Sway
• Slide

Toe Touch Test
Tests for the overall mobility in the lower back and hamstrings and helps identify a hip problem versus a lower back/core limitation. Any restrictions in bending at the hips can lead to poor posture at setup resulting in rounded spine or excessive knee bend.

 

Possibles Cause

• hamstring flexibility
• hip joint mobility

 

Swing Faults

• C posture
• Too Much Knee Flex
• Loss of Posture

Single Leg Balance Test
Measures overall balance and highlights any ankle mobility or position sense deficiencies from left to right as well as overall stability of the core.

 

Possible Cause

• proprioception

 

Swing Faults

• Sway
• Slide
• Hanging Back
•Loss of Posture
•Early Extension
•Reverse Spine Angle

90/90 Test 
Tests for any limitations in mobility of the shoulder joints and/or stability of the shoulder blade in the golf posture. Scapular weakness will lead to inability to fully raise your arm during the backswing.

 

Possible Cause

• shoulder instability
• over-development of internal rotators
• capsular tightness
• external rotator injury or weakness
• scapular muscle weakness
• C-posture

 

Swing Faults

• Loss of Posture
• Flying Elbow
• Chicken Winging
• Early Extension

Overhead Deep Squat Test
Tests for bilateral, symmetrical mobility of the hips, knees, ankles, along with extension of upper back as well as ability to raise the arms. Mobility to perform a full deep squat makes it impossible to maintain posture during downswing leading to early extension. Mobility to squat with arms overhead leads to players standing up during the backswing (loss of posture/flat shoulder plane).

 

Possible Cause

• limited ankle dorsiflexion

• limited hip or knee mobility

• limited thoracic spine extension
• core stability

 

Swing Faults

• Early Extension
• Loss of Posture

Cervical Rotation Test

This tests for the amount of available neck mobility.
(rotation and lateral flexion)

 

Possible Cause

• cervical spine arthritis
• muscular, capsular, and myofascial restrictions in the neck

 

Swings Faults

• Loss of Posture
• Early Extension
• Reverse Spine Angle

Wrist Radial/Ulnar Deviation Test

Tests for the ability to move the wrist which is necessary for proper release of the golf club, along with power production in the golf swing.

 

Possible Cause
• bony mechanics
• muscular mechanics

 

Swing Faults

• Casting
• Over the Top
• Chicken Winging
• Loss of Posture

 

Wrist Pronation/Supination Test

Tests for the ability to move the wrist which is necessary for proper setting of the golf club at the top of the backswing and release of the golf club during the downswing, along with power production in the golf swing.

 

Possible Cause

• bony mechanics
• muscular mechanics

 

Swing Faults

• Casting
• Over the Top
• Chicken Winging
• Loss of Posture

 

Wrist Flexion Test

Tests for the ability to flex the wrist, as it affects both the downswing and backswing. Any limitation in flexion of the lead wrist can lead to scooping of the golf swing at impact.

 

Possible Cause

• bony mechanics
• muscular mechanics

 

Swing Faults

• Casting
• Over the Top
• Chicken Winging
• Loss of Posture

 

Wrist Extension Test

Ability to extend the wrist, as it affects both the downswing and backswing. Any limitations in the trail wrist can lead to a decreased ability to set the club at the top of the backswing or an early release of the club during the downswing.

 

Possible Cause

• bony mechanics
• muscular mechanics

 

Swing Faults

• Casting
• Over the Top
• Chicken Winging
• Loss of Posture

Lower Quarter Rotation Test
Measure the rotational mobility of the lower body (hips, tibia, foot) which is important for loading weight on the back leg on the backswing and posting weight to the lead leg during the downswing. Any restrictions can lead to excessive lateral movement in the golf swing (sway or slide).

 

Possible Cause

• hip joint arthritis
• muscular, capsular, and myofascial restrictions in the hip and pelvis musculature

 

Swing Faults

• Sway
• Slide
• Reverse Spine
• Hanging Back
•Early Extension

Lat Test (Shoulder Flexion)

Tests for the flexibility of the lat muscle, shoulder joint mobility restrictions and shoulder blade limitations. Tightness of the lat can lead to loss of spinal posture during the backswing or the ability to rotate the shoulders throughout the golf swing which can lead to several swing faults (loss of posture, reverse spine angle, limited arm height and over the top).

 

Possible Cause

• lat muscle mobility
• shoulder mobility and stability

 

Swing Faults

• Loss of Posture
• Flat Shoulder Plane
• Early Extension

Seated Trunk Rotation Test

Tests for how much rotational mobility is present in the back. Good separation between the upper and lower body is necessary to help generate speed and maintain a stable posture during the golf swing. Any lack of back rotation results in overuse of the shoulder joint.

 

Possible Cause

• thoracic spine mobility
• muscles and myofascial restrictions in the thorax and spinal muscles
• cervical spine mobility

 

Swing Faults

• Loss of Posture
• Flat Shoulder Plane
• Reverse Spine Angle
• Early Extension
• Sway
• Slide

Reach, Roll, and Lift Test  
Tests for lower trapezius strength and mobility of the shoulder blade. Weakness in the lower trap is a great indicator of poor shoulder blade control during the swing and faulty upper body postures (C-posture). This may lead to loss of shoulder range motion and limited width during the golf swing.

 

Possible Cause

• shoulder mobility
• lat flexibility
• C-posture
• poor scapular control

Bridge with Leg Extension Test 
Tests for stability in the pelvis/lumbar spine/core, especially the gluteal muscles. Highlights any inhibition or weakness in the glut max and medius muscles. Weakness in trail leg glut can cause a loss of lower body stability in the backswing and limit the power during the downswing. Weakness in the lead leg glut can cause instability in the lead leg through the impact position (forward hip slide toward the target) or forward movement toward the golf ball during the downswing (early extension).

 

Possible Cause

• lower cross syndrome
• muscular weakness

 

Swing Faults

• All Swing Faults

Swing Faults

Loss of Posture

Loss of Posture is defined as any significant alteration from your body’s original set up angles during your golf swing. This loss of posture can affect all aspects of the golf swing including timing, balance and rhythm.  Losing your spine angle or altering your posture usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left. And as most competitive players know, having two misses, one to the right and one to the left, can be disastrous in tournament play.

The Body-Swing Connection

In order to not lose your posture during the golf swing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, research has shown that any limitation in performing a full deep squat or full hip bend can force a player to lose their pelvic posture during the downswing. Failure to perform a deep squat means generalized stiffness and asymmetry in the musculature and joints of the lower body. This limitation will always limit a good set up posture and force players to alter their spinal posture throughout the golf swing.

 

Secondly, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows your shoulders to rotate around your spine without altering your original posture. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal mobility and shortened lat flexibility. Next, the ability to stabilize your spine angle during the swing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your core musculature (your abs and glutes). When it comes to spinal stabilization the core is the king. These muscles help keep your trunk forward flexed throughout your golf swing.  Finally, in order to rotate around a stable posture one must have good flexibility in your hips and shoulders. This allows you to get the club into key positions without altering your spine angle.

Early Extension

Early Extension is defined as any forward movement (thrust) of the lower body towards the golf ball during the downswing. This swing fault causes the arms and club to get stuck behind your body during the downswing, and forces your torso to raise up and elevate through the hitting zone. Early Extension usually causes two typical miss hits, the block to the right and a hook to the left. And as most competitive players know, having two misses, one to the right and one to the left, can be disastrous in tournament play. Players that have this fault will also complain of getting stuck or trapped, this is due to the fact that the lower body has moved closer to the golf ball on the downswing.  As a result the body is in the way of the arms on the downswing and thus the term I feel stuck or trapped.


The Body-Swing Connection

In order to not early extend during the downswing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, research has shown that any limitation in performing a full deep squat or full hip bend can force a player to early extend during the downswing. Failure to perform these movements means generalized stiffness or asymmetry in the musculature and joints of the lower body. These limitations will always prevent a good address position and force players to alter their spinal posture throughout the golf swing. If the pelvis is unable to rotate around the lead hip due to joint or muscular restrictions then forward and lateral movements will dominate the pattern. Next, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows the lower body to stabilize while rotating your shoulders through impact. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal and rib cage mobility and shortened lat flexibility. Finally, the ability to stabilize your lower body is directly proportional to gluteal and abdominal strength and control of the pelvic musculature, which helps control the orientation and movement of the pelvis during the downswing. These muscles help prevent the lower body from thrusting towards the golf ball during the downswing.

Slide

A Slide is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement towards the target during your downswing. This swing fault makes it very difficult to stabilize your lower body during the downswing, which will eventually rob power and speed from the upper body through impact. Your upper body needs a stable lower body to accelerate around during the downswing. Once the lower body starts its forward shift into the downswing its job is to transfer energy to the upper body and stabilize the extreme rotary forces that are created in the upper body, arms, and club. If there is no stable platform to rotate around, players will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.


The Body-Swing Connection

In order to coil around your lead hip during the downswing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, lead hip internal rotation is paramount for full rotation into the lead hip without any lateral sway. If the body is unable to rotate around the lead hip due to joint or muscular restrictions than lateral movements will dominate the pattern. Secondly, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows the lower body to laterally stabilize while rotating your shoulders through a full finish. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal mobility and shortened lat flexibility. Finally, the ability to laterally stabilize your lead leg during the downswing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your gluteal musculature (your butt). When it comes to lower body lateral stabilization the glute medius is the king. This muscle helps prevent the lead hip from elevating and shifting lateral during an aggressive downswing rotation.

S Posture

S-Posture is a postural characteristic that can be caused by the player creating too much arch in their lower back by sticking their tail bone out too much in the setup position. This excessive curvature in the lower back, or S-posture, puts abnormally high stress on the muscles in the lower back and causes the abdominal muscles to relax. This deactivation of the core muscles can cause a loss of posture or reverse spine angle during the backswing. This in turn puts the lower body out of position on the downswing and will affect the sequence of motion in the golf swing.

 

The Body-Swing Connection

The S-Posture is created by having too much arch in the lower back and can be the result of sticking your tail bone out too far or by having a Lower Crossed Syndrome (muscle imbalances around the core area). S-posture causes are as follows:

Lower Crossed Syndrome – tightness in the hip flexors and lower back and weakness in the abdominals and glutes.

  • Student does not understand how to bend form the hips to setup to the golf ball.

  • Student has been told to stick their butt out to create more room for their arms on the downswing.

  • Lack of Abdominal strength or relaxing the abdominal musculature.

  • Too much flex in the knees with the torso to upright.

C Posture

C-Posture is used to describe a posture that occurs when your shoulders are slumped forward at address and you have a definitive roundedness to your thoracic spine.

 

The Body-Swing Connection

The C-posture is described as an excessive roundness in your upper back and can be caused by the following:

  • Limited thoracic spine extension.

  • Upper Crossed Syndrome – muscle imbalances including tight pecs, lats, upper traps, and levator scap and weakness in the mid-scapular muscles, serratus anterior, lower traps, and deep neck flexors.

  • Scapular instability.

  • Instability in the core muscles causing poor posture and the slouched forward position at address.

  • Lack of proper instruction – not understanding the correct setup and posture.

  • Lack of pelvic tilt causing the upper body to bend to address the ball.

  • Clubs that are too short.

  • Grip that is too much in the fingers of both hands.

Flat Shoulder Plane

A flat shoulder turn can cause the club to be out of position on the backswing and creates a shift in swing planes on the downswing which reduces the efficiency of the motion. As a result the player will usually have to make compensations on the downswing with the body or hands to square the club face consistently. This can also cause a loss of power in the swing as well as inconsistent ball striking.

The Body-Swing Connection
In order to not flatten your shoulder plane during the golf swing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows your shoulders to rotate around your spine without altering your original posture. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal mobility and shortened lat flexibility.

Flying Elbow

This is a term used to describe the trailing elbow leaving the trailing side on the backswing. It is not necessarily a fault and many great players play golf with this motion. It can however affect the efficiency of the golf swing as it can create some sequencing issues on the backswing and downswing. The trailing elbow will fly away from the trailing side as the club reaches the top of the backswing, with the elbow pointing well behind the student. On most golfers the elbow points to the ground at the top of the backswing which would put the arm in a position to support the club at the top of the swing. However many great players have a flying elbow and still manage to get the arm in the correct position on the downswing to provide stability and power to the club.

 

Body Preps

The flying elbow can be caused by several physical limitations. First and foremost, any shoulder joint or soft tissue mobility restrictions in the shoulder girdle will limit the range of motion in the trail side shoulder. Maintaining a freely mobile shoulder joint is paramount for proper mechanics in the upper extremities. Any thoracic spine limitations can also indirectly limit the shoulder range of motion. Since thoracic spine limitations are usually coupled with loss of scapular stability, this can force the shoulder joint into positions that will limit external rotation and cause the elbow to fly.

Over the Top

Over the Top is perhaps the most common swing fault among high handicap golfers. It occurs due to an overuse of the upper body on the downswing. As a result the club will be thrown on the outside of the intended swing plane with the club head approaching the ball from outside to in. This creates a pull if the clubface is square or a slice if the club face is open.

 

The Body-Swing Connection

It is paramount to develop a proper weight shift from your back foot to your front foot in order to start the downswing in the proper sequence. Without this initiation of the lower body during the transition, a player can easily dominate the downswing with an upper body throw right from the top. That will force the over-the-top swing plane. A proper weight shift requires several physical factors including good hip mobility, a strong core and lower body (glutes and abs) and the ability to disassociate the lower body from the upper body.

Sway

A Sway is defined as any excessive lower body lateral movement away from the target during your backswing that forces your weight to the outside of your trail side foot. This swing characteristic makes it very difficult to develop a proper weight shift during transition and the downswing. Imagine a baseball batter digging in at the plate with their back foot. This simple routine allows them to coil around their back leg and drive their weight from their back leg to their front leg in a very efficient manner. If there is no stable platform to drive your weight off of during transition, you will lose power and try to develop speed in an inefficient sequence.

 

The Body-Swing Connection

In order to coil around your right hip (for right handed golfers) during the backswing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, right hip internal rotation is paramount for full rotation into the right hip without any lateral sway. If the body is unable to rotate around the right hip due to joint or muscular restrictions than lateral movements will dominate the pattern. Secondly, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows the lower body to laterally stabilize while rotating during a large shoulder turn. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal mobility and shortened lat flexibility. Finally, the ability to laterally stabilize your right leg during the backswing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your gluteal musculature (your butt). When it comes to lower body lateral stabilization the glute medius is the king. This muscle helps prevent the right hip from elevating and shifting lateral during an aggressive coil into the right hip.

Late Buckle

Late Buckle is a swing characteristic that is seen immediately after impact. Normally, after a player makes contact with the ball and the club releases around their body, there is a corresponding lift or standing tall into the finish position. A Late Buckle is when a player actually dips down and drops after making contact with the ball. There is usually a sudden bend in the knees (or buckle of the lower body) that is clearly visible from both sides of the golfer.

 

The Body-Swing Connection 

Late Buckle is usually the result of a physical limitation. Many swing characteristics are built around physical limitations and it is almost always the case here. Any mobility restrictions in the lead hip, core weaknesses, lower back dysfunction or ankle restrictions can lead to the Late Buckle. If the player is unable to rotate into their lead hip or stabilize the large forces that are produced through impact, the knees will act like shock absorbers to lighten the forces. The problem is, this will also reduce the power and speed being transferred into the ball.

Reverse Spine Angle

A Reverse Spine Angle is defined as any excessive upper body backward bend (trunk leaning towards the target) or excessive left lateral upper body bend (for a right-handed player) during the backswing. This swing fault makes it very difficult to start the downswing in the proper sequence, due to the lower body being placed in a position that usually limits its ability to initiate the downswing. This swing characteristic is also one of the prime causes of lower back pain in golfers. When the lower body can’t start the downswing or has a limited ability to initiate the movement, the upper body tends to dominate the swing which will eventually create path problems and limited power output. Reverse spine angle puts excessive tension on the lower back due to a forced inhibition of the abdominal musculature during the backswing, and excessive compressive loads placed on the right side of the spine at impact.


The Body-Swing Connection
In order to maintain your spine angle during the backswing several physical characteristics must be developed. First and foremost, the ability to separate your upper body from your lower body allows your shoulders to rotate around your spine without going into backward bend or excessive left lateral bend. Limited trunk to pelvis separation is usually caused by reduced spinal mobility and shortened lat flexibility. Secondly, right hip internal rotation for a right-handed golfer is paramount for full rotation into the right hip without any lateral movement. If the body is unable to rotate around your hip due to joint or muscular restrictions than a lateral sway he may occur. Any lateral sway during the backswing will force the spine to tilt into backward bend and create the reverse spine angle. Finally, the ability to stabilize your spine angle during the backswing is directly proportional to the strength and stability of your core musculature (your abs and glutes). When it comes to spinal stabilization the core is the king. These muscles help keep your trunk forward flexed throughout your golf swing. Reverse Spine Angle can also be caused by too much pelvic tilt at address which can cause you to have an S curvature in your lower spine. If this does not return to neutral as you swing back it can cause the Reverse Spine Angle fault. (See S-Posture)

Forward Lunge

Forward Lunge refers to any excessive lateral move of the upper body towards the target during transition and the downswing. Normally, there is approximately a four inch lateral weight shift of the lower body towards the target in the downswing. The upper body tends to follow the lower body with about two to three inches of movement as well. In a forward lunge, there is an increased movement of the upper body towards the target, with the upper body having more movement than the lower body. This can create a very steep downward attack angle of the club and create very high shots with a lot of spin.

The Body-Swing Connection
Several physical limitations can lead to the Forward Lunge swing characteristic. Any limitation that reduces the lower body’s ability to weight shift and rotate can force the upper body to take over and lunge. Restrictions like hip mobility, glute and core weakness, ankle mobility limitations and lower body strength or power deficits can all lead to a Forward Lunge.

Hanging Back

Hanging Back refers to a lack of weight shift towards the target on the downswing. Usually the player is still on their back foot at impact. In a normal weight shift, the player is about four inches closer to the target at impact compared to address. Many times the player will hit heavy divots that begin behind the ball or they may have compensated with a ball position that is too far back in their stance. Hanging Back is a major cause of loss of speed since weight shift is one of the most important skills to help produce club head speed.

 

The Body-Swing Connection​

There are several physical limitations that can lead to Hanging Back. First of all, any problem that limits the player’s ability to post into their lead leg can cause them to Hang Back. Mobility restrictions in the lead hip and ankle or stability dysfunction in the core or lead leg can all make posting up very challenging. Second, a reverse pivot (reverse weight shift) can cause Hanging Back. A reverse pivot is when too much weight is put on the lead leg during the backswing, and then there is a corresponding weight shift to the back leg on the downswing. This can be the result of an inability to properly load the trail leg during the backswing. The same limitations described for the lead leg can also affect the trail leg. Lastly, a lack of power with the lower body can cause a player to have a reduced weight shift. Many times, when the upper body is the primary power source in a golf swing, the lower body lacks behind and the arms and upper body become the dominant action in the golf swing. This can start to reduce or eliminate the proper weight shift on the downswing and lead to Hanging Back.

Casting

Casting is one of the most common causes of loss of power and excessive spin on the golf ball. It is defined as an early release of the golf club during the downswing. This can result in a weak impact position with the left wrist being cupped at impact. It adds loft to the face of the club and as a result we see a loss of power and consistency. At impact we should see the shaft leaning slightly toward the target, this helps to deloft the club and creates a more powerful impact position.

 

The Body-Swing Connection

 

There are many physical limitations that can cause a player to cast the golf club. Lack of or limited contribution of the lower body in the downswing is one of the leading causes. This will cause the upper body to over work and thus throw the golf club from the top. Poor lower body movement in the golf swing can be due to limited hip mobility, ankle restrictions, inability to separate the lower body from the upper body and weakness in the main core musculature (glutes and abs). In addition, any limitations in the wrists or wrist injury can also prevent the club from setting and releasing properly. Without extension in the trail wrist, it is difficult to maintain a good set during the downswing.

Chicken Winging

Chicken Winging is a term used to describe the appearance of the lead arm on players who bend their lead elbow and cup their lead wrist through impact. The lead arm resembles the wing of a chicken, hence the name. Normally, the lead arm is extended through impact to create as much width as possible. Width through impact is a key factor in generating club head speed. Chicken Winging can not only create a loss in power, but it tends to add loft to the club and excessive spin to the golf ball.

 

The Body-Swing Connection​

Chicken Winging is an excessive breakdown of the upper body through impact, but it is the lower body that usually causes this common swing characteristic. Whenever the lower body does not generate efficient speed or does not transfer that speed to the upper body, the arms and hands will try to make up for that loss in power. Many times, power and strength deficits in the lower body will lead to Chicken Winging. Also, when the lower body does not initiate the sequence on the downswing, the swing path can become steep or Over-the-Top. Any steepening of the swing plane on the downswing can also lead to Chicken Winging through impact. Loss of external rotation in the lead shoulder can also cause Chicken Winging. External rotation is required for the lead arm to release and rotate normally through impact.

Scooping

Scooping occurs on the downswing and is defined as a premature release of the wrist angles. This results in a weak impact position with the left wrist being cupped at impact. It adds loft to the face of the club and as a result we see a loss of power and consistency. It is usually combined with Casting or Early Release. It is termed Scooping when the club head passes the hands through impact and the student is trying to lift the ball into the air.

 

The Body-Swing Connection​

There are many causes of Scooping, and several of them may be physical. Lack of or limited contribution of the lower body in the downswing is usually the primary cause. This causes the upper body to over work and typically breakdown through impact. So lack of lower body power, limited hip mobility and lack of core strength can all lead to Scooping. Any limitations in the wrists or wrist injury can make it difficult to properly release the club through impact. The lead wrist should have good flexion and the trail wrist needs to be able to extend to make a proper release of the club.

source: TPI.com