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I am looking for information on what the S&T; world thinks of TPI. What are the thoughts of S&T; instructors based on their studies of the golf swing. TPI is gaining momentum here in Spain, cropping up in every semi-serious golf academy and I'd like to know why. Is it another way to squeeze money out of students or is there really something to it? Surfing TST, it appears Erik and a few others do not rate it however is there any sold data supporting this opinion.

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Does it promote fitness? In other words, being able to perform all the movements and reach all the positions necessary for a solid repeatable golf swing? Or is does it promote a specific golf swing?

Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

That's it! I should have written the full name.



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Originally Posted by sean_miller

Does it promote fitness? In other words, being able to perform all the movements and reach all the positions necessary for a solid repeatable golf swing? Or is does it promote a specific golf swing?

I am all for fitness when it comes to golf. You don't have to be an expert to know that gaining flexibility, strength etc. can only be a good thing for your golf swing. That's not what we are debating here.

I'm a certified TPI instructor so I know what TPI is all about. I have the manual in front of me and it is very much based on the traditional swing i.e. weight transfer to the non-target leg in the backswing, storing power in the non-target leg, X factor etc. All this is contrary to what S&Ters; teach. What I'm really looking for is solid data proving that anybody can be taught the S&T; swing without having to spend the first 45-60 mins of the first lesson going through a rigorous exercise test culminating in sending the student off to the gym for three months to get fit. Unfortunately, 99% of golfers are completely put off by this approach as there is no way in hell you are going to get them down the gym for any period of time.

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Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

Does it promote fitness? In other words, being able to perform all the movements and reach all the positions necessary for a solid repeatable golf swing? Or is does it promote a specific golf swing?

I am all for fitness when it comes to golf. You don't have to be an expert to know that gaining flexibility, strength etc. can only be a good thing for your golf swing. That's not what we are debating here.

I'm a certified TPI instructor so I know what TPI is all about. I have the manual in front of me and it is very much based on the traditional swing i.e. weight transfer to the non-target leg in the backswing, storing power in the non-target leg, X factor etc. All this is contrary to what S&Ters; teach. What I'm really looking for is solid data proving that anybody can be taught the S&T; swing without having to spend the first 45-60 mins of the first lesson going through a rigorous exercise test culminating in sending the student off to the gym for three months to get fit. Unfortunately, 99% of golfers are completely put off by this approach as there is no way in hell you are going to get them down the gym for any period of time.



So are you against the fitness aspect or the fact they don't promote a swing which is the mirror image of S&T;? It's honestly hard to tell. I'm not sure why being honest and telling someone they're not fit enough to be a good golfer is a problem. Certainly it seems more ethical than taking someone's money when they might know that student just doesn't have a fitness level to play consistent golf.

I don't know enough about the swing a TPI instructor is trying to get a person prepared for, but if S&T; is easier to do correctly than a "traditional" swing (not sure what that looks like considering S&T; is traditional) then how could getting fit enough to perform an even more difficult movement be detrimental? There's more to life than golf, and being fit is being fit for life, so this is bad how? Is it because a lot of potential lifelong players might give up rather than stick it out? Don't most new players do that anyway, regardless of the teaching methods?

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You can play golf at just about any fitness level. Go to a FL golf course and watch the 70 years try and get around.  The question is do they have the mobility and strength to do S&T; (or pretty much any "modern" swing)? The TPI  website does mention some pattern specific stuff but in general it is a pretty basic fitness program that will match pretty much any pattern.

Originally Posted by sean_miller

So are you against the fitness aspect or the fact they don't promote a swing which is the mirror image of S&T;? It's honestly hard to tell. I'm not sure why being honest and telling someone they're not fit enough to be a good golfer is a problem. Certainly it seems more ethical than taking someone's money when they might know that student just doesn't have a fitness level to play consistent golf.

I don't know enough about the swing a TPI instructor is trying to get a person prepared for, but if S&T; is easier to do correctly than a "traditional" swing (not sure what that looks like considering S&T; is traditional) then how could getting fit enough to perform an even more difficult movement be detrimental? There's more to life than golf, and being fit is being fit for life, so this is bad how? Is it because a lot of potential lifelong players might give up rather than stick it out? Don't most new players do that anyway, regardless of the teaching methods?



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I haven't taught S&T; personally, but from what I've read, people with physical limitations are able to swing "better" with S&T.; By better, I mean their swing not being limited by their fitness. Old guys that barely turned the hips got a nice turn and into a good position from working on S&T; fundamentals. I'm not a believer in the X-factor, loading the back leg etc. From a physical point of view, those things are harder to perform than S&T;, especially for people with limitations. Erik or someone actually teaching S&T; will have to provide the data from the actual students, but I have not heard anything about them having to go through exercises in order to work on S&T.; Again, the S&T; model is easier to do than how the swing is traditionally taught by moving weight back, limiting the hip turn etc. The way the S&T; model works, it makes the golf swing easier to perform, regardless of age and physical shape. I'm all for fitness, but as far as the swing theory goes, I'm not a big fan of TPI. Fitness is per definition not really a part of the golf swing as long as you can play well without having to go to the gym every week. TPI has made fitness a part of the golf, which is fine by me, but the swing theory is still not one I believe in. Like I said, I haven't studied the TPI model. Partly because I have to register on their site to find any information, partly because what I've heard from others doesn't encourage me to seek more information. S&T; [b]is[/b] traditional by the way. It is modelled after the swings of the worlds best players through the 20th century.
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Originally Posted by x129

You can play golf at just about any fitness level. Go to a FL golf course and watch the 70 years try and get around.  The question is do they have the mobility and strength to do S&T; (or pretty much any "modern" swing)? The TPI  website does mention some pattern specific stuff but in general it is a pretty basic fitness program that will match pretty much any pattern.

Quote:

Originally Posted by sean_miller

So are you against the fitness aspect or the fact they don't promote a swing which is the mirror image of S&T;? It's honestly hard to tell. I'm not sure why being honest and telling someone they're not fit enough to be a good golfer is a problem. Certainly it seems more ethical than taking someone's money when they might know that student just doesn't have a fitness level to play consistent golf.

I don't know enough about the swing a TPI instructor is trying to get a person prepared for, but if S&T; is easier to do correctly than a "traditional" swing (not sure what that looks like considering S&T; is traditional) then how could getting fit enough to perform an even more difficult movement be detrimental? There's more to life than golf, and being fit is being fit for life, so this is bad how? Is it because a lot of potential lifelong players might give up rather than stick it out? Don't most new players do that anyway, regardless of the teaching methods?


That's the general impression I get from it. Sure you can play golf with a low level of fitness, but why would someone want to do that? I would assume that to practice and play the game enough to play it consistently well and injury free would take a certain amount of fitness, not to mention having enough gas in the tank post-round to live a productive life, especially for those of us who carry.

I really don't quite understand the concern with trying to have a higher fitness level than a certain swing method requires for routine shots off a tee. I assume even S&T; players must hit their drives into the rough once every couple dozen rounds. Why not be prepared to give the ball a sound lashing?

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

So are you against the fitness aspect or the fact they don't promote a swing which is the mirror image of S&T;? It's honestly hard to tell.


I am not against fitness, quite the opposite, I am very pro fitness. I don't care which swing TPI promotes, I just want to know what the S&T; community thinks of it considering there are quite big differences. I know Andy and Mike are not great fans of linking fitness to golfing performance, but I'd like to know if data exists that proves it one way or the other. Let me put it another way, I'd like to know if 95% of golfers are better off spending 2 hours working on a new position in their swing hitting balls, practice swing etc. or going to the gym for 2 hours to do exercises. My honest opinion is they are better off spending 2 hours hitting balls etc. That doesn't mean being fit or fitter won't help but I think the need for it in golf has been greatly exaggerated.

Originally Posted by Zeph

S&T; is traditional by the way. It is modelled after the swings of the worlds best players through the 20th century.



Thanks for your input, Zeph. I know S&T; is traditional, it was a just a way to differentiate between a S&T; swing and one that isn't (X factor, weight transfer to non-target leg etc.)

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You are coming at golf from a competitive sport angle. For most people it is just a recreational activity. To get a feel of how bad of shape most golfers are, think about how many complain about walking 5 miles in 4 hours. That isn't by any means a strenuous amount of exercise (assuming sane temperatures) but it is more than most people want.

Why is TPI and the like gaining in popularity? I would say it is because more people are realizing that having a golf instructor show you a given position is useless if you can't get into it.  People re also realizing that technique is great and all but adding in power on top of technique will also get you distance. And given the poor shape of most 35+ men, it is pretty low hanging fruit where a month of fitness work will pay off more than a month of lessons.

Originally Posted by sean_miller

That's the general impression I get from it. Sure you can play golf with a low level of fitness, but why would someone want to do that? I would assume that to practice and play the game enough to play it consistently well and injury free would take a certain amount of fitness, not to mention having enough gas in the tank post-round to live a productive life, especially for those of us who carry.

I really don't quite understand the concern with trying to have a higher fitness level than a certain swing method requires for routine shots off a tee. I assume even S&T; players must hit their drives into the rough once every couple dozen rounds. Why not be prepared to give the ball a sound lashing?



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Originally Posted by x129

I would say it is because more people are realizing that having a golf instructor show you a given position is useless if you can't get into it. People re also realizing that technique is great and all but adding in power on top of technique will also get you distance. And given the poor shape of most 35+ men, it is pretty low hanging fruit where a month of fitness work will pay off more than a month of lessons.


This is my point. Can the average golfer not get into the position because she/he can't physically or because it's a new move and therefore difficult. I cannot think of a golfer I've taught that is physically incapable of getting into a position I've asked them to get into. Every single golfer can do it at slow speed or without a ball there to be whacked. The tough part is doing it at full speed with a ball.

I very much doubt a month in the gym will do much good. If you went into the gym with faulty technique, you are most likely going to come out with faulty technique. If you are stronger after a month's exercise, then you'll slice it further into the trees.

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Originally Posted by sean_miller

That's the general impression I get from it. Sure you can play golf with a low level of fitness, but why would someone want to do that? I would assume that to practice and play the game enough to play it consistently well and injury free would take a certain amount of fitness, not to mention having enough gas in the tank post-round to live a productive life, especially for those of us who carry.

I really don't quite understand the concern with trying to have a higher fitness level than a certain swing method requires for routine shots off a tee. I assume even S&T; players must hit their drives into the rough once every couple dozen rounds. Why not be prepared to give the ball a sound lashing?



It doesn't take much fitness to play golf well.  Have you seen some of the guys on tour?  They are by no means fit but can compete against the best.  Then the champions tour.  Talk about some people in not great shape.

Except being reasonably strong it takes very little fitness to play well.  It takes cordination, some athleticism, but not fitness.  I think the whole belief in maintaining knee flex in the back knee, not turning your hips, is a bunch of BS.  When you tell people that is how to swing then yeah you better be a freak in the gym.

I'm not saying it hurts or isn't great for life, but it isn't going to make anyone good at golf.

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Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

I am looking for information on what the S&T; world thinks of TPI. What are the thoughts of S&T; instructors based on their studies of the golf swing. TPI is gaining momentum here in Spain, cropping up in every semi-serious golf academy and I'd like to know why. Is it another way to squeeze money out of students or is there really something to it? Surfing TST, it appears Erik and a few others do not rate it however is there any sold data supporting this opinion.



I would think the stack and tilt community would think very highly of TPI and recommend to all golfers, wasn't it at a TPI Fitness Summit that they got the answer they were looking for

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Originally Posted by Leftygolfer

It doesn't take much fitness to play golf well.  Have you seen some of the guys on tour?  They are by no means fit but can compete against the best.  Then the champions tour.  Talk about some people in not great shape.

Except being reasonably strong it takes very little fitness to play well.  It takes cordination, some athleticism, but not fitness.  I think the whole belief in maintaining knee flex in the back knee, not turning your hips, is a bunch of BS.  When you tell people that is how to swing then yeah you better be a freak in the gym.

I'm not saying it hurts or isn't great for life, but it isn't going to make anyone good at golf.


You have to define great shape. Golfing shape is not the same as being in "great" shape. Take John Daly. No one is going to say he is in good physical shape. But he was (not so sure about now) in fabulous golfing shape. He had flexibility and power where it mattered. People just get distracted by the extra 50lbs he lugged around.

Obviously fitness alone isn't going to make anyone good at golf. It can make you a better golfer though.



Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

This is my point. Can the average golfer not get into the position because she/he can't physically or because it's a new move and therefore difficult. I cannot think of a golfer I've taught that is physically incapable of getting into a position I've asked them to get into. Every single golfer can do it at slow speed or without a ball there to be whacked. The tough part is doing it at full speed with a ball.

I very much doubt a month in the gym will do much good. If you went into the gym with faulty technique, you are most likely going to come out with faulty technique. If you are stronger after a month's exercise, then you'll slice it further into the trees.

Flexibility are slow speeds and fast speeds are a bit different. Try some time to touch your toes quickly and then slowly inch down. Most people get much farther with the second one unless they really bounce. In golf terms if you have 90 degree of shoulder turn in slow motion, you might only have 85 at full speed. If you increase you static to 95, then you would be able to do 90 at full speed. I have no clue what the average golfer you see is like. I can tell you that I see a lot of people that have flexibility issues. But I am also not going to guess if any amount of mobility training would be enough.

You could take your statement and turn it around. If your hitting the ball solidly but not far enough and have been playing golf for 20 years, spending a month on technique isn't likely to help you if your limitation is power based. I know enough middle aged guys (45-60) that decide to get in shape at the start of the year and are hitting the ball 5-10 yards farther in April. Most weren't even doing golf specific workouts but more general total body strength ones. But anyone expecting a gym workout to take your 6 iron from 120 yards to 180 is a bit optimistic.

Fitness is not either/or things. It is an And thing. You do your golf drills and you do fitness drills.

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Originally Posted by The_Pharaoh

Is it another way to squeeze money out of students or is there really something to it?


IMO, it's a function of both. At a time where golf fitness is at the forefront of the tours and a topic much talked about, it is another area to key on for someone who is serious about the game. A golf professional who is educated in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, fitness, and wellness makes for someone who better understands the body and how it relates to the golf swing. Does this apply to the masses? Probably not, but it does have the ability to  give an edge to an instructor and gives more credence to the word professional.

Will this trend grow or expand? I could see some boutique operations popping up that could include fitness, massage, nutrition, skin care, and Botox. Ok, maybe not Botox, but Faldo just debuted his new skin care line so people are thinking about it.

For me, I look for quality golf instruction and will handle the fitness portion on my own. I wouldn't be adverse to having workout suggestions made, but i don't think I would pay extra to work out. For many people they hardly have enough time for golf let alone fitness so it could be a deal breaker.  Couple that with the additional expense and I think you would attract a very small audience.

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Originally Posted by Leftygolfer

I'm not saying it hurts or isn't great for life, but it isn't going to make anyone good at golf.



This how I feel.



Originally Posted by johnthejoiner

I would think the stack and tilt community would think very highly of TPI and recommend to all golfers, wasn't it at a TPI Fitness Summit that they got the answer they were looking for


Actually, Mike and Andy don't. They openly admit they don't see a link between fitness and golf performance. We've been having this discussion on Facebook and they have made their position very clear.



Originally Posted by x129

Try some time to touch your toes quickly and then slowly inch down. I have no clue what the average golfer you see is like. I can tell you that I see a lot of people that have flexibility issues. But I am also not going to guess if any amount of mobility training would be enough.

You could take your statement and turn it around. If your hitting the ball solidly but not far enough and have been playing golf for 20 years, spending a month on technique isn't likely to help you if your limitation is power based. I know enough middle aged guys (45-60) that decide to get in shape at the start of the year and are hitting the ball 5-10 yards farther in April. Most weren't even doing golf specific workouts but more general total body strength ones. But anyone expecting a gym workout to take your 6 iron from 120 yards to 180 is a bit optimistic.

Fitness is not either/or things. It is an And thing. You do your golf drills and you do fitness drills.


I can't touch my toes at any speed! ;-) The average golfers I see are the same as the average golfers all over the world. A lot of them have flexibility issues, yes, but does their lack of flexibility affect their swing? I have my doubts. Even if they improved their flexibility it wouldn't change their technique much, if at all imho.

Strength has very little to do with distance. I have a bodybuilder friend that can't hit his driver over 200 yards, yet have a skinny friend that hits his drives over 300 yards. One has no lag and one has tremendous lag. My bodybuilder friend is never going to find that sort of lag in the gym. He needs to spend that month on his technique in order to gain distance.

I really like your last sentence, but the fitness drills are for your health in general not to improve your golf swing.

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