Bill Westerlund, a PGA Teaching Professional said, “The way that golf is taught, the way that most sports are taught, is in a mental approach. The instructor tells you what he wants you to do but he doesn’t transition it from a mental thought into an appropriate physical action. He doesn’t tell you how he wants you to shape your body internally so that you can do it repeatedly.”
We have all heard that golf is a mental game. There are thousands of videos on YouTube showing the mechanical use of our bodies. What we have not been told is that golf is a game where the mind, body and breath are brought together.
Scott Bartley, Energy Coach and Co-Founder of “Core Breathing” partnered with Bill Westerlund in 2007 after taking a golf lesson and explaining to Bill that core breathing could enhance any golf swing.
That partnership added DIGFA (Dynamic Internal Ground Force Action) to the golf swing. This process builds a solid foundation of lower body strength that transfers power to the upper body which in turn allows a properly shaped golf swing.
Strengthening your “Core” is a major component of any physical training. The core is the area of the body between the ribcage and the glutes. Bill told us, “Because it takes strength in the lower body to control the motion of the upper body, it is important to develop strength in both areas in order to execute the most dynamic and powerful swing possible.”
When talking about the mind component it is just a really clear definition. Learn to clear the mind by removing the emotional barriers to your energy flow.
As far as the body is concerned learn to maximize the use of your core energy for peak performance.
Using core breathing you will learn the four-step breathing process which facilitates the mind-body connection.
Famous golfer Ben Hogan wrote a book in 1957 titled “Five Lessons.” In that book Hogan used illustrations to show how the power of his swing was developed using three elements: core generating energy, muscle tension coordination (which enhanced rotation) and the physical way he moved his body from the ground up.
In illustrations, it shows a large core generator, a small mind generator and the linking of capacitors in his arms that bring explosiveness into his hands upon impact. The final part of it is two small motors, one on each hip.
Obviously, if the motors are on the hips it means you want the hips to lead. Most golfers today lead with their shoulders. If the motors were on the shoulders then you would want the shoulders to lead. When using core breathing you use the largest of the motors illustrated in Hogan’s book. When you do that, the golf swing will be effortless.
Bill illustrates that point this way, “Tiger Woods’ swing is not effortless. His effort is too high and his effect is too low and that is his biggest problem. He can’t transition, to achieve optimum consistency.”
He adds, “He doesn’t use his feet effectively. He doesn’t use his legs effectively. He is an upper body swinger. If he learned how to put energy in his core, learned how to direct it, learned how to discharge it, the outcome would be much greater. You would be able to look at his swing and see what is different. It would look like he is swinging with less effort.”
According to Bill, “Any time effort is involved and you are throwing the kitchen sink at the ball it is going to go somewhere . . . but is it going to go where you want it? Probably not.”
Based on the principal of Core Breathing, the swing thought that a golfer should have on every swing is described by Bill is, “…to repeatedly create the most dynamic ‘rhythm and tempo’ during your swing – it requires timing the discharge and ‘hearing’ your breath release forcefully out your mouth and through your lips until empty. This produces ‘effortless power.’
You can see more about Bill Westerlund on his website at http://www.pgainstructor.com or call him at (760) 613-6368.
Or, connect with him in person at:
Mission Bay Golf Course & Practice Center
2702 N. Mission Bay Drive
San Diego, CA 92109