Tiger Woods Doesn’t Need to “Get More Fit”

Tiger Woods’ season came to an end Sunday at the Wyndham Championship after finishing tied for 10th place. While Woods made a run at the FedEx Cup Playoff, he fell short of qualifying for the end-of-season tournament.

But, more eye-opening than Woods missing the playoff, was the admission that he suffered from hip pain during the final round. When asked if he grabbed his back on the 11th hole on Sunday, Woods responded, “It’s not my back, no.” Then, when pressed on the issue, Tiger admitted it was, “Just my hip.”

Just your hip, huh, Tiger? It’s the “next” joint on the list, I guess?

While some might hear that Tiger was hurting and become alarmed, for me that was not the most alarming portion of Tiger’s press conference. No, the most alarming statement in Tiger’s post-round presser was how he ended it.

“This is my offseason right now,” Woods said. “It will be nice. I got lots of soccer games and practices to go to, so I’ll be doing that and just working out, training and trying to get more fit” (emphasis added).

Trying to get more fit…

Trying to get more fit…

Trying to get more fit…

It’s like a bad dream. Those words keep repeating in my head.

Trying to get more fit? Let me make one thing perfectly clear: Tiger is the fittest golfer I’ve ever seen as well as the greatest golfer I’ve witnessed in my lifetime.

It can be argued that the game of golf hasn’t seen another golfer as dominant as Tiger, and the game may never see his level of dominance again (although I believe we all need to stay tuned to Jordan Spieth’s career).

Tiger doesn’t need to “get more fit.”

Let’s be honest, golf isn’t a get-more-fit kind of sport. When thinking about the greats of the game–guys like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Lee Travino–and their respective levels of fitness, with all due respect, those guys don’t look like they just got finished competing in a Mr. Olympia contest. While golf can be a fit-man’s game, golf isn’t just a fit-man’s game.  I mean, come on, Craig Stadler’s nickname is “The Walrus” for crying out loud.

You see, this isn’t about “fitness,” Tiger. This is about imbalance. It’s about the body’s ability to swing a golf club. More specifically, this article is about your body’s ability to swing a golf club around your structural dysfunctions. The body is so good at getting you through the swing that the motion is accomplished, often times, despite the physical consequences. That’s exactly what your body has done. The average TV viewer sees you’re swinging a golf club just fine, but I see that your functional limitations are preventing you from doing it pain free. If you’ll allow me to make a comparison to Tom Cruise’s character, Maverick, in Top Gun — You’re writing checks your body can’t cash.

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Let me cut to the chase, Tiger: Your level of fitness has nothing to do with how good or bad your golf game is. Instead, it has everything to do with your lack of proper hip function which has started a cascade of structural “events” throughout your body. If you haven’t already, take a minute and read about The Importance of the Hip Flexor. If you choose not to read that article, just remember one thing: If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Just like mom reigns supreme at home, the hip flexor and its function reign supreme in the body. Whether that body belongs to a pro golfer, an attorney, an entrepreneur, or a high schooler who plays piccolo in the marching band, proper hip function, specifically hip flexor function, is the key to a pain free life.

While Tiger didn’t specify which hip was hurting him, it honestly doesn’t matter. Both hips need to be balanced. My hips need to be balanced. Your hips need to be balanced. We would all benefit from bilaterally functioning hips.

Tiger thinks that the Ferrari he calls his body will perform better if he simply increases the horsepower of the engine. What’s true is that he instead needs to get the frame straight. Only then will the “Ferrari” perform as it’s designed to perform.

Tiger, this offseason, don’t get “fit.” Get balanced.

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