The core issue refers to the fact that the golf swing makes significant demands of the trunk, or ‘core’, both in terms of stability and rotation – and examines why that is a fundamental problem for many golfers.
Most of them do not know that the lower back is designed for stability not rotation. In order to transmit ground reaction force through the centre and out to the arms and club, the stabilizing muscles in the mid trunk must work efficiently and rotation be largely confined to the upper back and hips. Of course this means that the golfer must be capable of rotating the upper and lower body independently of each other (the so-called X-factor separation) above and below this stable centre. Inability to do so will force the lower back to produce rotation in the swing at a cost of reduced distance, accuracy and consistency, not to mention increased risk injury.
Once this is appreciated, it becomes immediately obvious that a golfer must have well-developed endurance strength in the muscles responsible for stabilizing the mid-trunk (popularly known as ‘the core’) and this is where the fundamental problem I mentioned earlier is compounded. Most people have a very weak core and poor posture, caused by the sedentary nature of our modern lifestyles at home, at work and when travelling.
So, as a consequence of this, most golfers need to train proper activation of the trunk muscles (aka ‘minimal bracing’) and to develop significant endurance strength in the deep stabilizing muscles that support the spine (much like the rigging supports a mast) so that they can transfer energy up through the kinetic chain just as efficiently over the closing holes as they did on the first tee. The principal role of stabilizing muscles is to resist movement, but since all movement is initiated at the centre, the dynamic power of the more superficial muscles in this area also needs to be developed if they are to generate energy and ‘drive’ the swing.
The focus has to be on providing lower back stability to promote a solid foundation upon which hip and upper back mobility can be developed to provide that much needed rotational power.
Most golfers fail to improve either their accuracy or their power precisely because they don’t understand the above and therefore do nothing to develop the physical attributes required of them to play better golf.