Ask Mike Reinold Show

Special Episode on Golf Rehabilitation and Performance


On this episode of the #AskMikeReinold show we are joined by our friends at Pure Drive Golf in Boston to talk about golf injuries, performance, the body-swing connection, and collaborating with PGA pros and swing coaches. Adam Kolloff, Pat Bigelow, and Zack Morton join us for a great episode. To view more episodes, subscribe, and ask your questions, go to

#AskMikeReinold Episode 204: Special Episode on Golf Rehabilitation and Performance

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Show Notes


Mike Reinold: On this episode of the Ask Mike Reinold show, we have a special episode on Golf Rehab and Performance. We’re joined by our friends at Pure Drive Golf up in Boston: Adam Kolloff, Pat Bigelow, Zack Morton they’re joining us to talk about how to optimize your body, how to optimize your swing, and even how to optimize your equipment and really collaborating together as a team to get the most out of golf.

Mike Reinold: Welcome back everybody to the latest episode of the Ask Mike Reinold show. I am up in Boston, not at Champion PT and Performance, we are still social distancing, and trying to get through the current COVID situation up here in Boston. So we are coming to you from our homes now. I’m joined as usual from Champions, Lenny Macrina-

Lenny Macrina: What’s up everyone?

Mike Reinold: … I’m not sure how it’s going to look, this is like the Brady Bunch. And Mike Scaduto down at the bottom.

Mike Reinold: But, more importantly, because we’re doing these distance-type podcasts now, I thought it’d be really cool, we have a lot of really smart friends that we know that could really help give value to some of the people that listen to this podcast. So we’ve invited our very good friends, the teaching pros from Pure Drive Golf up in Woburn, Massachusetts, which is just outside Boston, just like we are. But these are the guys that do it all.

Mike Reinold: So down on the bottom there we have Adam Kolloff, he’s the founder, the owner, he’s Massachusetts PGA Teacher of the Year, former New York Teacher of the Year, he’s a Golf Digest top pro, just one of the gurus out there. So Adam’s here, teaching us some good stuff. Pat Bigelow, over on, I think he’s on there on everybody’s, I don’t know what’s-

Pat Bigelow: What’s up?

Mike Reinold: … recording. Pat’s over there. Pat as well, another PGA teaching pro, works at Pure Drive with Adam, obviously works in the summer with a bunch of great pros at his course as well in the area. And then Zack Morton down below, Zack is here joining us as well. Zack again another PGA pro, working with Adam at Pure Drive, and specifically is their club fitter. Does a lot more than that, but obviously has a lot of good experience with helping people with their equipment and stuff like that.

Mike Reinold: So, we thought we’d do this really cool episode on golf, and golf rehab and golf performance, but coming from a perspective of collaborating with this huge, multi-disciplinary approach.

Mike Reinold: So I thought we’d get started. Welcome, thank you everybody.

Lenny Macrina: Great to be here.

Pat Bigelow: Thanks for having us Mike.

Mike Reinold: So why don’t we start with this. Because we have a combination of rehab, performance and swing on this podcast episode, why don’t we start with you Mike? Mike’s our golf rehab specialist at Champion, tell us a little bit about the concept of the body-swing connection, and how that is the guiding principle behind everything we do together.

Mike Scaduto: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s a huge concept in looking at it from the 1,000 foot view, the general overview, body-swing connection is really a reflection of how your body moves, and how that manifests itself in your golf swing. So the first thing I tell a golfer when they come in to work with me at Champion, is your golf swing is a reflection of how your body moves. So if you tend to be stiff, and you have limited range of motion, your golf swing is going to reflect that. You probably have a shorter swing. Or you’re going to create compensations elsewhere to generate the movement that you want, that can lead to decrease in performance or decrease in efficiency.

Mike Scaduto: So from my perspective, I’m very concerned with the movement that that person’s able to display. There’s certain things that I’m looking for you to be able to do, and that lies on a spectrum. I’m not looking for the exact range of motion of thoracic rotation for every single golfer and if you don’t have that you’re doomed, we can always work with you but it’s going to guide my advice to you from a movement perspective. It’s going to guide the collaboration that I have with your golf coach, based on the result of your physical movement screen.

Mike Reinold: Got it. So hugely important, obviously, understanding how the body is involved with what you can and can’t do with the swing. So Adam, how about from your perspective, from the swing coach, the teaching professional. What does the body-swing connection mean to you, and how does that input what you do with your athletes that you work with?

Adam Kolloff: Yeah, it’s huge. This is coming to light more recently, I would say in the last few years people are starting to get more aware of it, which is great. I went to TPI seminar several years ago, and that was pretty eye-opening to me to understand more about the body-swing connection. Because I’ve been teaching for many, many years, and I never really realized.

Adam Kolloff: I’ll give you an example. I would teach people and I felt like I couldn’t get them into these positions, and I was always wondering, “Okay, is it a drill, or is it something I’m missing here, I can’t get them into these positions?” But now, understanding more about the body, I realize no, these people are limited. They physically can’t do certain things in a golf swing. So lately, past few years, I love connecting with other fitness trainers like Mike who understand about the body. And when I work with students, I can tell them, “Hey listen, I can help you as much as I can help you, but you also need to work with a trainer, because I can take you only so far, but if you work with a guy like, Mike he can help. And then we can push you along and accelerate the learning process.”

Adam Kolloff: So I think it’s huge. It’s a huge thing in my teaching.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, it’s hard to think that people always want a quick fix for their golf swing. They always want to come in and say give me a couple drills, but they don’t realize that there’s often a reason why their swing looks the way it looks.

Adam Kolloff: Sure.

Mike Reinold: So from a teaching professional perspective, how do you guys approach that? So when you’re looking at somebody’s swing analysis, and you want to improve something, just something generalized, not something specific. Do you usually attack it real quick with maybe like, “Hey, let’s work on educating you on what you’re supposed to be in, what position you’re supposed to be in and some drills to groove that?” When do you shift folks like, “Hey wait, I wonder if this is a body limitation?” How does that trigger in your guys’ head? I don’t know who wants to start, maybe Pat? I don’t know, Pat seems to have more swing faults than all of us, so maybe, just kidding.

Pat Bigelow: Totally. I can relate to all these issues. I think the information net, and I think Adam alluded to that perfectly with TPI coming out the last couple years. So players now have the ability to access all this different information. Different stretches, different drills, and it’s been great to meet you guys, where I’ve had students who are in their 60s and 70s and have limitations. They can’t turn a certain way, they have limited flexibility in their hips. And sending them to Mike, and seeing them come back two weeks later being like, “Wow, I can actually make this move now and not be sore, not have it feel uncomfortable.”

Pat Bigelow: Obviously the more reps the player is doing, the better it’s going to be, but now there’s different ways to attack it, where before, from a golf standpoint, we might not be able to get that player to ever do that move. But if we send them to Mike, or to Lenny or you guys, now they can actually start to make that correct change.

Mike Reinold: Right. It really speaks to the power of collaborating, right?

Pat Bigelow: Totally, totally.

Mike Reinold: We’re guilty all the time, as the PTs, I don’t know if you guys are in your profession, but we love to try to step over the line sometimes, and then try to look at somebody’s swing, or do something like that-

Pat Bigelow: Totally.

Mike Reinold: … where that’s never our philosophy at Champion. We’re always very specific to say, “You need to work with a swing coach and we’ll collaborate.” Mike, what’s up?

Mike Scaduto: Yeah, I think just going on that, I think my role as a golf performance specialist from the movement side of things, I understand movement. So my goal is to create context for feelings that you should have in the golf swing, my goal is not to create drills that mimic the golf swing. So a lot of the drills that I have golfers to look pretty basic, but they’re working on key areas that that person’s limited in. But we’re not trying to re-create the golf swing with a lot of our drills. There may be some that look similar to the golf swing, and I find myself telling the person I’m working with, “Look, this is a drill to create a feeling for you, that feeling may help in your lesson, this may be part of the feeling that your swing coach or Adam, Pat, Zack are trying to work with you on, but we’re not trying to swing a golf club right now. We’re breaking things down into its components from a movement perspective, and then building them back up.”

Mike Scaduto: So maybe that includes eliminating joints from the equation, so instead of being in a standing position, we have people go to kneeling. Sometimes that’s easier for people to learn pelvic rotation, and disassociation of the body. And then we build them back up, and I think that is my role, is create that context, and then let Adam groove the swing, and really teach that person how to swing a golf club.

Mike Reinold: Yeah we all have the same goal, right? We’re trying to help the person in front of us, so our clients, our students, our patients, whatever they may be in our world, we’re all trying to help them achieve their goal and probably get better at golf. So it’s an interesting way to do it, and it just shows you the power of collaboration that I think is so important.

Mike Reinold: All right. Let’s do this. Let’s give some examples of this stuff. So Lenny, Mike, we’ll talk this way first. What are some of the top impairments that you tend to see in the people that come and work with you that are trying to golf, but they’re struggling a little bit. Not specifically injuries or something like that, that’s a whole big topic. But what are some of the impairments that you tend to see?

Lenny Macrina: I can start, and go pretty basic, Mike can dive deeper, he’s the specialist in this. But obviously the thoracic spine is the biggest one we see in most people. That’s going to be, right exactly, me too. So everybody, we sit a lot, we get tight in our mid-back, back gets tight for some reason, and then it’s up to us.

Lenny Macrina: The thoracic spine, for those who don’t 100% understand, it helps with rotation of your upper body. So a big portion of the golf swing is getting that turn, so you can only have so much rotation in your thoracic spine before other segments need to kick in and assist with the rest of that rotation. But if you’re limited in your thoracic spine, so that mid portion of your back, then the motion’s going to try to come from somewhere else that may not necessarily have the motion, but you’re going to force that motion. Which means that joint, maybe your low back, or your hips, or somewhere else may begin to break down. It’s not ready for the motion you’re trying to give it.

Lenny Macrina: And I’m a prime example. So I get lessons from Adam, full disclosure, and he’s really helped my game. And I struggle with thoracic rotation. I’m relatively loose jointed, but there’s certain areas of my body that are not used to the swing that I think I need, and I know I have the potential because I have that underlying joint laxity. To me, I think it’s a product of just being not strong enough, and my joints now have become a little tighter than they’re supposed to be.

Lenny Macrina: I’ve actually made a conscious effort to work out a bit more, and work on some of the mobility drills that Mike has mentioned and Adam have mentioned, and I definitely see a difference in my swing, a feel in my swing. So for me that thoracic spine is that top one that we go after.

Mike Reinold: Nice.

Lenny Macrina: And I know there are others too.

Mike Reinold: The concept of relative stiffness I think really jumps out at us right there. The concept of an area being stiff, and the other areas around it having to make up for it, I think that’s fantastic. What else, Mike, what other impairments do we see?

Mike Scaduto: Yeah, absolutely. I think thoracic spine is definitely a huge one, being able to turn through our upper thorax. Disassociating our upper and lower half is another big one. And that’s almost a little bit different, gets into motor control. But I think big one thoracic spine rotational mobility, hip rotational mobility, and core and pelvic control. And I’d put that more into a motor control category.

Mike Scaduto: I’ve actually had the pleasure of evaluating, in person, Pat, Zack and Adam, and I think they’re actually a good example of different movement capabilities. So Pat is tall and lanky, and looks like he should be someone who’s loosey goosey. But he’s actually really stiff, you’re a stiff guy, right? You have a stiff thoracic spine, stiff hips-

Pat Bigelow: Big time.

Mike Scaduto: … and stiff shoulders. So the big focus of Pat’s program is going to be mobility, getting him able to extend through his thoracic spine, get him able to turn a little bit more. And then we layer things on top of that.

Mike Scaduto: But if you look at Zack, Zack has really good mobility, but he was, I don’t want to be vulgar, but kind of a motor moron when it came to controlling his hips and his pelvis. So he had a lot of difficulty disassociating his upper and lower half at baseline. So a lot of our focus for him was creating context for that type feel, and building awareness of how he’s moving his body in space, and then laying some power development on top of that that reinforces that.

Mike Scaduto: And then Adam has a flawless golf swing, sent from heaven, so not much to work on there I guess.

Mike Reinold: Nice.

Mike Reinold: Is it nature, or nurture, how old were you Adam when you started golfing?

Adam Kolloff: 12 years old was when I really started playing all the time. I’d always play with my father here and there, he cut down a club for me when I was five, six years old. But I was never really into it. He wasn’t one of those helicopter parents, but he’s taking me to tournaments, watching me hit balls at the range, telling me what to do. So I didn’t really start till 12, but when I started I was playing all the time. So I got involved real early, just loved the game. I didn’t get a ton of instruction, but I was an athlete, I was doing a lot of other sports. Soccer, basketball, baseball, so I developed some good fundamentals in that sense.

Adam Kolloff: And then I just want to go on with what Mike and Lenny were saying. When I first work with somebody, I’m always asking them questions at the beginning like, “Hey, do you have any injuries?” That’s one of the questions I’ll ask, and I’ll sometimes get answers, and sometimes they won’t say anything. Because they don’t really realize how important it is for me to realize if they have any injuries.

Adam Kolloff: And then I’ll go into the lesson, I’ll start working on some things, and I’ll try to get them into a position, let’s say it’s in the backswing, with this right arm position. And we’re trying to set the club at the top. And then all of a sudden they tell me, “Oh, I’ve had shoulder surgery there.” And I’m like, “All right, well you should have told me this, because now I’m going to have to take this lesson in a totally different direction.” So that’s an example of something I see.

Pat Bigelow: I just wanted to follow up with what Adam said. One of the things I’ve learned from him is what he talked about, pre-interview of the lesson and getting as much information about the student as possible. Background in sports, injuries, because this all relates to the swing. And I think the more information that we can get, the better we’re going to be able to help our students. Even post-lessons, feelings that work for them…

Pat Bigelow: So yeah, and I think that’s one of the great things you guys do at Champion as well, is when I sat down with Mike and went for my TPI screen, a lot of it was just him and I talking. Granted we were doing a lot of moves, and giving me the TPI screen, but a lot of it was just questions and him getting information from me. And I think the more information that we can get from our students, their background, deficiencies they have in their body, the better we’re going to be able to help them.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, I think that’s a great way of saying it. Adam, tell us a little bit about what you’ve been doing with Zack, and Zack in particular with his swing mechanics, and how you collaborated with Mike on that, because I think that’s a good example for the listeners here to see how you’re collaborating with someone.

Adam Kolloff: Yeah, for sure. So I’d say this is more rare than other cases, usually I’m working with people who are tight at thoracic spine like Lenny was saying. So with Zack, what I was working on was trying to feel like his shoulder turn and his arm swing were more connected. I don’t know if you could, sorry I got a phone call there.

Adam Kolloff: So he’s trying to feel more connected with his turn and his arm. Because what would happen is he would turn, about 90 degrees, even a little bit further, but his arm would just continue going back, and he couldn’t really stop it. I think it’s related to his shoulder mobility, so it was hard for him to stop his arm swing. As soon his shoulders turned, it would stop. So we were trying to get that synced up, and for him he had to feel like the swing was only going to hip height.

Adam Kolloff: So that was one of the keys that we worked on. I’d also just hold something under his arms, around shoulder height, so if he went back and he hit it, he’d be going too far back. And there’s other ways I was working on him, like a little more width in his right arm. If his right arm starts to fold more, then it’s going to cause a longer swing. So feeling more width in that right arm, you physically can’t go farther back, plus it helps keep that connection between chest to arms. Those are just a few ways.

Mike Reinold: Yeah. So what was it that you and Mike talked about that made this click with you, with Zack a little bit?

Adam Kolloff: Actually, Zack mentioned, I think Mike mentioned around the same time, and it just was a light bulb for me. I was like, “Oh, man. He’s hyper-mobile, that makes sense, we can’t shorten his swing.” That’s why he’s got this arm run-off at the top. So then I just, I went a different route to try to work on this. Because for a while I was just telling Zack, “Dude, what’s wrong with you?”

Zack Morton: Yeah.

Adam Kolloff: “Why can’t you just shorten your swing, man? Look at the video, just shorten your swing.”

Zack Morton: Yeah. 100%.

Adam Kolloff: And that’s how I used to approach other lessons. I’d be like, “Gosh, just turn your hips, come one.”

Zack Morton: That’s right.

Adam Kolloff: He couldn’t do it.

Mike Reinold: This sounds like me trying to teach my first grader how to read right now. Just read it.

Zack Morton: Yeah, just do it.

Mike Reinold: So Zack, from your perspective tell us about that. Because I think this is a great example of the collaboration here, where understanding the body can help the swing. So tell us from your perspective, as the golfer, even though you’re a pro, but as the golfer going through that.

Zack Morton: Right. Sorry, I got my technical difficulties all sorted. But yeah, kind of what I was saying before, it’s really difficult for me to feel, or at least when you see Tour players and everybody, or you even looked at Adam or Pat’s swing, you look at the top and I’m like, “That’s not my top of the swing.” But they’re feeling of the top and mine are completely different, and just working to make it shorter and I guess more efficient has definitely been, probably since day one, day two, working with these guys to make it. But I think it’s, even the people that I fit, don’t really have, it’s not common thing.

Zack Morton: So it’s definitely difficult to figure out ways, or to at least apply these ideas towards the swing. Because you need to be able to generate power, and I guess I’ve learned to generate a lot of power with it, but it’s definitely a difficult thing for me to look at my swing and look at my body and see where it needs to be and then actually doing it.

Mike Reinold: Yeah.

Pat Bigelow: But here’s a great thing though. Without Mike and without Adam, we would have really had no, these guys would have no real sense of how to attack his issue. Now we know he’s super mobile, Mike figured that out. Not Adam can create a plan for Zack to shorten his swing. He can attack those areas that Zack is super-mobile, and he can figure out ways to restrict him. And without the information and this tag team effort, might have not have ever known. And that’s why I think it’s such a cool thing that you guys do, that we do.

Pat Bigelow: And I teach a lot of guys at Winchester where I work, and I’ve sent them to Mike, and they’re like, “Wow, my body feels totally different, I can actually do these moves and not feel awful doing it.”

Mike Reinold: 100%, that’s great. So Mike, tell me a little bit about this, because I think what these guys brought up a little bit, I think it’s a pretty interesting point. Tell us about how different golfers look throughout their playing careers, and what we’re dealing with as players age.

Mike Scaduto: Yeah, and I’ve touched on this before, but I think golf is a super-unique sport in that you can play it for basically your entire lifespan. And compare that to other sports where you’re really looking at youth, high school, college, and a lot of people tail off then, and you’re not really playing a ton of baseball in your fifties. Gold you can play throughout your entire life.

Mike Scaduto: When we examine these golfers and do an assessment, we tend to see some differences throughout their lifespan. So younger people, naturally they’re a little bit more mobile, maybe a little bit more hyper-mobile. They often don’t have a great awareness of body position and joint position throughout the swing, or just in regular movement as well. So a lot of that is teaching people how to control their body, through different motor control drills. Also the injuries and movement patterns that we see are a little bit different in younger people than they are in older people, and that may be a consequence of being a little more hyper-mobile, putting more stress on different areas of the body.

Mike Scaduto: And then as we age, it’s pretty natural to get a little bit stiffer. That can be compounded by our daily habits or our lifestyle, and that can lead to movement restrictions and movement limitations that we tend to see. So our older golfers, speaking generally, tend to be a little bit stiffer in rotation. So the big focus for them is mobility, and gaining a little bit more mobility.

Mike Scaduto: That’s going to do a few things for them. One, it’s going to help them move a little bit better, it’s also going to ultimately improve performance if they have good, solid coaching. It’s going to enable them to get into a good position in their swing. It’s also going to, if we can get a bigger shoulder turn and develop a little bit more disassociate between the upper and lower half, that’s going to give us a little more time to create club head speed.

Mike Scaduto: Pretty much every golfer that I work with wants more speed and distance, and that’s usually the primary reason that they actually come to see me, is they’ve heard about how strength training and flexibility and mobility can help them hit the ball further. And then they come to me and they’re like, “I want to add 10 to 15 yards to my drive.”

Mike Scaduto: And that is 100% a case where the collaboration is absolutely key. Because I can address it from a movement standpoint and gain a little mobility, gain a little bit of strength, teach them how to develop power, teach them how to feel the ground a little bit. But if they’re not hitting the ball in the center of the club face, that’s not really going to go very well. They’re not going to see the increase in distance, they’re going to see a big dispersion so their accuracy’s going to go down. So then I need to work on it from a movement perspective, and then Adam and Pat and Zack teach them how to hit it on the center of the club face, and teach them how to swing a golf club.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, I think that’s great, and that’s, I’m sure everybody knows this here, but so Mike and Adam have teamed up, they have an online training program called Fit For Speed, which obviously is designed for golfers. But I really think for the people that listen to this podcast too, seeing this program and seeing what two experts in their fields do is going to be an educational thing for you as well. But also, you should probably go through the program a little bit and feel it yourself, so that way you can see some of these changes. But it’s a good combination of how the body moves and how the swing moves with those two working together.

Mike Reinold: But the really interesting thing that I think you said as you age here, is that it’s not like as a rehab specialist, or a performance coach, or a swing coach, it’s not like you can say, “This is what a golfer looks like.” Because Zack has far different issues than I would. I’m I don’t know, 30 years older than you, how old are you Zack? So I’m a bunch older than Zack, so I’m the complete opposite end of the spectrum. So if you’re a coach, if you’re a rehab specialist or something like that, and you think this is what a golfer should look like, then you’re going to miss the boat on a lot of people.

Mike Reinold: And if you’re a golf swing coach or a physical therapist and you’re just blindly giving corrective drills or corrective mobility strategies, we call this the corrective exercise bell curve. 20% of the time you’re probably going to nail it, you’re going to look like a super hero, like wow Pat’s the best coach in the world. 20% of the time you’re probably going to make them worse, and you’re probably going to hurt their wrists, or their back or something like that.

Mike Reinold: And then everyone in the middle we’re just going to waste time. But if we combine that and put it together, we won’t just be throwing random correctives at them, we’re going to be specific to them.

Adam Kolloff: Yeah, I think, can I jump in there, Mike?

Mike Reinold: Yeah, yes.

Adam Kolloff: So what’s cool about you guys is you have the PT foundation. So I think that really sets you guys apart. I’ve worked with other PTI certified trainers, and they’re good and they know a lot about the body, but you guys, Mike especially, with that PT background, you know a lot more about the body, how to rehab the body, how to make joints move a little bit better.

Adam Kolloff: I just think with that foundation, you guys can attack issues better. I think you can attack issues with more knowledge, and you can really personalize the training a little bit better. That’s just the experience I’ve had working with other trainers, and now working with Mike. It’s not to pump your tires or anything here, but I think it’s good.

Pat Bigelow: No, it’s cool. They’re awesome. I came in last year, and Mike alluded to it, called me out, I was super, super stiff. And the plan they created for me worked. I have much more mobility than I had a year ago, my swing feels better, I’m not as sore at the end of rounds. My game has gotten better, all because of the stuff that I was doing off the course. Not even working on my own swing, just working on my body and getting it more mobile made a huge difference in my game. And it’s cool, it’s really cool to see.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, I think –

Lenny Macrina: I think there’s some concepts that people, people come in looking for help if they have back pain, that’s what we do, we help them with their back pain. But they key is, that people need to understand, is why is your back hurt. There could be other areas of your body that we have to look at, and that’s what we do. Because your low back might be hurt or sore, which is very common in golf, or very common in the regular population of golfers, but why? So we take them through an assessment that we do, we take them through the TPI, and we figure out that yeah your back is sore because your hips are tight, or your hamstrings are tight, or your thoracic spine that I mentioned earlier is tight. And so the stress is all becoming focused on your lower back, where the movement is going to occur, but maybe not as much as you think you should have.

Lenny Macrina: So I think people need to understand that if you come in with back pain or hip pain, the reason why is probably somewhere else in your body. Maybe you have ankle mobility issues, you broke your ankle as kid and now your ankle doesn’t move well. So your ankle, which is huge in the golf motion, to be able to get in a squat position, to be able to get some rotation, if that’s not moving well then your motion’s going to come from somewhere else. And then you start compensating that we talked about earlier.

Lenny Macrina: So I think we need to understand that yes, that area might be tight and it might seem like your issue, but I think us as PTs at Champion, we take a holistic approach and really look at all the joints. I know that’s what Mike does, and that’s what’s in his Fit For Speed course with Adam as well.

Mike Reinold: Sweet, so, sorry.

Zack Morton: I think, sorry Mike. I can plug in Mike.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, yeah.

Zack Morton: I think I can definitely speak to that. When I started coming in, I mean playing competitively, and when I first came in on my TPI assessment I was complaining of my back was killing me, and my hip mobility definitely causing me probably a lot of different movements causing a lot of strain on my back. And I can speak that I have virtually no back pain since, just having targeted exercises towards, I’ve just learned a lot about myself, and just collaborating with everybody on here. I think I’ve just, I work with all you guys, and it’s just been great. I think if you’re not doing those types of things, I don’t think you’re really bettering yourself in ways that you definitely could be. Everything here goes hand in hand, and I think I’m a pretty good example of that.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, you guys make me think too, I think the reason why we all get along, so the six of us here, and even this whole podcast episode exists, is because we all like geeking out over this stuff. We all enjoy this. So Adam’s won every award possible in teaching, and I think he would humbly admit, I think he just did, that he’s learning still from other disciplines.

Pat Bigelow: You have to.

Adam Kolloff: All the time.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, right?

Zack Morton: You’ve got to learn.

Mike Reinold: It’s so hard to innovate, right? If you’re a golf swing coach, or a physical therapist, to innovate as a physical therapist and come up with something brand new nobody’s ever thought of it, it’s super hard right now.

Pat Bigelow: Well it’s funny, sorry to interrupt.

Mike Reinold: Yeah.

Pat Bigelow: I was listening to Adam and Jim McClain the other day talking and here’s Jim McClain who’s one of the best teachers in the history of the came, and all he does, and Adam can attest to this, is talk about learning. Keep learning, never stop learning. And I think we all try to do that on here.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, and try to learn from other disciplines, I think that’s the key. I always say that myself, I’m a better physical therapist because I’ve learned from so many strength coaches, and I’ve learned from so many skill coaches like you guys. So I think that’s why we get along, we have a lot of golf pro friends that we get along with, but I don’t think we collaborate as well as we do with this group, because I think we all share the same qualities on continually growing, that growth mind set, and collaborating. So awesome.

Mike Reinold: So golf coaches, the pros on this call now, so I guess here’s my question. We’ve talked about our top impairments, it’s probably t-spine, hip, motor control, core. It’s really the center of the body, it’s kind of interesting. Those are our top impairments we tend to see. From your guys’ perspective, what are the top swing faults. And we don’t have to get into a million, but what are the big ones you see in most amateur golfers, and how do they relate to these impairments we just talked about. What do you guys think?

Adam Kolloff: So I’ll jump in and start with, I’ll just start at the beginning of the swing. What I typically see is bad posture. Whether they’re weak at the core, maybe the glutes or something, there’s just a variety of postures that I see, and not getting into a good posture is one thing.

Adam Kolloff: How they take the club back, they start to rotate on a flatter shoulder plane is something that I typically see. Possible because they can’t get into that left bend, that side bend as they’re turning, that could be related to something around the mid-spine.

Adam Kolloff: Another biggie is this trail arm external, internal rotation. So if somebody’s never played baseball, or have specifically has thrown a ball, or played some sport where they’ve had to throw a ball, they might not have that external rotation. And so because of that, they’re not going to position the club correctly at the top, or they’re going to have some compensations at the top. For example, their right arm’s more internal, and then the club could be in a really bad position at the top because of that. But it’s hard for me to go in there and change that, because they’re limited there so I can’t make a difference. I’ve got to send them to Mike, and it’s going to take a while.

Adam Kolloff: But right away, I’ll have to adjust the lesson plan, talk about other ways to shallow the club for example. So those are just two examples in set-up and backswing that I commonly see.

Mike Reinold: Huge.

Pat Bigelow: Early extension’s a big one. I think that we see a lot. Yeah, especially among amateur players, not using the ground effectively. Pulling the club down, Mike mentioned it, not being to disassociate your upper and lower body. Those are all, improper tilts.

Mike Scaduto: Just to tie that in together, I think there is some research studies that looked at our physical screen and swing characteristics, and tried to look for a correlation. Two biggest ones were hip hinge pattern, so being able to touch your toes. If you are not able to do that, it was high correlated with early extension in a golf swing. So not being able to maintain a hip hinge pattern, which is Mike’s swing fault there, you’re going to come out of that posture throughout your swing. Or it’s more likely, I guess.

Mike Scaduto: The other one was overhead deep squat, again correlated with early extension. Part of that, when you look at research particularly in gold, is a lot of people tend to early extend, and a lot of people tend to move pretty poorly. So-

Adam Kolloff: Sorry about that, baby wants to get in here.

Mike Scaduto: … it all become individual.

Mike Reinold: That’s awesome. No, this is a family thing Adam, my kids are dying to get on a podcast too.

Adam Kolloff: So Mike, talking about Reinold’s golf swing quickly, he’s definitely got some early extension on the way down. But as a golf teacher, you have to attack some of the causes that would translate into early extension. For example, if you’re coming down a little steep, which actually is not Mike’s issue, his club comes from the inside, but his club face is really open. So if that club face is really open, that’s going to cause you to release early, and as you release early you’re extending the club away from you. So your body’s going to stand up to make space, and prevent you from hitting behind the golf ball. So you’ve got to attack the technique, and at the same time Mike needs to get in the gym and work on those things so he’s physically stronger, more mobile. But he’s also working at the technique at the same time.

Mike Reinold: And I think as an example of this person here too, I can get into pretty much what I want to be my impact position, physically. But I’ve mentioned this to Lenny and Mike all the time, it is a struggle for me. That is my end range of motion. And we know how hard it is to get to that end range, so I can slowly, deliberatively get into that position, but when I then get into my swing and I try to increase speed with that, that’s really challenging for me.

Mike Reinold: So another good example of how that connects a little is if somebody is struggling so hard to get into a position, it’s going to be really hard to do that with fatigue, it’s going to be really hard to do that with speed, and all these other things. So that’s awesome, and I think we really nailed it with how all that stuff correlates.

Mike Reinold: Let’s maybe pitch this to the golf pros first, maybe start with Adam, but if you were putting a plan together for somebody that’s coming to see you. We’ve always said there’s three buckets, right, and this is a TPI concept too and everything. But physical, mechanical and equipment. So we’ve talked a little bit about some of the physical stuff, how you have to address some of these impairments. We’ve a lot about some of these mechanical drills that we’ve talked about, in how to get into these new positions. Tell us about the equipment concept. When do you start going as a golf pro’s perspective, when do you start going like, “Let’s make some equipment modifications to help your game?”

Adam Kolloff: Yeah, great question there. And I’ll let Zack, if he’s still around here, to jump in. I would say obviously I’m trying to work swing mechanics first. I don’t want to just fit them for, let’s say it’s a regular flex shaft because they are missing to the right. So let me explain that quickly. If you have a soft, flexing shaft, it’s going to kick and release better at the bottom, which helps square the club face.

Adam Kolloff: For somebody that’s slicing to the right, their club face is open. Instead of just going, “Okay, you need to go into a regular flex shaft to help square the club face,” what I would want to do is work on their technique so that they are improving the impact position with a more square club face, basically.

Adam Kolloff: And then from there, try to fit them into something. So you’re not really fitting a fault. What’s cool is Zack and I collaborate about that stuff. If I have a student who asks me about fittings, I’ll say okay come to me first, take some lessons with me first, and then go get a fitting with Zack. And the cool thing is I’ll collaborate with Zack, and I’ll give Zack a blanket thought about, “Hey, this guy’s got this speed, his typical miss is here, his trajectory is high, low, and just go with that.”

Zack Morton: Absolutely.

Adam Kolloff: And Zack will fine tune from there.

Zack Morton: Yeah, definitely. And from a fitting standpoint, the first part of the fitting is me going over with the student just general ideas of any previous score backgrounds, and also looking at how they are physically, and how they impact the golf ball. Because in the equipment world, especially nowadays, there’s so many great advancements on, not necessarily that you’re a stiff flex, you could be stiff flex in so many different range. You could be a stiff in a graphite even, you could be a stiff in a certain weight. And that’s where we really get down and really go into exactly what works best for your swing.

Zack Morton: You definitely have to take into consideration though your physical limitations, especially with all the different types of equipment available nowadays on the market. But yeah, definitely collaborate a lot, if you’re taking lessons with Adam especially, we collaborate a lot with the player. It’s almost that extra benefit you see, and determining the right fit for the right player. But yeah, a lot of the fitting is actually about the physical aspect of playing.

Zack Morton: Because if you swing a seven iron 90 miles an hour, doesn’t put you at one thing. If you swing a seven iron 90 miles an hour, used to play baseball, and then you come in and you say you have shoulder surgery, that greatly changes the shaft, that greatly changes the lie angle. And it shows on your ball flight or whatever, all of those things matter significantly, and that’s definitely where I come in and we figure out what works for you.

Mike Reinold: So do you guys things, should anyone get off the shelf clubs from Dick’s Sporting Goods?

Zack Morton: You are wasting your money if you do that. 100%, you are wasting your time.

Pat Bigelow: If you’re a total, total beginner or a junior, sure.

Mike Scaduto: Yeah.

Pat Bigelow: It’s about just getting some swings.

Mike Scaduto: Right.

Pat Bigelow: But if you’re playing on a regular basis at all and trying to be good, I think it’s in paramount to get fitted, and to do it the way that Adam and Zack just suggested it, where you go take some lessons first. Because hey, you could go right into a fitting at one of these places and they don’t give a you-know-what that your swing is all messed up, and that the reason they’re fitting you for this shaft is because of a compensation in your swing. There’s still that issue in your swing where if you go see Adam, he fixes that issue, works on your swing, now you got the club delivering in the right way. Then you go get fit, you see Zack, that’s the way to do it.

Mike Reinold: That’s awesome.

Zack Morton: Absolutely. Absolutely, if you’re, especially with us, you purchase clubs through us it’s free, you might as well get an in depth analysis of what exactly is going on in your golf swing.

Adam Kolloff: The fitting’s free right, not the clubs.

Zack Morton: The fitting’s free.

Mike Reinold: Wait, wait, slow down.

Zack Morton: The fitting is free, yes. On my own thing. But you might as well get an exact, the total picture about what is going on in your golf swing. It’s not this equals this, it’s there’s so many things that need to be taken into accounted into. Especially in this game, this game is brutally hard, make it easy on yourself and get the right equipment for yourself.

Lenny Macrina: That process is so neat.

Pat Bigelow: Because people, the-

Adam Kolloff: Yeah, it’s so cool.

Lenny Macrina: The process is great, because you go in, you hit a ton of clubs. And I know I got fit with you guys, and in my head I was getting Titleist AP2s, and that was what I getting. And then I went through the whole process, I ended up with TaylorMade 790s, and I love them. I would have gone to Dick’s Sporting Goods and bought Titleists because Titleist makes a good club, and I would have hit a couple balls in their simulator and said, “Wow, I like let’s go, because it’s all better than my 10 year old clubs.”

Zack Morton: Right.

Lenny Macrina: But when you really break the process down and use the track man, and get some objective data, and really see what swing changes occur with the different types of clubs that you hit, whether it’s a Titleist, a TaylorMade, a Mizuno whatever, and you really get, it’s a feel thing too. It’s a comfort standing over the ball, what does the club face look like standing over the ball? You know what I mean, the different types of clubs that are out there, there’s a gazillion different types of club, so to me it was a game changer for me, it was huge to get fit with new clubs.

Mike Reinold: How’d your handicap respond Len?

Lenny Macrina: It has come down, it’s a work in progress but it has come down.

Adam Kolloff: He’s hitting 300 yard bombs now.

Lenny Macrina: Yeah, exactly.

Mike Reinold: That is amazing, I’m struggling to break 240. That’s crazy. But awesome.

Mike Reinold: Hey, thanks everybody. I really, this in and of itself was almost like a master class on how to collaborate between rehab, performance and skill coaching, right? Because we all got on together, we all talked, we all geeked out, we showed you that. So indirectly, you learned a lot about golf hopefully, but I think this was also like a class on how to collaborate and how to work well with other professionals. Because you see the benefit. It’s not about us, it’s not about you looking smart by knowing about the golf swing, it’s about knowing the right people to collaborate to help your client achieve their goals. I think that’s the key.

Pat Bigelow: Well said.

Mike Reinold: So great episode, thank you so much everybody from Pure Drive Golf. If you want more information on these guys, they have both local options if you’re in the Boston area, but they also have some online programs as well. Adam’s got some great educational content, Pat has really stepped up his Instagram game during this quarantine, it’s been amazing. They got a bunch of good stuff, online courses, Adam’s doing online swing lessons now.

Pat Bigelow: Skill-its, go see them.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, Mike and Adam have the Fit For Speed program. So I’ll put links on everything in the program here so you guys can see that, but I think again if this is interesting to you and you’re trying to get into the golf world, then I think you’ve got to embrace some of this and experience it a little bit yourself so you can understand the perspective that you’re about to recommend to your own clients.

Mike Reinold: So anyways. Thank you so much guys, everybody from Pure Drive for joining us.

Mike Scaduto: Thanks Mike.

Zack Morton: Thanks for having us Mike.

Mike Reinold: Yeah, my pleasure, thank you guys. If you guys have more questions like this, head to and click on the podcast link. We’ve been getting a bunch of golf questions, so instead of just answering them one by one I was like let’s have this really cool episode. So thanks so much, be sure to head to iTunes, Spotify, wherever on earth you listen to podcasts nowadays and rate and review us, and we will see you on the next episode.

Adam Kolloff: Thanks Mike.

Lenny Macrina: Thanks Mike.

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