Martin Hopley
By Martin Hopley

Having completed two 6-week programs of the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) regular followers will be keen to know whether my new found suppleness has been maintained. All through this I was continuing with my program of exercises that I had downloaded the videos from

Despite focussing more on my thoracic spine (T-spine) area I was delighted and a little suprised to find that my 50% gain in hip rotation to just over 45 degrees had been maintained. OK, so it's not the full tour level of 60%, but it's as far as mine will go as we found out during a particularly intensive hip session!

After it took 6 weeks to make that change, I was a little concerned about the length of time my T-spine would take to get from 30 degrees rotation each way to the target of 45 degrees.

However following sessions with my TPI physio Neil Aitken of within a week my T-spine had the ability to move an extra 10 or so degrees. Whilst I was amazed, Neil said it was quite common for one part of your body to improve slowly and another to improve quickly.

Now I am rotating like a Premiership bench warmer with my T-spine, attention is now moving to my shoulders which are very tight, not least in part due to rugby injuries from 25 years ago. An even more stupid game, but fun at the time.

TPI Shoulder Exercise

So is it helping my golf? Well, I would have to say yes. I am able to swing through the ball much easier and without any of the restrictions I have been used too. It also enables a better rolling over of the hands and arms rather than coming out of the shot as my hips used to do when they gave up turning half way through the follow-through.

The biggest benefit is just having a back that does not feel as tight anymore, both playing golf and generally in day to day life. I recently played and walking down the fairway feeling relaxed and free enabled me to enjoy the day so much more.

I have done other exercise programs before, but because this is golf specific I find it easier to be motivated to actaully do it as it has a purpose, but the benefits are being felt throughout my everyday life too.

I think the shoulders will be a longer project than the T-spine, but who knows!