Spring is here and the links are calling. How many of you are ready to begin your golf season this year? How many of you have been training for golf this year? “What?!”, you say, “golf is enough exercise on its own, I don’t need to train.” I beg to differ. I hear many golfers claim they get great exercise on the course. They walk, a lot, they swing, and they move for the better part of the day, however moving is not always enough, one has to make sure the intensity is enough. I will also suggest that you train. Why? Golfing is a taxing activity. You ask your body to move with power, flexibility, strength, and stamina. If your game is important to you, ok, if you just do not want to get injured and spend the season with a pulled muscle, an ache, a pain, etc you should train prior to and during golf season. You think Tiger did it all with skill?
When training for golf begin by looking at where you are weak. How is your flexibility? Are you strong in certain movements and not in others? One of the great things about golf is you utilize many different muscle groups, in a variety of positions, and over a long period of time, so you’ll want these groups to be ready. How is your cardiovascular health? Are you able to walk the course for the entire game and still play decent? Many do ok through the first nine, only to lose steam on the back; affecting the ability to hit the ball well.
Strength training, endurance training, and flexibility are all important parts of golf fitness training. According to, golf-trainer.com, “Your golf workouts should be 50/50 in regards to strength and flexibility. If you put too much emphasis on flexibility, you’ll have loose, but very weak muscles that are susceptible to injury. If you put a higher priority on strength, you will most likely lose some range of motion, which will rob you of power and distance.” It is important to balance out flexibility training with strength training to ensure you have the strength to complete a solid movement (swing) and the range of motion to follow through, netting you a longer drive. Fitnessforgolf.com had this to say, “The most important aspects of the golf swing and the game, in general, all revolve around the building of a strong and solid foundation for the body, the mind and the basics of an athletic swing.” Your power comes from your core, which is why functional training is a must for golfers. Sitting on a machine lifting repetitive weight is great, however golf is dynamic, and one must train for it dynamically. Exercise is much more effective if we approach it based on the end result. Golf training should be done utilizing the muscles, movements, and on your feet similar to the game itself. Fitnessforgolf.com goes onto say, The seven S’s Stamina, Stability, Strength, Supple, Spirit, Sequence, and Skill should dominate your direction when deciding a golf fitness program.
Core training just means we are going to train the torso or core of the body. All large movement begins here, including walking, and this is the power house for rotation. What gets the ball down the course? The strength and speed of your rotation. Again, golf-trainer.com states the following: A core golf workout will produce more power in your golf swing when it focuses on rotational movements with resistance. The primary movement in the golf swing is rotating your upper body back, then rotating it through to the finish. That is why it is critical you implement exercises that involve rotational strength and flexibility. When putting together your exercises for golfers program, take a look at the body position required to make a mechanically sound swing. Once you realize this dynamic and very unique position, you can do golf exercises specific to this position.
Things to remember.
- Do the majority of your golf exercises on your feet.
- Do them in your golf posture if at all possible.
- Keep your knees flexed, just like your golf swing.
- Do as many rotational exercises as possible.
- Make sure to do the follow through side of the swing.
Golfing exercises should be done with high repetitions. It is important to also train for muscular endurance. Endurance is important on the golf course. You are asking that your body perform well for a long period of time.
To end, Make sure to stay hydrated and fed if you want to perform at peak performance, and hydrating with too many 12oz-ers won’t, no matter what your friends say, improve your game. So if you really want to hit the course this year and play the best golf ever, you need to train for your season. Who knows, maybe your foot wedge won’t be out this season at all – no guarantees, though!