Submitted by- Maria Carroll TPI 3,CGFI-FP3, CPT, PTA
Titleist Certified Golf Professional Instructor
Personalized Golf & Fitness
Advertisements bombard you these days for $500 drivers, $6 golf balls, and $100 hourly golf lessons. Yet the single most important piece of equipment you have as a golfer is your body. No matter the amount of money invested, when you address the ball on the first tee, your body is responsible for swinging the club, not the equipment.
And your performance suffers if the body cannot physically perform, if it is not fit. What is the Golf Fitness program?
It’s about improving your golf performance…your game. Golf requires power, strength, and finesse.
The golfing athlete develops these qualities through the careful repetition of skills and painstaking attention to detail. Golf competition and techniques have advanced so greatly that just playing the game is not enough. The explosive nature of the golf swing places intense stress on the shoulder, back, and hip joints. To prevent injury therefore, it is important to perform exercises encompassing flexibility, strength, power, balance and endurance.
This program includes these five components in addition to swing training, and will help condition the musculoskeletal system and reduce the risk of injuries associated with the golf swing. Preseason preparation is a must for any golfer who has low levels of muscular strength and flexibility; however, it is important that a player remain year-round in a golf-specific training regimen. Being fit for golf means your gaining longevity without increasing the risk of developing chronic pain.
Golfers have traditionally avoided all forms of exercise for fear these would hinder movement, speed, and shoulder turn. Research clearly shows, however, that properly executed exercises improve body composition, increase metabolism and bone density, and reduce low back and arthritic pain. It’s necessary to train for golf to maintain levels of strength, flexibility and endurance as well as to retard the effects of the aging process.
Americans as a whole are getting older and the aging process brings losses in strength, power, flexibility and endurance. These are key components for any sport, especially the game of golf. Many associate the game of golf with retirement age, but clearly PGA TOUR professionals such as Tiger Woods, David Duval, Hale Irwin and Larry Nelson prove this is simply not true.
If you’re a serious golfer, you’re an athlete.
Each muscle involved in the swing must be prepared for performance. The rotator cuff must be strong, the abdominal must be powerful, and the legs must provide a stable base. For example, if the hip muscles lack strength, the arms and back have to compensate for them, which slows club-head speed, drains power, and can potentially strain the back.
Golf Fitness will give golfers the edge to develop these attributes.
The six components that make up this program provide the golfer with the proper ammunition needed to maintain a consistent swing through 18 holes. Injuries to the low back, shoulder, elbow and hip are significantly reduced through a proper regimen of golf-specific training to prepare the player for the stress of the game.
Golfers who train regularly significantly lower their handicaps. Without a regular training program, a golfer finds his or her strength and agility, so vital to the game, gradually diminish. The result will be a shorter swing and loss of distance.
After the age of 30, a golfer is likely to experience a golf injury every 3 years, and after the age of 50 it increases to an injury almost annually. A strong, flexible body has a greater chance to put to use whatever basic knowledge and understanding the golfer brings to the golf swing; it allows a golfer to reduce scores on the course. Being fit for golf is what separates the fumbling hacker from the fluid golfer and this Golf Fitness program developed by Kelly Blackburn, Fitness Consultant to PGA TOUR professionals, helps the player achieve this goal.
PGA TOUR professionals such as Larry Nelson, Greg Norman, Hale Irwin and Fred Couples have improved their fitness or rebounded from serious injury to play some of the best golf of their careers. All have worked hard implementing various training exercises like those found in this program. As you will see, swing, flexibility, strength, power, balance and endurance training are the keys to better performance and lower scores.
Basic Training golf performance goals consist of:
Improved Flexibility – Injuries to the key muscle groups used in the golf swing are significantly lowered. Proper stretching prepares the body for the stress of the game and improves range of motion.
- Strengthen Rotator Cuff – Strengthening the shoulder girdle increases stability at the top of the back swing position.
- Strengthen Upper Legs: Strengthening the quadriceps and hamstrings provides improved balance during the swing.
- Strengthen Hips: Strengthening the hip girdle adds power and clubhead speed.
- Strengthen Lower Legs: Strengthening the calf muscle adds push-off power in the downswing.
- Strengthen Trunk: Strengthening the low back is critical to making an effective turning motion.
- Strengthen Forearms & Wrists: Strengthening the forearms and wrists add to better club control.
- Strengthen Upper Arms: Strong bicep and tricep muscles are vital for golf performance.
- Increased Endurance: Increased cardiovascular capacity enhances endurance to maintain consistency through 18 holes.