This is an exciting time for golf.
Right now there is a 21 year old that is absolutely tearing up the PGA tour. Rickie Fowler has responded well to the claims of being overrated earlier this year. And Tiger is back, which is always interesting because no one knows what is going to happen with him on the course.
All of this while the tour heads back to the home of golf at St. Andrews. This week in particular is a good time to be a golf fan.
It is also exciting to be a golfer. There is more information out about training to be a better golfer than ever.
The Titleist Performance Institute is certifying hundreds of new fitness, medical, and golf professionals every month. Their website is filled with info from practice drills to exercises to improve fitness.
We are also getting better quality instruction and teams of professionals. Golfers can now get assessed, determine if they have any movement restrictions, develop a swing in spite of that, and then train off the course to improve those limitations. The future of golf training is now.
And then, we have the downside to golf fitness coming to the forefront. There are some people out there that probably would be better off with a different population of people.
Someone specializing in fat loss might not be the best person for a golfer to train with to improve their mobility.
What can happen with these trainers that are not familiar with golfers, is that they think they need to train tons of rotation because that is what the swing is. I am almost certain we could probably find a YouTube video of someone setting up a cable machine like a golf club and letting the madness ensue.
This will also drive a swing coach/golf pro crazy. You would be working with them to improve the swing and then you would be going to the gym to ruin all of the work and money spent on those sessions.
The only real way to practice swing speed is the swing a golf club, fast. You cannot replicate a golf club in a gym. Even if you could, there is not a better option for improving specific power than using the actual club. Power is strength displayed quickly. It must be done fast.
Adding a cable machine to the equation is probably going to add too much resistance to something that doesn’t look like a golf swing and can probably do more harm than good. That is why golf fitness should not really look like golf.
The closest golf training should get to golf would be through a med ball rotational throw. When we do med ball throws, they are not the same as the golf swing but they still build rotational power. That is important for golf training but it is not usually the biggest problem.
Most people will often have mobility or strength limitations that are negatively affecting the swing. If a golfer has an upper back that does not rotate well, then that golfer is going to have trouble turning into the backswing.
Limited rotation into the backswing can lead to loss of posture, reverse spine, and sway which can wreak havoc on the golf ball. This golfer would not need to swing a stick on the cable machine, they would need to improve their T spine mobility.
But maybe, it isn’t in their T spine. It could be their hips that are locked up. Someone that lacks rotational hip mobility is going to get stuck in the backswing or the downswing, depending on which hip it is.
So they should stretch it out and everything will be peachy? Stretching the hip is not going to yield very good results. Usually a lack of core stability causes the hips to become immobile. The hips are supposed to be a mobile joint and the low back/core is supposed to be stable. When we lack core stability, the hips get locked up as a result. To improve hip mobility, in this case, we have to improve core stability.
To improve hip internal rotation we want to focus on lateral core stability. This would include side planks, single arm carries, and side lying double leg raises.
To improve hip external rotation we want to focus on anterior core stability. This would include deadbugs, rollouts, bodysaws, leg lowers, and planks.
Golf fitness does not have to be mind-blowing, flashy things in the gym. The most effective programs actually look kind of boring. But they work.
If your golf fitness program looks like you are taking swings with fitness equipment then you need a new plan. Find the appropriate professional that can take you through the assessment and find out what really needs to be addressed in the program.