Does Strength Cause Golfers to Get Hurt?

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I am confused after this weekend.

Brooks Koepka just won the US Open.

He did it by hitting the ball a mile, stuffing iron shots into pins, and putting incredibly when it mattered. It is really hard to beat those attributes when they are all working together. Its very impressive when you break it down.

I found it interesting that TV coverage praised Brooks’ workouts with Dustin Johnson. Both guys are good about training and they don’t hit the ball a mile by accident.

Brooks was supposedly lifting the morning of his victory

In the same week, Paul Azinger said that pudgy Rory didn’t get injured.

So where exactly do we stand on strength?

Koepka wins and we marvel about his strength and 379 yd 3 woods. Rory misses the cut and its because hes not fat anymore.

Now, I have seen a video of Koepka doing RDL’s with 315 for 5 reps. He trains. He is strong as hell. So does Rory but only one golfer gets criticized. I know winning solves everything so there is that in play.

I think it also makes a difference that Koepka is 6′ 185 and Rors is 5’8″ and 165. Koepka would be perceived as big and strong if he never touched a weight in his life.

Once again, I do not know where we stand with strength. Its good when things are good, and bad when they aren’t.

Maybe soon enough we can just accept that its what golfers do.

Golfers have to be strong. Golfers also can play poorly some times. They are not related at the professional level. If a golfer misses the cut, they just didn’t play well. They are too good for too much strength training to hold them back.

Why do Golfers Get Hurt? 

Golfers get hurt from overuse or poor technique.

The better the golfer, the more likely it is going to move towards overuse. The golf swing is a repetitive, one sided motion. The muscles that work to swing the club get a lot of work and the others do not.

Overuse is a big cause of injury in every sport. Taking the amount of swings that professionals take, it is no surprise that is the number one cause.

Does Strength Cause Overuse? 

Strength alone does not cause overuse. Strength actually increases the amount of “use” you can handle.

Strength training improves force production and absorption. The stronger you are the more force that you can handle. Stronger golfers are less likely to suffer from overuse than weaker golfers because their bodies are better able to control force.

You can workout in a way that contributes to overuse, however. If you spend a lot of time training rotation, you can accelerate the overuse curve.

Lets say my threshold for injury is 750 swings/week. Well, if I hit 650 balls I have 100 left. If my gym routine includes another 100 rotations (which is an insane amount but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it happen) I will be due for an injury.

This is why I don’t think golfers need as much rotational training as they think. Mobility is a different story.

There are not a ton of pure strength exercises that allow for rotation. It is the power and/or flashy exercises that increase the amount of rotational reps.

When Should we Train Rotation? 

The avoid overuse the best time to try to improve rotation is when you are not playing. Strength and saggital plane power are great for in season.

If we focus our power development on forward/back and up/down we can reduce the amount of rotation while still getting benefit. Power is developed in the legs and does not need to trained in a rotational capacity to improve. Every swing you take is a rotational power movement.

Med ball drills and the like are better for the offseason. The exception would be offhand work. I am a lefty on the course. If I did some work in the gym to work rotating counterclockwise, it can undo some of the repetitive stress. Personally, I just save it for the winter.

Strength is not the enemy of the golfers. I know Rory is going to always get criticized when he isn’t playing well. Had he won last week, everyone would be killing Azinger for being an idiot. Keopka won so he gets the praise. I doubt he will get the same criticism of McIlroy because he doesn’t have the same personality and popularity.

So until he get this figured out, listen to the experts and not the people on Golf Channel.