I usually play golf with my business partner. I am currently playing at a 7.8 and he is probably about a stroke better than that as I type this. We both know our way around a course.
This year I have made good improvements to get the handicap lower. I also have played in a couple more competitions this year.
I have known that fitness for golf is essential since I got back into the game. Back when I played in high school I did not really train. It actually wasn’t until 3 years after graduation that I did any kind of real strength training. It took 2 more years before I picked the clubs back up.
Having an understanding on fitness and golf made the coaching that I got this winter very beneficial. Without any movement restrictions and possessing the strength I had meant that we did not have to work around anything.
In the time I have decided to commit to improving my game I have seen some trends. Some of the things that I have noticed about fitness and golf are as follows.
- Distance Matters
You do not need to hit the ball 300 yds to be good at golf.
It would make the game a hell of a lot easier though. You cannot discount how much better it would be to hit 8 iron into greens than it is to hit a hybrid.
When I did get back on the course after my hiatus I was hitting the ball way further, about 25-50 yds. Now, I get to use this distance as an advantage. I was playing recently and I was hitting a wedge into a green at the same spot that someone was hitting their hybrid.
Trust me, I can still screw up a golf hole inside of 100 yds. I can actually do it really well. I also know that I have a better chance of hitting the green with a wedge than a longer iron.
The easiest way to get more distance is to improve your strength. Swing changes are more complicated than lifting weights. You should still see a golf pro if you want to get good but in the meantime hit the gym.
- The Course Hurts More than the Weight Room
Fitness doesn’t injure as many people as everyone wants to think. It’s actually one of the safer activities you can perform.
Strength training can bring out things that bother us in everyday life.
Golfers get injured with overuse. If your fitness programs are properly designed, then it should actually help decrease the effect of overuse in your game. A bad program can turn this overuse into an injury in some cases. Others don’t even need the training.
If your resistance training involves a ton of rotation or other similar movements then the risk for overuse can go up. We need to bring up weak points and not just reinforce dominant ones. By using a balanced plan we can reduce the likelihood of an overuse injury while increasing performance.
- Strength Wins Every Time
We need a balance of strength and mobility work. In between that we have a lot of potential things to train in the gym.
Sometimes we forget about strength.
Bad move because it is the most important. Too often someone will get caught up in muscle activation, rolling, and mobility work but they didn’t do anything for strength. All of those things allow us to get ready to train but strength is the reinforcement.
I have seen some training videos where someone talks about band activation for the glutes. These exercises are fine. There is nothing wrong with them. But activation exercises really only get the glutes activated. Activated for what?
Consider activation exercises part of a warm up. After we are warmed up we need to reinforce it. Strength training is how we do that. The goal should be use resistance training to overload the muscles.
Without strength, we have no control. With no control, there is no power.
A golfer without strength is like one of those inflatable tube men trying to swing the club. They are all over the place. A little bit more stability can help make a better swing.