Golf Fitness- Building Durability

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This past weekend we got see Tiger return to golf.

There’s almost a zero chance I would have watched it if he wasn’t playing. Rickie Fowler’s 61 and front nine 28 just don’t really seem to matter.

The Big Cat is back and he looked good. Rusty, but good. The most impressive thing that I saw was the driver. He was striping the thing. He was also swinging about 120 mph.

Tiger is a freak athlete. Always has been and always will be. His ball speed was higher than a lot of other successful tour pros. This is coming off of his injury history, which I am sure you have heard about.

I do want to mention that he was filling out those shirts pretty well, too. I don’t think he missed arm day while on the shelf.

He is probably always going to have a higher swing speed because of how gifted he is. I do not know what his fitness looks like these days but I would assume hes not training like a SEAL anymore.

I think Notah Begay mentioned that he is working more on durability.

So how do golfers become more durable?

One method is to reduce the amount of stress on the body. The other is to improve the amount of stress the body can handle.

Swinging at 120 MPH is incredibly powerful. There is a lot of force that needs to be produced but also withstood. This force production starts in the ground.

The more force you can produce is more that you can control. Improving this control is essential withstanding stress.

Let’s take two golfers. Golfer A is 3x as strong as golfer B. They both swing over 110 MPH. Golfer B is more likely to get hurt because he cannot produce/handle as much of that demand.

Lower Body Strength

When it comes to most of the people I train, I like to separate lower body strength training into 3 categories

Knee Dominant Movements

Squatting, lunging, step ups, and all included variations are knee dominant movements. These exercises are great at knee extension. To develop power properly, we load the body by bending the knees and then finishing with them extended.

Strong quads will go far into helping produce power which means you are better at handling it.

Hip Dominant Movements

Deadlifts, RDLs, hamstring curls, and other hamstring exercises are fitting the bill here. When we swing, the hips also extend viciously. Swing speed is really developed in the hips.

Glute Dominant Movements

Most of the hip dominant exercises also train the glutes. The reason I divide the two is because the glutes need special emphasis. They play an essential role in strength and injury reduction but most people are really weak there.

We need to incorporate glute dominant movements to build durability for golf.

I like bridges, hip thrusts, bowler squats, and single leg deadlifts to target the glutes specifically.

Core Stability

The core is really important for transferring power from the lower body, into the upper body, and then to the club.

The goal is to resist movement. The core is for stability, not creating movement. Leave that to the lower body.

Train to resist movement to develop a core that will be stable to reduce injury.

Upper body strength is not to be ignored so make sure to get a lot of pulls/rows in. The other two categories are going to take precedent to train for durability.

You also must audit how much you are doing compared to how much you can handle. When the ratio is off, the results are undesirable.