Does Your Fitness Set the Ceiling for Your Golf Potential?
Golf is a recreational sport for some, just like tennis, running, triathlons, biking and swimming. Actually, for many years golf was on the same level as bass fishing and ping pong, and not considered an actual sport. Times have changed dramatically from the time I was growing up during the 60’s, and up to the present. Today golf is an Olympic Sport. Through the past decades the changes in the game demand today’s professional and amateur golfers to be held to a much higher degree of performance.
It is true that many years ago golfers did very little in the way of golf fitness training or stretching to prepare to play a round of golf. During my work travels, at a PGA Event, I interviewed a retired PGA Tour golfer who did play over 32 years ago. I asked him “What are the biggest changes between when you played then and now?” He said, “During my career the golf courses and our equipment were not as technically savvy as today. We played golf courses that seemed to be simpler in design and not as architecturally challenging as the golf courses have become today. It is amazing to see how technology has changed the game on so many levels”.
Let’s look at golf fitness. Golf fitness training is specialized and not the same as going to a gym and working out on your own randomly or with a “general” personal fitness trainer. Today you should have a golf fitness program designed for you or work with a Certified Golf Fitness Trainer to train you specifically for golf. A triathlete would not go to a tennis fitness trainer that would not make sense; each sport has specific fitness requirements. Train with a trainer who specializes in golf and then you will be able to reach higher golf performance goals in your game.
3 Common Physical Limitations due to lack of fitness and Muscle Conditioning: Test Yourself
1. Physical Limitation: Poor shoulder flexibility = Body Effect: Arms collapse & reduce width in backswing = Ball-Flight Effect: Poor swing speed & loss of distance
2. Physical Limitation: Poor abdominal strength & rotation flexibility = Body Effect: Lateral slide & inability to retain spine angle = Ball-Flight Effect: Slicing & lack of solid contact
3. Physical Limitation: Poor gluteal strength = Body Effect: Poor lower body stability = Ball-Flight Effect: Poor swing speed & loss of distance
You won’t see many professional golfers with poor fitness levels today. Many of them travel with their own personal golf trainers or work with golf fitness trainers in between tournaments.
So, its time to stop pretending that golf isn’t a physical sport. If you think that ball-control errors might be caused by a physical limitation, and your coach acknowledges that he or she is not trained to assess this, ask your coach to refer you to a trained fitness specialist to help. Everyone benefits from golf fitness training. The golfers I fitness train are ages 5 – 87 y/o and they love it! Happy New Year!
“The most rewarding things you do in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.” –Arnold Palmer
Sidney Silver is a TPI Golf Medical & Fitness expert. www.SilverSportsTherapy.com (415) 932-6775