Golf Fitness

“Pete,
Recently I attended a breakfast with Clemson golf coach Larry Penley. Someone at our table asked Larry about fitness and golf. He said his team gets a visit each fall from Randy Meyer from sea island and he puts his team through a fitness evaluation. He said that Meyer can tell from this evaluation, who the longest/shortest hitter is, who hits a cut/draw and where each player’s bad shots go. All this, without watching them hit a ball or swing a club. Could you talk about golf fitness and the exercises that are beneficial to improving? I know the one leg drill is a strength builder.
  -Rob Daniel

Rob,
I can back up Larry’s statement about Randy.  While J was on tour, we were heavily involved in golf fitness, and had one of the best fitness/health experts in the area.  He too could tell a lot about my students game just from evaluations!  Fascinating stuff. 

Golf specific fitness has come a long way in the last 20 years.  I am by no means an expert, but know a couple guys who are….   I’m not comfortable at this point talking too much about golf and fitness, but will make just a couple of comments that I do believe are important.

1.  GRAVITY GOLF DRILLS are the most sport specific exercises you can do.  One arm drills, one leg drills, and motion drills not only strengthen, they help stabilize the body (improve equilibrium/balance). 

2.  Working on a FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCE FINISH while you train and play can also be considered a ‘sport specific’ exercise that is critical to performance. 

3.  Significant repetition of the GRAVITY DRILLS into a FULLY ROTATED RELAXED BALANCED FINISH is one of the best ways to improve the body’s ability to perform the swing, building sport specific strength and flexibility.

*Personally, I believe that the above 3 suggestions are most beneficial.  To play better golf, nothing can beat quality training that includes actually swinging the club! Since these drills build strength and sport specific flexibility and balance at the same time….they top my list!

4.  WORK OUTS- Building stability and core strength I would say is the key for golf workouts.  Exercises that focus on building strength in the big muscles and on improving stability (balance) on your forward pivotal axis.  Workouts should include rotational motions that target the core.  The use of medicine balls and therabands are great for this. 

5.  STRETCHING- Yoga rocks, especially for athletes.  Next best thing is consistent stretching.  Seeing a specialist can help target specific areas that might be keeping you from making a better golf swing!

****If working out is something you do, or are planning to do, I highly, highly, highly recommend finding a trainer or physical therapist that knows golf specific training!!!!  You may have to drive a few hours, but I promise it is worth it!!! 

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