Due to my physique, my body style is suited more to a combination of core strength derived from rotational force and muscular strength ( A Tiger) in both my arms and legs. Compared to someone who I would class as a hitter of the ball which usually is of a stockier type build ( a Bear) and relies more on the forearm strength to hit the ball. A swinger is a taller player with long arms and therefore longer levers that creates power through his wide swing arc (A Giraffe).
Most Amateur female players I would class in the swinger category or a Giraffe, as they do not have the forearm strength to be either a hitter of the ball nor core strength. To highlight core strength, I was once doing a weight training session in the gym beside a huge guy who obviously was an up and coming body builder and received first some strange looks from him, then an enquiry as to what type of exercise was that.
The exercise I was doing was simply dumbbell bicep curls whilst kneeling on a Swiss ball. After informing him it was a dumbbell curl whilst engaging or incorporating core strength into the exercise, I received even stranger looks.
I invited him to give it a go so he could appreciate it better. Now I was using only 30 – 35lb dumbbells and he was doing the same exercise without the Swiss ball beside me using three times the weight.
When he motioned to pick up his dumbbells, I said no, just use mine. The long and the short of it, he had no core strength and couldn’t even hold his balance on the ball to push out 1 rep.
I rate balance and core strength as such a necessity to make a well balanced powerful swing, it was obviously that this guy no matter how much arm or bicep strength he possessed, he wouldn’t be able to make a well balanced powerful golf swing. I have seen this in reality whilst playing Pro-ams with strong fit looking guys that cannot transfer this power into a golf shot or long drive.
If all other athletes include conditioning training as a part of their sport, then surely golfers should too. I have not met an avid golfer who does not want to play better golf. Physical conditioning will not only improve the quality of ball striking or contact and therefore power transfer from the clubhead into the ball, but it will also improve the quality of focus and concentration over 18 holes.
I can remember when I first started playing golf, I considered myself pretty fit, coming from a background in motor cross racing, one of the most physically demanding sports around. However one thing that I lacked was the ability to maintain concentration at a high level over 18 holes.
One of the key steps for me was to change the type of training I was doing for my motor cross to golf specific training. I believe golfers should consider themselves as athletes and train using programs scientifically designed to improve synchronization and integration of the whole body, not just the parts.
The most significant step I made in improving not just my fitness, but my golf fitness was to seek the services of a professional trainer who is trained in golf biomechanics and golf specific requirements, not just any personal trainer will do.
If you would like to find out more on this topic and find an expert in this field near you, go to www.mytpi.com (Titleist Performance Institute). While you’re there, check out all the videos to see the importance and benefits of golf conditioning.
If you would like to find out more about the man who has influence my golf fitness or simply to find out how you can get a program suited to your needs, then check out (pardon the pun) the Chek institute at www.checkinstitute.com Paul is an amazing man and is responsible for helping athletes in many different fields reach the pinnacle in their field.
My one last recommendation would be to incorporate yoga in to your fitness regime there somewhere which will not only help gain better flexibility, but also aid your focus and concentration as well. Above all better golf conditioning will keep you out on the course longer and lesson the likelihood of injury.
For more information on golf fitness, go to www.learntoplaybettergolf.com
Until next time,
Enjoy your game. Cheers. Jim Kennedy