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Golf Fitness

Learn why and how to improve your body to maintain the rigors or not just walking 9 or 19 holes, but also how to prime your body for peak performance on the golf course.
Golf Fitness - Swing Cable

With what has been going on the past few decades with many professional golfers, there has been a big push to improve your golf game by getting ripped and gaining muscle weight. Players like Bryson DeChambeau and Rory McIlroy look like they could be hockey or football players. Being in that good of shape could certainly help your golf game and overall fitness level, but it’s not necessary.

I believe that everyone should try and get in shape so they are able to perform better overall and just be healthy in life. But if you have a 40 hour job not playing golf or have a family that you want to spend time with, you may not be able to follow certain fitness programs. Instead, I hope to give you the reasons why you should be getting Golf Fit to help your golf game and to enjoy life overall.

Why Get Golf Fit? 

Why not? Most people exercise to stay fit and healthy in life so why not do this for yourself, your family and use it to potentially become a better golfer. Now, just getting fit won’t make your handicap index magically go down lower but the potential could be there if you know how to take advantage of it. This could mean getting professional lessons from someone like me or just understanding the golf swing and how you can generate faster clubhead speed. Here are the answers to my question that could benefit you.

Create Faster Clubhead Speed

As a Teaching Professional, I can help a golfer create faster clubhead speed with setup and technique but I will only be able to maximize that speed to the person’s physique and strength. With your body being in a shape that can move more freely, you are able to take advantage of these body’s movements. You can coil and rotate better to create wider angles and can use that extra time to create faster clubhead speed.

You may not know it but when you produce movements in your swing, you can create more body speed and rotation using the core of your body. You may not feel like the speed is there since you’re using the body and not so much your hands, but that is why we have flex in our shafts. The shaft flex is to respond to your body’s rotation which should create better timing and the proper sequencing thus reaching maximum club head speed at impact. That is why you can see smaller golfers hit it as far as someone twice their size. 

Create More Power

Power should be generated from the bigger parts of your body. If you can generate a lot of clubhead speed with the proper sequencing and timing, you can generate more distance on the ball by creating more power. If someone bigger than me has a similar clubhead speed at contact, they should be able to hit the ball further than me. However, if I was to strengthen certain areas of my body to help create more power, I would be able to hit it just as far as someone who has a bigger frame than me.

That’s why you see many professional golfers strengthen their lower body more than ever. The golf swing has evolved into the lower body using the ground to create power. I always tell my students that the upper body can create speed and the lower body can create power so don’t be afraid to get in shape from top to bottom!

Maximize Your Movements

This is something that you can have without looking like you have it. Flexibility and mobility is what can help you create a swing that can look smooth but powerful. Flexibility is more about your muscles and tendons being able move and stretch properly at the maximum. The more you train them to move in certain ways, the more you will be able repeat those movements with ease.

Most players stretch when they arrive at the golf course but you should do it daily and start a routine that will make you feel like a kid again. Most players just stretch out the shoulders and upper body but don’t forget to do your stretches that will help your joints in your hips and spine. These joints are just as important in creating proper movements during your swing.

Prevent Injuries

The most common golf injuries are the lower back, the shoulders and golfer’s elbow/tendonitis. Back injuries are more common however because it usually takes the most stress on a golf swing and if you play often, your back can only handle so much.  

I think many golfers think that old age is usually the reasoning of back problems. My honest advice is to find exercises to help your back become stronger, more flexible and with better mobility. However, I also suggest to take notice at your golf swing and see if a change on how you swing can alleviate pressure on your back. I’ve helped many students feel less pressure right away while improving the swing. 

Another way is to find a better way of sleeping to prevent back issues. A mattress can sag over time and can definitely affect your back over time so if you feel your back sore when you wake up, it’s time to look into a new mattress. I sleep with a small pillow in between my legs to prevent my lower back from being sore in the morning. Last thing I want is to protect my back during a round of golf. It will definitely hinder your swing and possibly cause more pain.

Preventing tendonitis is something golfers don’t prevent unless it has already happened. This injury takes weeks to months to heal because it’s so sensitive and can take a lot of pressure every time you swing. I would take note on how tight you hold the golf club during setup and throughout the swing. This can take a toll on your wrist and elbow tendons. Exercises with light weights as in wrist curls can help strengthen these areas.

Prevent Fatigue on the Course

Fatigue can happen even when you are in the best shape but repetition and ways to challenge your cardio routine can keep you energized even throughout the day. I always tell a student that walking 18 holes is the best workout you can do without knowing that you did one. If you are an avid golfer and walk all the time, you are bettering your routine every single round.

Everytime I walk my first 18 holes of the season, I expect to be worn out at the end until I start walking more often. Any cardio exercises that get your heart rate up will absolutely help. These days many people are monitoring their exercises with better technology so always challenge yourself. 

Other ways to prevent fatigue is to make sure you stay hydrated and keep yourself nourished.  I always plan ahead and make sure I have some kind of food mostly if I am on the course during lunch time. I always keep granola/energy bars in my bag and replenish them when I get home. I hardly ever eat a normal lunch when I play as it can bog you down and can affect my play. 

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V Tongwarin

V Tongwarin

Visanu Tongwarin or “Coach V” is a Class A PGA Teaching Professional at Legacy Ridge Golf Course and Walnut Creek Golf Preserve in Westminster, Colorado. V's brings his passion for teaching the game of golf to all levels of golfers from running children clinics to training state champions and seasoned professionals.