Golf Fitness 101

With the biggest names in golf hitting the ball a mile, it’s becoming evident to more casual golfers that fitness can improve the way they play the game.

Even with all the great tech in golf equipment, having a strong, healthy body that can perform and stay on the course can improve your scores and make the game more enjoyable.

If your biggest hurdle to getting started on a golf fitness program is you’re unsure where to start, then keep reading.

4 Golf Fitness Fundamentals

A constant theme that I preach is the fundamentals. Proficiency here can make all the difference in how your body performs. Think of it like learning math. If you don’t understand the basics of addition and subtraction, you can’t multiply. Without multiplication and division, good luck with algebra… you get my point.

Fundamental 1: Mobility

Poor mobility levels don’t just affect the way you feel but can also negatively impact your golf swing. If your body can’t physically get into the positions required from a mobility perspective, compensations will occur to get the club into the necessary positions. This leads to swing faults like loss of posture, early extension, chicken winging, and the like.

Unfortunately, most people perform static stretching and foam rolling, thinking it will be enough to improve their mobility. But the research is clear; these things only create temporary changes to your flexibility (the ability to move a joint in the presence of external assistance).

The goal of mobility is to control as much movement as possible. I am more concerned with how far you can actively move a joint versus how far I could move it if I were stretching you.

Active control is the difference that will make your mobility work significantly more effective. The ability to improve the range of motion you can actively move into will allow you to swing a club effortlessly.

Fundamental 2: Strength

The amount of force that acts on your body, particularly your spine, is very high. If we think about this from an injury perspective, a stronger body will be better suited to absorb these forces, decreasing your risk of injury.

The better selling point for strength training is that force is necessary for power and speed, which is required for increased clubhead speeds. So if you’re looking to hit the ball further, getting stronger will help you hit those high, nasty, straight bombs.

Fundamental 3: Movement Quality

When talking about fitness fundamentals, we have to talk about movement quality. Performing exercise with good technique and body awareness is important for continued success. Many people struggle to understand where their body is in space and even have a hard time feeling muscles engage.

If your gluteal amnesia comes to mind, rest assured your muscles don’t simply turn off, but teaching yourself to control your body better will carry over to all endeavors outside of the gym, including golf.

Fundamental 4: Energy System Development

Energy system development often goes overlooked, especially because you don’t have to be exceptionally fit to play golf, even if walking the course. However, having a well-tuned cardiovascular system will make your life significantly easier.

Maintaining a stronger aerobic system and anaerobic system will help post-round fatigue and aid in your recovery, crucial for performance and injury reduction.

The Bigger Picture

By ruthlessly working on the above four qualities, you can create a prepared body for whatever life throws at it. They all may seem very different, but rest assured they are all interconnected. When all of them are firing cylinders, there will be a noticeable change in how you feel when swinging a club and playing some G.