Golf Fitness

As I write this post, we are entering our 4th week of COVID-19 lockdown with our NHS and key workers doing an exceptional job for the nation. For the rest of us, this may mean we have more time at home as we either cannot work or have no commuting as we work from home.

I share my opinion as a golf professional not a strength & conditioning (S&C) coach. I have been very fortunate to work with exceptional S&C coaches over the years and have learnt lots from them. I have also invested in education on human movement, giving me good foundational knowledge as well as a better ability to communicate with S&C coaches and physios.

There is a trend currently with high intensity workouts. I am a fan of anything that gets people more active but we must also be mindful of injuries. A good fitness programme will not only improve your mobility, flexibility and strength but it should also lower your chances of injury. These high intensity workouts can fatigue you greatly and usually with that fatigue comes a lack of form and therefore an increase of injury.

From personal experience, I know if I push myself with too much weight or try to move past my capabilities then I lose my form and usually feel pain for days after and beyond what you’d expect. I am also aware of key areas where I have limited movement and how to improve them without increasing the risk of injury.

With this time at home, the last thing you want to do is injure yourself so you cannot either play when your course re-opens or your game/swing is compromised. You want to be fast out the blocks.

On the lesson tee, I commonly see golfers with poor movement capabilities, usually a result of endless hours spent sitting or being inactive. Yet, it is these same golfers who wish to copy the swings or movement of the professionals and get frustrated when they can’t (despite endless hours spent on the range).

It is this realisation that led me into TPI many years ago (Titleist Performance Institute) as a coach, gaining excellent knowledge on physical limitations, how to assess them and how best to tailor a golf swing to suit their physical capabilities.

The tour professionals we admire work hard on their fitness and don’t let appearances fool you with some of them. You may be a golfer who struggles with a slice – have you ever considered that a lack of external rotation in your trail shoulder or the ability to disassociate your upper and lower body could be encouraging the very movement you wish to change? You will likely find success quicker if you improve your movement or tailor your swing to suit your body’s abilities.  

The golf swing is an extremely dynamic and coordinated movement. So, my message to you is if you wish to improve your fitness and help improve your golf then seek out the experts. Fitness programmes are like golf lesson plans, they are unique to you – don’t just copy generic YouTube workouts.

Please stay healthy, each week that passes we are closer to being able to play on the course again, lets make the most if it when it happens.

Mark