Commit to your golf game by committing to fitness
Tiger Woods has certainly put his stamp on the game of golf, but it’s no secret his embrace of fitness and strength training changed the attitudes of players all over the world. Golfers of all ages following Tiger’s lead know that it’s cool to work out and, in turn, keep up.
The golf fitness focus has shifted from Woods to Bryson DeChambeau, whose workout regimen during the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically changed the 26-year-old’s body, adding at least 20 pounds and incredible power. During the Travelers Championship in late June, he uncorked a drive 428 yards.
While no one’s suggesting you adopt the approaches taken by Woods or DeChambeau, an effective exercise and fitness program is nonetheless essential for the amateur golfer. It will create strength, for sure, but it also will help with flexibility, mobility, and stability.
Stretching should be a big part of any workout routine. Experts agree that long and lean muscles are better than short and tight, especially in golf and particularly as you age. The benefits of stretching can range from improved performance to keeping injuries at a minimum, allowing you to play more and increase your level of enjoyment. Moreover, the healthy, fit golfer is much more apt to walk 18 holes instead of taking a cart, further increasing one’s fitness level and sense of accomplishment.
Many Tour professional rely on a personal trainer to stretch them thoroughly before and after the round to aid flexibility, keep muscles loose, and reduce a buildup of lactic acid after workouts. Amateurs should focus on the same areas the pros do: hamstrings, glutes, trunk and calf muscles, hips and quads, upper and lower back, wrist, and neck.
It’s also important to have a consistent pre-round warmup regimen. Patrick Rodgers is a young PGA Tour pro who, like Woods, played his collegiate golf at Stanford University. Now 27, Rodgers is trying to make a name for himself professionally; the advice he follows resonates for the amateur golfer.
“I try to view my body like a car engine. You need to be able to warm it up,” Rodgers says. “You just can’t go from zero to 60 out of the garage. And you need to be able to cool it down. I know that I can’t go out and swing 125 miles an hour without a warm-up. I feel a massive, massive difference if I don’t get the added mobility and range of motion that I need before I play.”
There are loads of fitness programs to choose from, with countless videos, coaching, and exercises online. Ask trainers or trained teaching professionals in your area how they deal with golf fitness.
Golf fitness is here to stay. It’s trendy to work out, sure, but even cooler to stay healthy and flexible. It will enhance your success and satisfaction with the game for years to come.
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Turning the back yard into an outdoor jungle gym. Big credit to my trainer @jeff_flagg for keeping my body strong and healthy at home and during my stretch of 10 events in a row to start the year. Missing the rush of competition and can’t wait to get back out there! #stayhome