A few decades ago, this headline may have brought on some laughter.
I mean, have you ever been in a golf locker room? It's not exactly 24-Hour Fitness in there. But the times have changed and a new generation of golfers has elevated
the level of competition. If you want to play to the best of your abilities, you
need to be in shape!
Have you ever made a great shot on the 18th hole and joked with your playing partners, “That is what keeps you coming back!” What if you were loose and prepared at the beginning of the round rather than the end? What if you were Golf Fit?
Golf muscles build from core strength; so to execute a consistent swing you should focus on core exercises and flexibility. Medicine ball and yoga fitness programs that develop strength, flexibility and balance are excellent for golf.
What can you do at home? Combine stretching with light weights and consult a fitness expert. At the very least, stretch your muscles a few times each week while you watch TV. Other activities during the off-season work other muscles, allowing your golf muscles to re-build, making them stronger and more flexible. This will result in a more consistent golf swing and better results.
Jack Nicklaus played tennis during the off-season because he loved the game; at the same time, it worked other muscles, taking the focus off his golf muscles. For today’s kids, play as many different sports as you can. As for grown-up kids, incorporate a variety of activities so you work different parts of the body and different muscles.
How does this all breakdown into your golf swing, technically speaking? Well, poor
flexibility and poor muscle strength create poor posture, one of golf’s
fundamentals (posture, grip and stance). Lack of flexibility impacts your joint
mobility, stiffening your swing and ultimately leading to injury.
Fitness training will support the correct golf mechanics, allowing you to execute the swing consistently. Combine fitness with practice and instruction, always stretch before you play, and you are on your way to being Golf Fit!
Jason Tomaras, PGA
Instructor at Mid Iron Golf Club in Lemont.