The Importance Of Golf Specific Fitness
Golf is ever-changing and multi-faceted, and playing golf well involves equipment technology, swing mechanics and physical fitness. Indeed, with the advent of Tiger Woods, the game demands much more of golfers physically than ever before. While there is an abundance of equipment and training aids to help improve the game, many tend to forget another important aspect of how to improve….our own body!
The body needs to be mobile and strong enough to be able to handle the pressure and stress of the golf swing. And with increased distance and having a long and healthy golfing life being common goals for most golfers, it’s important correct foundations are put in place. These are:
- Mobility & Flexibility
- Core control and stability
- Progression & Maintenance
I am Charles Davies. Since I was 10 years old my passion has been golf. Having grown up in Singapore I was able to play golf all year round. I went to University in the UK studied sports performance in relation to golf.
I played as an amateur, turned professional and competed in South East Asia and Europe for five years. Unfortunately my competitive playing career had to be cut short due to recurring back issues, and this led me to my second passion, fitness, specifically as it relates to golf. I wanted to know what was the cause of my back problems and how I could have prevented them.
I am qualified at the highest level for fitness with the Titleist Performance Institute and this has enabled me to assess golfers of all ages and develop personalised fitness programmes for them which complement the inputs they get from their regular swing coaches.
Through this year’s series of articles in Golf Asia I will pass on my own learnings, targeting to get you fitter, playing more powerfully and able to hit the golf ball longer and more consistently. My clients range from professional touring golfers, to aspiring juniors, to handicaps of all levels.
The articles will follow the approach I take a client through in order for them to achieve these objectives.
We will first look at common injuries such as wrist or lower back pain, which can often be traced back to daily habits.
- Why they occur
- How to prevent them
- How to make areas of the body stronger
Then we will move onto some of the best core stabilizing exercises which can be used for any rotational sport. Golf puts a lot of torque and strain on the body so building a strong and stable core is paramount.
- Staple core exercises
- Progressions of exercises
Further in the year I will talk about the fundamental strength exercises listed below that are needed as a golfer. Each golfer should be able to lift, push and pull a certain percentage of their own body weight. This will ensure the body is physically strong enough to be able to begin to work on speed exercises.
- Single arm press
- Single arm row
- Hip hinge
To conclude I will examine the most anticipated part of training, that is….. how to gain more club head speed.
I was once told, “to swing fast, you have to be able to swing fast” which is very true. You cannot just stand on the driving range and purely work on technique and finesse and expect to have a high club head speed when you step onto the course.
Speed needs to be trained just as strength does! So look forward to ….
- Medicine ball training
- Cable machine drills
- Simple Towel drills
Over the year, follow my series of articles and your body will be feeling stronger, fitter and more athletic to swing a golf club, and your club head speed increase will simply be a result of good training.
Personal Trainer & Certified Functional Strength & Conditioning (CFSC)