What is Golf specific training?
Updated: May 15, 2020
When you talk to a golfer these days, you will hear them talking all about their swing mechanics, their mental approach, grip, equipment, the ball they use and so on. Very rarely do you hear an amateur golfer talk about the work they’re doing in the gym or at home on their physical strength, fitness, agility and mobility. Golf is the same as any other high performance sport. It requires all of these physical attributes to optimise performance. If you want to perform at your peak then you must train and prepare the body to do so. You simply can’t expect to play your best golf if you have physical limitations holding you back. Understanding your own physical limitations and working towards improving them will ultimately result in a player having far more chance of reaching their full potential. Sure, having good swing mechanics is extremely important so I would always recommend that a player sees a good swing coach, however if you’re unable to move into the correct positions, maintain posture during the swing due to weaknesses or lacking mobility and agility or have the ability to generate power through the ground, then no amount of swing coaching will help you truly achieve your best and lower your handicap. In my opinion fitness and swing mechanics should have equal importance and attention when looking to improve your game.
Golf specific fitness has become the norm Within the modern professional game. You will struggle to find a player that doesn’t have a fitness trainer as part of their team. This for me began with the appearance of Tiger Woods back in 1996. He was really the first player to put a big emphasis on strength training for golf, doing exercises with weights which resulted in long debates amongst fellow pros and commentators wether it was the right approach. His career exploded winning what seemed like every week, more and more professionals started to realise the true benefits of being stronger, fitter and more agile had to their game that they started following suit and hitting the gym to try and get the most out of their games.
So how do you identify your own specific physical limitations and start working towards improving them?
A specialised TPI screening process must be carried out first to identify potential limitations. From there, a bespoke training program would be structured in order to work towards improving any weak areas.
I usually discover that a common problem with many people who come to see me is a weak posterior chain due to their sedentary lifestyle and spending so much time sitting down day to day. Being weak through the posterior chain, namely the scapula, spinal erectors, glutes and hamstrings will cause huge problems within a persons golf game. This would cause poor set up, loss of posture during the swing, rotation issues and lack of power. This is just an example of one common fault I see that once addressed and improved has a dramatic effect on a players game.
In summary, it has been proven that increased levels of fitness are beneficial to a players game, so I would highly recommend working with a qualified TPI instructor as they are specifically trained to identify individuals needs and will insure they’re working towards achieving the golfers goals and improving their game.
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