Bob FormanCertified Golf Fitness Instructor
MS, Exercise Physiology
The player development wheel has added another spoke recently and this new “technology” compliments well the skills, equipment and mental aspects of the game that has been the primary focus for years.
Though Gary Player has been promoting it for some time, golf fitness is a relatively new concept to the game, and its presence and impact is becoming ever more apparent. The common misconception that lifting weights and exercising would ruin a golfer’s swing has taken a rapid about-face, as golfers today are eagerly seeking out qualified instructors to help them develop and supervise individualized exercise programs.
The reason for this new “obsession,” as Golfweek has called it, is the research that has surfaced over the past few years emphatically demonstrating the positive correlation between golf-specific exercises to improve a golfer’s muscular deficiencies and swing efficiency. This bettering of the body to better the swing will, in turn, result in better ball striking, greater distance, and improved playing performance and satisfaction.
The link between the physical and skill spokes is critical, however. Combining the two is the modern day’s ultimate golf package. Identifying muscular deficiencies can provide vital insight and often time causes to specific swing faults, lack/loss of distance, and particular aches and pains suffered by the golfer.
With this information in hand, the golf professional and golf fitness instructor team can develop a comprehensive program to improve the golfer’s inadequacies both from the physical and technical point of view. This sets the stage for a more productive timeline, progressing swing mechanics as improvements in muscular strength and flexibility dictate. This enhances positive outcomes and eliminates the frustration often experienced by golfers who are trying to improve their swing, but just physically don’t have the capacity.
Without this knowledge, compensations to the golf swing are usually the course of action, which in itself can cause both acute and chronic injury as the body is now asked to do something it is not accustomed to and/or simply cannot do.
As the relatively new golf fitness technology evolves, golf schools and academies are quickly incorporating its sound principles into their curriculums. Merging the physical along with the skill components is a winning combination that is here to stay and is changing the way golfers are playing the game.