The Off Season Golfer

Wellness // July 2023 The Off Season Golfer
Imagine if you could improve your physical fitness, while also increasing your golf smash factor and club head speed.

A stronger drive and smoother swing, with less effort.
Imagine if you could improve physical fitness, including strength, flexibility, and posture, while also increasing your golf smash factor and club head speed. In this article, you will be introduced to specific strength and conditioning to address the demands of golf and create a positive difference to your game.

How can strength and conditioning help your golf game?
Over the last 10 years, strength training has become an imperative part of the golf community, mainly for the Long Drive Game. This  trains the concept of hitting the longest, strongest shot possible, straight from tee. However, hitting your best drives require strength, power, and range of motion. We’ve broken it down for you below:

Increased Club Head Speed = faster contact.

Increased Power = less effort. 

Increased ROM = smoother swing.

Increased Fitness = quicker recovery.

By increasing these metrics, we can expect improvements in the physical components of our game. The rotational nature of golf and the single repetition output for each drive, means that the training requirements differ from your typical strength workout.

For example, each swing shifts force across the legs, pelvis, back and shoulders. A generic fitness program will help improve general fitness, however it won’t condition our body to absorb these forces. Therefore, we need to train similar movement patterns and condition the relevant muscles groups.

What are the professionals doing?
In comparison to other professional sports, competitive golf has typically lacked fitness prerequisites. The likes of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott are notable examples of committing to the weights room for improvements to their game and physiques. Through the growth of social media, professional golfers’ strength programs have become more visible. However, it is important to highlight that their programs are designed specifically for their personal fitness needs and ability.

While some professionals have rigorous training methods, your training for golf does not have to be as arduous as those at the top to get results. Alvarez et al (2012) found that following a golf specific strength program, significantly increased player’s explosive strength and driving performance within 6-12 weeks.

Swing harder or swing stronger?
It sounds the same initially, but swinging harder isn’t always going to get the ball further. The aim is to articulate strength into a more controlled, accurate shot and reduce chances of injury.

Your specific program should include explosive strength to build a resilient body that can handle the demands of golf. For a more accurate shot, your program should aim to improve balance and stability to handle that power. Improving your overall fitness will give you the endurance to enjoy the beauty of the game.

Ehlert’s (2020) review of 25 studies researching the effects of strength training for golfers’ performance, found that the average increase in club head speed, distance and ball speed was 4-6% improvement.

Driving forward.
Research has proven that strength and conditioning improves golf performance, particularly in your long drive. With typical Victorian winters in full swing, now is the time to put in the fitness work. Come springtime, you’ll reap the benefits of your offseason efforts. Afterall, who doesn't enjoy the satisfaction of walking further down the course than their opponents, after teeing off?

Here at RISE by 101 Collins, we have our ‘Golf: Increase your drive’ 8-week program designed specifically to help increase your driving game. Our industry experts will take you through a specialised program to increase your performance on the course. We’ll measure your shots off the tee with Swing Sticks and analysis technology to keep you accountable.

Take action now and get set for your best rounds of golf this Spring.

Alvarez M, Sedano S, Cuadrado G, Redondo JC. Effects of an 18-week strength training program on low-handicap golfers' performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2012 Apr;26(4):1110-21. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31822dfa7d. PMID: 21881530.

Ehlert A MS. The effects of strength and conditioning interventions on golf performance: A systematic review. J Sports Sci. 2020 Dec;38(23):2720-2731. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2020.1796470. Epub 2020 Jul 29. PMID: 32723013.

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