Fitness in golf was brought to our attention with players like Gary Player and Greg Norman but it was Tiger Woods who made it impossible to ignore. Fitness and golf now go hand in hand with the majority of professionals having physiotherapists and fitness coaches travelling with them on tour. It is through several aspects of fitness that players are able to swing faster and more efficiently, finish rounds with just as much energy as they started and play several tournament weeks in a row before needing a break.
The areas that golfers need to be aware of to develop their overall fitness include:
- Body awareness
For touring professionals or aspiring professional athletes they will need to be proficient in all of the above areas in order to keep up with the demands of their tournament schedules and significantly reduce the risk of injury. For everyone else, improvements can be made through one or a combination of these areas.
Before any golfer can begin working on balance, stability or mobility, they must first understand good posture. Getting into a good postural position both in exercises and in the golf set up will help you perform movements more effectively.
Why is it important?
Posture sets the tone of your golf swing and when in a good set up position the appropriate muscles are switched on and your hips and upper spine have a better chance of rotating correctly. Getting the shoulders, hips and the forward bend of your posture into a good position during the set up process may increase the likelihood of making a better swing with less compensations. It will also help to reduce the risk of injury caused by any unnecessary movements.
Take a look at the picture on the right:
- Here the weight is balanced on the balls of my feet
- The lower back is set into a neutral position
- The upper spine is set into a neutral position
- This is a good starting position to allow better rotation and a smoother swing.
Many amateur golfers have poor posture which can lead to manipulations of the arms and club during the golf swing. To achieve a good postural position I use the Gravity Fit T-Pro. The T-Pro is a device that allows me to feel proper upper body position while allowing me to hinge forward from the hips without losing my upper back posture.
1. With the T-Pro on, stand tall, arms outstretched and your shoulder blades touching the paddles.
2. Slowly hinge from the hips maintaining the pressure on the paddles. Keep the weight in the balls of the feet. Slowly raise yourself back up, reset and repeat.
3. Pictures display a single leg set up. Practice first with both feet in a normal stance then advance to single leg.
Without the T-Pro
- Get your driver and stand with your head, shoulders and top part of your glutes on the club.
- Bend forward keeping contact in the same areas. If any of the areas come off the club you have lost your posture.
- Stand back up and repeat.
Continue to master your posture with these simple drills. Repeat every day to build postural endurance.