Now that the dark nights are upon us and the weather has most definitely turned, many of us will find it difficult to get out and play as much golf as we do in the summer. Which makes it the IDEAL time to prepare for the next golf season.
If you, like many golfers are keen to reduce your handicap, shoot lower scores and improve your game year upon year then this is the time to make a big difference and spend time working on your game.
Dark, cold winters are a great time to spend improving what I would say is your ‘most valuable piece of equipment’ your body!
Your body ………….. holds the golf club Your body ………….. swings the golf club Your body ………….. controls the golf club
Without your body, there is no golf swing – so why don’t we look to get the body working as well as it can do so that we can move that club however and wherever we want (within reason :-))! **
** I can’t promise that I can turn you into Cameron Champ!
There are many different physical qualities that you can look to improve and develop, the first would always be movement.
Improving how your body moves can provide a whole list of benefits to your golf game:
1) Ability to use your body better in the golf swing – I would say a high % of amateur golfers tend to use their arms more than their hips to hit the ball.
2) Moving better can help prevent/reduce those little niggles or even injuries that you pick up - think lower back and shoulders.
3) Better sequencing and timing – this will allow you to be more consistent in your ball striking and also add distance to your shots.
4) If you move your body better and increase your body awareness, this will allow more control of the body and therefore more control of the clubface.
Not to mention the endless benefits to your overall health and body that come from better movement!
The next step for me would be developing strength, speed and power. All valuable physical attributes that are heavily linked to each other and can drive performance on the golf course.
Getting stronger also comes with a big list of benefits for your golf game and overall health:
1) The stronger you are, the more force you can produce. Golf is reliant on producing ground and rotational forces that are then applied to the club to help it move faster.
2) Strengthening the trunk muscles can provide more control of the body, helping you to maintain posture and generate more speed with your hips and shoulders.
3) Strength allows the body to be more robust, therefore less likely to break down and injure. If you are pain and injury free you can enjoy more golf, be more aggressive and play the game for longer.
4) Speed and power are heavily dependant on how strong you are. If you want to hit the ball further then you need to generate more clubhead speed. The further you hit the ball statistically the less shots per round you will shoot.
Off-season is a great time to start working on this in the gym, especially for those new to resistance training or those who have not trained in a while as:
a) Muscle soreness is inevitable initially as your body adapts to the new stimulus/load
b) You can look to avoid fatigue and soreness impacting your golf game so you can still perform well on the weekend.
For beginners new to physical training or if it’s been a long time since you picked up a dumbbell then 2 times per week is a great place to start and you will see a big impact on your body.
A gym (although it doesn’t have to be a gym – you can get a great workout at home) is a lot warmer than a cold driving range in the middle of December AND you can still make some massive progress towards improving your swing and game.