Golf is a unique sport. While every golfer out there would love to get more distance off the tee, the precision, flexibility, and rhythm that is required often makes it hard to gain strength while maintaining these traits.
Being an avid golfer myself, I have long been on the quest to find the RIGHT way to strength train while avoiding any negative impacts from my efforts.
After years of training myself and other golfers, here is what I have come up with as the 5 keys to keeping your game intact while adding the distance you need to take your game to the next level.
1) Rotate to Rip It
If you cannot rotate well, you are not going to hit the ball very far. I see way too many golfers who THINK they need more strength when really they just need to move better.
Power in the golf swing comes from the centrifical force generated by the circular path of the head of the club. If you add 10% of rotation, you add X amount of club head speed…BOOM, more distance.
2) Base of Support
Have you ever tried to get after the ball, only to find yourself off balance and your ball out of bounds?
This is because you do not have the base of support needed to generate high levels of power. The more force you generate, the stronger the foundation needs to be.
The key here is to be able to balance well on each leg individually so that you can shift your weight smoothly, without losing that base of support.
3) Use your hips!
The epidemic of sitting that has robbed so many of us of our health and posture has the added cost of eliminating our ability to use our butts!
When those muscles don’t work, not only are people more likely to suffer from back pain (the biggest reason folks don’t golf more), they also have no ability to use their hips to create force.
These people are “arm” golfers, trying to do everything with the upper body. This is never going to be as powerful as golfers who use their whole body, specifically the hips, as they swing.
For the golfer who wants to start strength training, THIS is the most important area to train.
4) Can you open a jar of Dijon with your bare hands?
If you can’t, don’t expect to get much out of your golf game. Grip strength is a huge part of hitting it far.
As your golf pro will tell you, this does not mean you USE your total strength to grip the club, but the stronger your grip, the lighter you can hold the club while still maintaining control.
5) Strength vs. size.
You CAN increase strength without getting big. You just have to know how to train. Most people try to use light weights with lots of reps because they are trying to avoid bulking, but do you know what body builders do to get huge? LOTS OF REPS!
The fact that you are using light weights just means that you are not getting stronger.
If you want to gain strength while limiting size, go heavy. Not heavier than you can control (and if you do not have good form, go back and work on that flexibility more), but heavy enough that you cannot do more than 5-10 reps.
These 5 tips are your best bet at getting the distance you need, but obviously there are more specifics than what we talked about today. And this is where a fitness coach can really help with your goals.
Please watch the video below, where I will go into each of these steps in more detail.