FITNESS FOR GOLF
To maximize your golf performance, the golf athlete needs to do a variety of different exercises and workouts to build and fitness.
The are seven physical performance factors that are crucial to every golf-conditioning program: posture, balance, mobility, stability (the combination of strength and balance), power, coordination, and endurance.
The ideal way to train for golf is using a Periodization process. Periodization is the process of varying a training program at regular time intervals to bring about optimal gains in physical performance. Periodization is a fancy word for seasonal training. In other words, you need to mix it up and do a variety of exercises during the year.
Your workouts should fit the season you are in. Even if you play golf all year round, you still need to vary your workouts so not to plateau. In order to build strength, you need to constantly push yourself by increasing intensity and resistance. But you also need to allow your body periods of rest to recover, so you don’t always want to be doing intense workouts.
You should split your calendar year into three phases as follows:
Off-Season – 3-4 months (example: Nov. – Feb.)
Pre-Season – 1-2 months (example: Mar. – April.)
In-Season – 5-6 months (example: May – Oct.)
Important: Even golfers who live in warm weather climates (such as Arizona or Florida) should divide their year into these three categories. Golf conditioning works best when there is a specific focus according to the time of year. Even if you can play golf year-round in your home environment, you will benefit from dividing your workouts into these types of segments.
There are several ways to divide up your year. Here is one example:
THE OFF-SEASON SEGMENT (Posture, Balance, Stability/Yoga, Pilates and Stability Ball)
Posture is actually perhaps the most crucial component of golf conditioning. It’s not the most glamorous, but it is so important that it merits constant attention. Without good posture in your everyday life and in your golf address position, you cannot hope to maximize the other physical performance factors.
Off-Season is the perfect time to get as strong as possible. Weight training and the use of a stability ball will be your main tools. Don’t be afraid to hit the weights hard and heavy – the stronger you can get, the better. This is also the best time to improve your balance, because stability is the combination of strength and balance.
THE PRE-SEASON SEGMENT (Power and Coordination/Resistance Bands and Speed Drills)
Pre-Season is optimal for development of power. Power is strength at high speed. Since you have spent the off-season getting as strong as possible, this is the perfect time for power training. And, since power is dependent upon good coordination, pre-season is also optimal for giving coordination drills a high priority in your workout.
THE IN-SEASON SEGMENT (Mobility and Endurance/ Cardiovascular Exercise and Stretching)
During your actual golf season you want to avoid any feeling of being “muscle-bound” or unduly muscularly fatigued. Working on mobility (flexibility) and endurance will keep you in fine shape and won’t interfere with your swing motion. Thus, the in-season segment is perfect for stretching and cardio.