Let’s be honest…. You’re not going to play in the PGA anytime soon! And that’s OK. When you undertake a golf fitness training program it’s about helping YOU Play Golf Better__the only competition you have is YOU! Playing Golf Better starts by improving how your body moves in relation to what is desired of a mechanically correct golf swing.
“Until you can get into a position until you can move joints (hips and shoulders) the way they need to be moved, it will be difficult if not impossible to enhance your power. If we look the most people that struggle with GOLF, it is because they lack mobility”_ Michael Boyle
Remember, if you lack mobility in your hips and thoracic spine it will be impossible to hit the ball using the correct Kinematic Sequence.
The ability to transfer energy from the ground up into the ball.
Once you’ve established sufficient movement patterns – strength matters! Until then, it will simply serve to accelerate the rate at which you wear out your body’s joints. If all you needed to hit the ball farther was more strength then the guy below would be the long-drive champion.
Remember: “Muscles are morons, it’s movement that matters!”
Justin James is Long Drive Champion because he possesses strength and speed and strength x speed = POWER.
And you cannot have speed without flexibility and mobility. Watch his swing. Check out how flexible he is!
“Golf fitness isn’t beach fitness….it’s not about looking good. Ultimately it’s about becoming better on the golf course. Getting in ‘golf shape’ requires a program with a distinct definition of success. Measure movement quality, not your waistline.”_ Jason Glass, TPI Instructor, and Advisor
Now that you can move well we want to establish functional strength. The strength that can be applied to life and sport. Those of us taught by the Titleist Performance Institute measure functional strength using the following:
Overview Of Strength Testing
At TPI we have 3 strength tests that help us determine if you’re strong enough to play golf at the highest levels.
- Lower Body (Split Squat)
All those 3 components will make up the strength tests and will determine if that player has adequate strength, for their body size, to hit the golf ball far and match the tour players around the world.
1) PUSH Strength: Single Arm Press
Looking for adequate strength for the push pattern. The weight is determined by using 25% of the athlete’s body weight. e.g. 180 lb. man – uses 45lbs. NOTE: This test is done using a bi-lateral cable stack machine in a bi-lateral stance.
2) PULL Strength: Single Arm Pull
Looking for adequate strength for the pull pattern. The weight is determined by using 30% of the athlete’s body weight. e.g. 180 lb. man – uses 54lbs.
3. LOWER BODY Strength: Split Squat (Lower body strength in the vertical plane)
The purpose of the split squat test is to determine how much GOLF STRENGTH you have in this motion. The weight is determined by using 150% of the athlete’s body weight. e.g. 180 lb. man – uses 90 lbs in addition to his own body weight, or 45lb dumbbell in each hand.
“We know that one of the main sources of power in the golf swing is vertical thrust. Power = strength x speed. If we are deficient in the strength component of the power source we will be deficient in lower body power in the golf swing. This is a bi-lateral test that will tell us if we have a deficiency from Left to Right sides or asymmetry.”__Lance Gill, Lance Gill Performance Systems