From an outsider’s perspective, it may seem that golf is “easier” than other activities such as football, baseball, or tennis. There is undoubtedly less physical contact between players in a game of golf. Unless something goes horribly wrong, there are no sustained concussions, broken bones, or other impact-related injuries. However, it is naive to believe physical fitness does not play a role in a golfer’s success on the course. One characteristic that differentiates successful golfers from the rest is their focus on physical strength, flexibility, and overall health. Understanding the basics of physical fitness for golfers can help you improve your game and reach your goals.
Essential Components of Physical Fitness for Golfers
Did you know there are over 600 muscles in the human body? Skeletal, smooth, and cardiac muscles keep your body moving and functioning well. They work in conjunction with your brain and nerves in the neuromuscular system. The main muscle groups used in the golf swing include the pectoralis major (chest), latissimus dorsi (back), core, forearm, and gluteus maximus (butt). Flexibility, strength, cardio, and diet are key areas for improving muscular wellness.
Gaining and maintaining flexibility is foundational to building a strong, muscular system. Flexibility provides muscles and joints with a greater range of motion. More flexibility means the body can twist and turn with greater ease. However, flexibility plays another vital role for muscles–it helps keep them from injury from strains and tears. Simply put, a flexible muscle is more pliable, so it can be stretched and pulled more often before breaking down. Flexibility training will help correct muscle imbalances, reduce joint stress, increase your range of motion, and help your muscles relax more fully.
Strength training is important for improving physical performance. Strength training increases muscle size, giving it more strength and endurance. Strong muscles will move more easily and quickly. For example, stronger core muscles allow you to turn your hips faster during your swing, resulting in longer drive shots. If you’re looking for a way to get more power behind your drives, strength training is a good way to achieve it.
Strengthening your core muscles has even more benefits. Strong core muscles help keep your body balanced. Core strength will also make it easier to maintain good posture with heightened muscular control. These elements are key for generating more speed without exerting more force.
Your heart and all of the connected components of the cardiovascular system deliver oxygen to keep all your muscles and organs functioning properly. Building cardiovascular endurance means your heart can pump blood more efficiently by being stronger rather than having to work faster or harder. A golfer will walk about 5 miles during a single round of 18-holes on the course, so a healthy cardiovascular system is needed to prevent becoming tired or sore.
All your bodily systems require proper nourishment to be able to function well. Golfers need to consume a well-balanced diet and avoid overly sugary, salty, or fatty foods. It’s also important to keep hydrated with plenty of water. Sodas, coffee, and alcoholic beverages can all lead to dehydration and should be consumed in moderation.
For more golf driving tips, contact our Eagle Point Golf Club Academy.=
We encourage our members and guests at the Eagle Point Golf Club to take advantage of personalized tune-up sessions. These mini-lessons are designed to help golfers warm up and fine-tune a handful of skills before hitting the greens. During a session, we’ll start by introducing you to some easy warm-up exercises designed to achieve balance and alignment on the course.
Next, one of our professional trainers will observe your swing in a few different scenarios. We’ll pinpoint specific issues getting in the way of your game, such as aligning the perfect swing on the chipping green. Next, we’ll introduce a few simple exercises for you to practice to perfect your short game. By targeting just a couple of critical items, you’ll be headed to your game in no time with a manageable number of techniques to put into practice.
If you’re ready to take your game to the next level, call the Eagle Point Golf Club at 541-826-8225 to inquire about golf lessons. We’re excited to see your game improve!