Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen golf evolve from a “chess game” with players of all shapes and sizes competing to now a lot more lean players incorporating strength and conditioning into their routine.
One of the players who is dominating golf’s PGA Tour this year is Rory McIlroy of Scotland, a young man who, when you look at him, doesn’t appear to be the most muscular person on the tour. Yet, in one of the majors I watched him win, he was driving the golf ball with more power off the tee than virtually any other competitor. Obviously it also helped that he hit it straight too, but the distance was very impressive. In his prime, Tiger Woods was known for this incredible power off the tee as well.
You may not have the elements of your golf game put together to join the Tour just yet, but it’s still not uncommon for me to hear a golfer say, “I’d love to know what kind of exercise I can be doing to get more explosive power off the tee.”
The Secret to Improving Your Golf Game
To find this power and bring it into your game, what is the sport-specific strength and conditioning required for the skill set of playing golf?
Let’s think about the components first. When you’re going to drive the ball, what do you do? You twist your body up and then uncoil it. You’re not hitting the ball with your arms. They’re simply an extension of your core power. In reality, what you actually want are very strong legs and glutes.
In a way, this isn’t a far cry from the baseball pitchers I’ve worked with at the high school and college level. So much focus is placed on the arm but that pitcher’s biceps are really non-existent. His or her non-pitching arm is roughly twice the size of his pitching arm. And his legs? His legs are tree trunks! Which is a good thing, because he’s going to need to use those powerful legs to wind himself up and release the ball at high velocity. The same is true for golf.
If you’re after the speed and power those professional golfers utilize, the exercises you want to focus on are rotational exercises such as Woodchoppers in which you are “winding up” and going from low to high, pivoting on your foot. The areas I’m looking to address in the golfer tend to be very strong legs, functional mobility that produces torque in the body and agility for “winding” yourself up. We’re also focusing on the ankles, knees and hips so that the joints supposed to be mobile are mobile and the joints supposed to be stable are stable.
Power On and Off the Course
You work on your golf game on the course. We’ll help you strengthen your form away from it.
With Coach G’s Sports Performance strength and conditioning sessions, you can focus on sport specific mechanics, building your core and implementing exercises to improve your mobility. Through our sessions together, you’ll give your body the foundation to drive a longer ball with greater accuracy over and over again. To learn more about our 60-90 workout sessions, call 708.267.7173 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.