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Comanche Trace

How is Your Golf Fitness

Posted by admin on April 1, 2011 at 4:02 AM

It’s April, the weather is beautiful, spring is in the air, and if you’re a golfer, you’re probably well on your way to taking advantage of the beautiful Hill Country weather. A big draw for many of us is close proximity to The Club at Comanche Trace. Whether you live here now or are aspiring to move here in the near future, golf may be a key reason. As golfers, many of us have spent countless hours and dollars on our equipment, our lessons, and possibly relocation to that perfect place to focus on our favorite hobby. But how many hours and dollars have you spent on your golf fitness? And why does that matter?

You may find you’re taking lesson after lesson with minimal results, or perhaps you’re always after that perfect new club that’s going to finally change your game. But let’s face it, lessons and new equipment will continue to be ineffective if your body does not have the ability to execute the biomechanics required for a good golf swing. Without a well conditioned body, one of two things will eventually happen: 1) You will continue to strive to perfect the textbook swing that your body cannot perform, finally resulting in injury; or 2)You will compensate for your inabilities and settle for a mediocre swing and a less than satisfying game.

A proper golf swing puts a great deal of unnatural stress on a body. It is necessary to have an adequate amount of flexibility, stability, mobility, balance and strength to continually execute that swing. And what happens to us as we age? That’s right – we begin to lose ground in all those areas. We become less flexible. Our joints lose their range of motion, limiting our mobility. Without work our core muscles get weaker, resulting in less stability. Are you as balanced as you used to be? Probably not. And by your mid- 40’s, you will begin losing about 1 ½% of your muscle mass each year if you do not participate in regular strength training. All that sounds like we might as well hang up the clubs before we reach the “golden years” and find a different hobby!

Think about the lifestyle that the majority of Americans have lived in the last half century. Much of the day is spent in a “flexed position”. In other words, we’re sitting down a lot! The result of that positioning is tight chest muscles, tight hip muscles, weak glutes, and weak abdominals. For many people that has resulted in slumped shoulders and forward posture. Is it possible to make even close to a 90 degree shoulder turn with tight chest muscles and rounded shoulders? Definitely not! Will those weak glutes and tight hips allow proper lower body stability? Again, definitely not!

The biggest favor a golfer can do for their game is to embark on an effective fitness program which focuses heavily on flexibility. The muscles need to re-learn how to stretch, thus allowing for range of motion to again take place. With proper stability and core strengthening exercises included, the true golf swing will again be possible.

Does that mean the cardio workouts and strength training are not necessary? Certainly not! Cardio exercise is essential for weight control and heart health, and lightweight strength training needs to be included to prevent loss of muscle mass and strength. But as we age, focus on flexibility will enhance not only your golf game, but your everyday life activities.

This training philosophy has been adopted by the Titleist Performance Institute. They have realized that a good golf game entails more than professional golf instruction. Their Certified Golf Fitness Instructors are trained to identify and help golfers overcome any physical restrictions limiting their potential. Their physical screening techniques and exercise prescriptions can customize fitness programs specifically for their clients. Check out their website at http:// www.mytpi.com.

Do you need to travel to California to get this expertise? No! I have recently completed certifications as a Level 2 TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor and would be happy to evaluate your golf fitness level. Swing deficiencies identified by your teaching pro can be addressed and improved by the proper fitness program.

Whether golf is your passion or a relatively new hobby, your primary goal should be to do it not only well, but safely. Don’t get caught on the sidelines with preventable injuries. Safeguard yourself before those happen. Make golf, and fitness, a lifetime passion


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