Random training thoughts on strength and conditioning for golf

Pro Golfer Jordan Mumford front squats using velocity measuring tool

Slight topic change for this Random Training Thoughts heres #1,#2,#3,#4, #5

Since last year I’ve been working with a number of amateur and pro golfers. Since I started this process, I dove my head in numerous golf studies and took a look around to see what other golf specific strength and conditioning practices were common place and what could be improved. With that in mind it is written for golfers.

#1 Rory McIlroy is a poster boy of what good golf S&C should look like. But just reading the comments section under the video below made me very sad inside. He’s derided for being young, already no1, not being golf specific.

#2 This leads me to my next point. You need to get stronger! Strength is the basis for preliminary athletic improvement for all sports, even Golf. Strength is your raw material.

#3 Golf S&C predominated by rotation training, if someone spends thousands and thousands of reps rotating through one movement is the best thing doing more rotation? Golf conceptually is like T&F throwing events, baseball and martial arts. However the purpose of S&C is general strength applications before specific ones, being stronger will allow for even greater rate of force development later on. Learning to squat will probably do you more good than more cable chops. This the same mistake MMA fighters make, trying to emulate on field movements in the gym never ends well. It’s all one leg balance, pelvic tilt and rotating cable exercises so many rotating cable exercises…

#4 When researching I came across TPI, golf fitness and functional workouts, meaningless abstraction at its best. Go back to point #2 once you are strong then you can employ specific and advanced training methods to improve performance.

#5 Thinking the point of strength training is to hit the ball further. Being stronger allows you to decelerate and accelerate effectively, this equals efficiency meaning more effortless golf.

Golf S&C from what I have seen and read is Physio led and Not strength coach led, this often leads to a culture of risk aversion.

Speaking Broadly Strength Coaches priorities in order are:

· Improved ability to reduce and produce force that improves play

· Increased ability to express explosive power

· Increased joint stability

· Significant contribution to Injury prevention and rehabilitation

Physio priorities are:

· Injury prevention and rehabilitation

· Increased joint stability

· Improved ability to reduce and produce force in a manner that allows play

#7 Use 1-3 reps and probably no more than 5 with varying loads depending on whether maximum velocity, power or strength is what your are looking to achieve. Why? The golf swing is a very short duration, high power, explosive activity. Save 8+ for structural hypertrophy where it is needed.

#8 Stop using machines! Golf is dynamic and stability oriented specific preparation should encompass this.

Further reading that I found useful

Muscle Strength And Golf Performance: A Critical Review. http://www.jssm.org/vol10/n1/2/v10n1-2text.php

The Role of Biomechanics in Maximising Distance and Accuracy of Golf Shots

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1 thought on “Random training thoughts on strength and conditioning for golf”

  1. Glad to see others out there who recognize how critical strength is to these guys. We don't exactly need to build American Football-sized golfers, but a decent level of strength will carry them for a long time. TPI assessment does have some place in training for these guys though, since a good swing requires such a huge range of motion from a lot of different joints. Increasing swing-specific areas of mobility they lack certainly augments the strength & power gains they make with the traditional resistance training.

    A little while back I wrote this to highlight some of what has shown up in the golf literature, I think you might find it interesting- http://georgebeckham.com/2014/characteristics-of-high-level-golfers/

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