November 22, 2012

More Distance Through Fitness for the Seasoned Golfer

Can you imagine what would happen if a football player, basketball player or baseball player would skip the physical work needed to play their sport, so why wouldn’t a golfer do the same for his or her sport?


Golf requires flexibility of the body. Tight muscles restrict and slow down the motion needed to effectively swing the golf club and as we age, muscles aren’t as naturally flexible and as they were in earlier years. That means golfers must work harder just to maintain the same level of flexibility they had in their younger days.


Keeping your flexibility requires more than simply warming up with a few stretches at the first tee before a round. Golfers who want to improve their game need to take flexibility training as seriously as hitting practice balls or working on the putting green. Here are some reasons why:
Stiff muscles and tendons in the trunk and lower body inhibit proper setup and cause golfers to slouch. You can’t make a proper golf swing from a poor setup, and you can’t set yourself in the proper position at address without some degree of flexibility.



Making a proper shoulder turn is impossible if the shoulder muscles, the chest muscles, oblique’s the stomach muscles , and the upper back muscles are stiff.. The backswing is a turn of the upper body around a relatively stable lower body. Upper body flexibility and strength in the lower body will make that turn possible.


The internal and external rotation of the shoulders, triceps, wrist and elbow flexors must also be flexible in order for the arms to work properly in the swing. You may have heard the phrase “releasing the golf club”. This term refers to the point in the swing when the wrists, elbows, shoulders, and hands work together to generate the greatest amount of club head speed at the exact moment the club makes contact with the ball. In order for those body parts to work in this fashion, each muscle group in the arms and shoulders must be flexible.
The hip flexors and the glute muscles must also remain flexible if you want to swing the club efficiently. Because the lower body initiates the downswing and provides the stable base on which the entire swing is structured, having a full range of motion with these muscles is critical.
Making a good golf swing also depends on a flexible back and abdominal muscles. These opposing muscle groups are stretched to their limit in golf and players must go to great lengths to stretch these muscles properly. If you don’t, poor golf is the least of your worries.
Flexibility may be your single biggest issue or just a small portion of the weaknesses you face today. Maybe balance is an issue, yet core strength loss is a major factor. It could be just one thing or any combination of things that work together and against your game.


Before you begin your golf fitness program the best option is to obtain a golf fitness assessment. A golf fitness assessment is a series of physical screenings which will identify limitations (lack of mobility, flexibility, stability, strength).   The blueprint it provides shows your specific needs, and it sets up the game plan that, when performed on a routine basis, in a short period of time (such as 8 weeks.) large improvements can be seen in movement efficiency resulting in increased swing efficiency therefore more consistency and increased distance.


How do you get started? For the serious golfer, you may want to seek out a Certified Golf Fitness Instructor, who understands how the muscles work that have a direct affect on your golf swing.  General fitness trainers certainly have a purpose…but, you wouldn’t go to an eye doctor for heart surgery, would you?


Don’t let this winter go by without getting your body “Fit for Golf”!  I’ve seen golfers of all ages dramatically transform their game. And it didn’t’ take years to accomplish, or hitting thousands of golf balls or hours in the gym. Twenty to thirty minutes a day, two to three times per week of golf-specific training will dramatically improve your health, life, and game.  Not much of a sacrifice, is it? Start today!


Golf Fitness Instructor Chris Ownbey is certified by the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI), and is the Director of Golf Fitness for Golden Bear Golf Center at the Highlands in Carrollton, TX.  He is author and producer of the DVD “Ultimate Golf fitness over 50”.  He will help you develop the flexibility, balance, strength, and power you need to improve your golf swing.  For questions, call 214-457-9684

visit on the Web for your FREE Pre-Round Stretching Routine.

Not in the DFW area visit for his online program.



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