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Better Golf Through Fitness

by Ronald Lev, Physical Therapist

To hit a golf ball to a target takes only 2 things- enough clubhead speed, and control of that clubhead. If your new driver or set of irons haven't given you that speed and control, where do you get it? Lessons with a PGA pro is an excellent place to start, but don't stop there. Without a fit body, you cannot make a fluid, repeating swing.

There are 4 major factors related to golf fitness:

    1. Posture: The ability to assume the correct address position sets up the rest of the swing.
    2. Flexibility: A wide swing arc and full turn are essential. Adequate flexibility allows you to make a full swing without stressing your back, shoulders, etc.
    3. Strength: Gives you the control necessary to square the club at impact, the trunk stability to maintain proper spine angles and endurance to last 18 holes.
    4. Balance: Allows good weight transfer and steadiness in both backswing and follow through.

In addition, for those who truly want to excel, cardiovascular conditioning is important for overall energy and concentration through a full round.

Typically, golfers have poor abdominal, hip and upper back strength, and tight shoulders, hip rotators and low backs. If you do nothing else, work on those abdominals! An added bonus to being fit is the reduction or elimination of the aches and pains so many golfers experience during and after a round.

Though any fitness program will be beneficial, a golf specific program will give the best results. So find a knowledgeable person, read a book on golf exercise (I can recommend Complete Conditioning for Golf by Pete Draovitch and Wayne Prescott) or try it on you own, but get started.

Ronald Lev
Physical Therapist
Ron is the owner of Golfers Bodyworks, a facility dedicated to helping golfers play better and hurt less, through individually customized golf fitness and rehabilitation programs.
770-242-0052. Call with any questions or for a free consultation.

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