Can Fitness Improve Your Golf Game

The words golf and fitness are commonly used together when describing the games of many players around the world today. Take a look back some ten to fifteen years ago however and you would be looked at like you just said the word bomb on an airplane. Fitness in GOLF?!? C’mon you’ve got to be kidding me. Well if you’ve watched any top players in that last decade or so it’s immediately clear that fitness is in fact a big part of the game, so this article probably isn’t anything ground breaking in that respect. But what about you, Mr. Sunday afternoon couch potato play once or twice a week guy? Should you really incorporate some kind of fitness regimen into your daily routine to lower your handicap?

The game of golf has evolved in amazing strides since the days of ‘Fat Jack’ and the boys, who were often seen sporting keg sized beer bellies and smoking cigarettes. Sure technology has really increased the average driving distances of today’s top players, but one look down the driving range at a PGA event today you’d almost think it was the local pro football team in some kind of corporate outing or something. Both Tiger Woods and Camilo Villegas have very well documented fitness routines that help them keep their bodies in absolute tip top shape, but who of us has that kind of time and/or will power?! We’re not trying to earn our living at the game so there’s little to no reason to break our backs for 4 hours a day in a gym, right?

Quitting our jobs and start living at 24 hour fitness is not going to happen- we’ll concede that much. I’m pretty sure each person reading this has made several attempts at a new swing change, a couple sets of irons, probably a half dozen drivers or so, and likely even a lesson or three. But after all this things only get so great, and eventually we’re after that next fix that’s going to get us down to that scratch handicap once and for all. Maybe, just maybe we’ve polished the swing up as much as we can, and what we’re missing now is just a little bit more energy or muscle to help us hit the ball longer and more accurate. I’m certainly no fitness guru, but a few years ago I did go on a quest to become as fit as I possibly could. I am sure that it is no coincidence that the summer that I was running, lifting weights, and exercising religiously happens to be the same summer that I lowered my handicap to an all time low.

Golf specific benefits to fitness are way more than just strength to hammer drives further, too. Stamina is something that ends up being a byproduct of an increase in activity, think of how many times down the stretch of a round that you maybe start feeling a little bit tired; do that often and you’re likely shelling out the cash to your buddies at the end of the round. Strength is another benefit of course, not only to hit your drives further, but also to swing more effortlessly and in control to get your ball where you need it to go. Next time you’re watching golf on TV pay attention to how smooth they swing, even on 240 yard 3 irons. That is as much to do with strength as anything else. Perhaps the most sought after benefit to a fitness regimen of any kind is increased flexibility. I would just about guarantee you that even without lifting a single weight, if you increase your flexibility, you’ll improve your golf game without doing a thing different than you are today.

We’ve all got other commitments that keep us from spending our days with fitness instructors, swing coaches, and a short game guru. But a little fitness is something that I can point you to that will almost surely help your golf game. Fifteen years ago we didn’t have nearly the resources that are available to us today, my advice to you is to utilize those resources to find a fitness routine that fits your lifestyle and give it a shot. You likely wouldn’t think twice about trying a swing tip that the guy working at the gas station gives you, so why not try this? You never know, your golf game might not be the only thing you improve in the process!

Here’s to keeping it in the short grass

Jason K

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Jason Kunze
Jason is a busy husband and father of 2 daughters who are both just starting to take up the game that he has loved for years. Golf is his passion, when Jason is not playing golf and testing equipment he's hanging out with all his friends on the THP forum discussing every aspect of this great game.
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