Years ago golf was viewed as a game and by all measures did not require the training and fitness routines of other sports like basketball, football, hockey and soccer. The legends of the game had an affinity for the finer things in life including great food, great cigars and a host of fine spirits to celebrate each round. It wasn’t until 1957 when Gary Player joined the PGA Tour that anyone even mentioned the benefits of fitness for golf. The famous “Big Three” of golf, Jack Nicklaus at 76 years old, Arnold Palmer at 86 and Gary Player at 80 are all still active in the game but Gary Player is in tremendous shape at his original rookie year playing weight of 150 pounds and is in astounding condition for any age.
In the 90’s with Tiger Woods, we saw the emergence of the most prolific golfer in the history of golf redefine was was possible through strength and fitness. He overpowered the sport by training like an Olympic athlete with weekly sessions with fitness professionals. Tiger Woods redefined the game and sent a clear message to all who followed “Get Fit or go Home”.
Today the impact of all of this is felt at every level of the game. In one round a player can walk up to 5 miles carrying a 25 to 30lb bag and be challenged by all types elevation changes along the way. A golfer playing 2 rounds of golf weekly walking and carrying a bag will burn in excess of 4000 calories. It would take the average person 14 hours to burn the same calories walking on a treadmill. No matter what age you are or how long you have been playing the game, following a plan for fitness and flexibility will have a significant impact on your scoring and your ability to play better golf.
When to Start
Traditionally most golfers put away the clubs in late Fall in New England and do nothing to improve their golf game until early spring when they get the bug. For a host of reasons, this is far to late to begin a program to improve with fitness and game improvement. The perfect time to begin training for the season ahead is now, at the end of the present season. With so many fitness and training facilities for golf and so many new indoor simulators throughout New England offseason is now prime time for improvement. We can assess, train, improve and test the results at dozens of great indoor golf centers throughout the region and be ready for those winter golf trips with a step up on the competition. It is also the optimum time of year to upgrade your equipment, especially your driver and irons. The offseason gives you a great opportunity to acclimate to new equipment instead of try to do so in prime playing time.
Where to Start… Assessment
It’s essential that you know where your weaknesses are if you want to improve. The best players in the world are constantly being assessed, screened and evaluated to ensure they can perform at the highest level and remain at the top of their game. It’s important to them to know where they are weak so that they can correct it, so why should the recreational player be any different. Throughout New England there are great facilities that specialize is golf fitness that offer complete assessments of strength, flexibility and range of motion. The investment made in analyzing and assessing your strengths and weaknesses will provide you with the exact information needed to accurately create an individual plan tailored to your specific needs.
The first and most important step with any journey in life is a map, assessment is the first step in getting “Golf Fit”.
Choosing The Right Training Facility
Many facilities who do fitness assessments for golfers offer training facilities as well and will monitor your progress on a weekly basis. Proximity is the key here, if you are close and can get there quickly that will work but remember the discipline to maintain a strong workout routine can quickly weaken. If you are not able to get to your training facility in a relatively short amount of time you are setting yourself up for failure before you begin. There are gyms and fitness centers everywhere, just make sure they have the programs you need and they have qualified instructors to measure your progress. Do not be afraid to ask questions and inform the staff at any facility of your assessment and plan and ask for support.
Measuring Results Indoors
Here in New England we are faced with weather in late Fall and Winter that can make it difficult to measure our progress and maintain our golf swing. Just 8 years ago there were only a few locations in New England where golfers could play select golf courses indoors during the winter months. Today in almost every state in New England there are dozens of indoor golf facilities at public golf clubs, private golf clubs and as stand alone businesses and entertainment centers. The new fad is even finding it’s way in Health clubs and fitness centers. Today’s golf simulators are as close as you are going to get to realistic virtual golf with a choice of courses from across the globe. Most systems also provide statistical analysis of swing speed, ball flight, shot metrics and true distance with every club. They provide great feedback for your off season training program. Below is a list of some great training and fitness assessment facilities throughout the region, click on the names to visit their websites.
Warren, Johnston, Cranston, RI
Rockland, MA 02370
Lake of Isles – North Stonington, CT
Swansea, Seekonk, Dartmouth , MA
East Sandwich, MA
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