We have been hearing a lot now for years about fitness and golf. I’m not sure it definitely helps…but it can’t hurt.

Here 's a just released review, by Clarence Bass, of a book on how to get more fit faster. Some of you may find it interesting. Some may have some expertise and offer some comment.

Good topic Eagle: I’m not sure about cardio…in terms of it’s overall benefit to golf. Can’t hurt though having good lung capacity when walking hilly terrain…or evading attacking roosters!

I like to pay attention to core strength and rotation issues and general overall muscle tone. At the range, besides picking up and washing balls, I have the honor of loading range balls into the pro shop’s ball storage area from outside the ball building through a window. I position the full ball wagon ( 14 or so full milk crates of washed range balls ) next to the window- that has it’s lower window edge about sternum level to me.

My back faces the window as I lift the milk crates out of the ball wagon and aggressively turn with the milk crates in hand to dump the balls through the window. Of the 14 or so milk crates, I will do one clockwise turn with a loaded crate for every 2 counter clockwise turns. Don’t know how much those loaded crates weigh, but I love the lifting and turning…been loading balls about twice a day for many years.

It’s funny…now that the range is closed , I can feel my body totally shutting down for a rest after a season of fun. It feels good to take a little break and catch up on some Jerry Springer shows :laughing: RR

IMO Cardio is super important for endurance and being able to concentrate towards the end of the round in difficult conditions such as heat or wind and rain.

When I was in the gym working hard on my fitness for golf I used the balance ball in just about all my strength and conditioning. We tried to add an element of strength, balance and rotation into most of the exercises but also worked hard on swinging a golf club while trying to balance on the ball. This takes remarkable core strength to be able to do while doing the action of swinging a club.

We tried to emulate pieces of the golf swing into the exercises to ensure the muscles were firing the correct way as well… an upright pull down was done while sitting or even kneeling on the ball and pulling down a light resistance from the top of the swing to the 3rd Parallel on the correct swing plane down. So the pulley or band was attached behind me over my right shoulder. I always did it both sides to try and keep the body balanced.

I don’t know if this was the perfect training for golf but I know I have never hit the ball consistently longer than when I was working on these exercises. I attended a seminar in which a physio who specializes in golf was working primarily on the postural muscles. His reasoning was that everything we do in life is in front of us and most of the injuries sustained are back and poor posture related. So by working on the core and back muscles it would help his players achieve greater strength through maintaining their core and posture stability.

Not that I’ve ever done it but some pros swear by yoga, tai chi etc to help with balance, flexibility etc. I would have given it a go but I don’t have the legs for the pink leotards :wink:

I hope this helps a little

This is a cool topic. I think sports specific training is vital- figure out what you need and then figure out a way to train it. In golf, I think an overall level of cardio fitness is important but sort of overrated. Obviously, if you’re not used to walking or being on your feet for 4 or 5 :smiling_imp: or 6 :cry: hours, then you’re going to feel it, but most people are fit enough to play golf. You can develop that stamina by walking and not taking a cart(don’t get me started) and your golf swing will improve because your legs will get stronger. The general thought you hear is the ‘back 9 on sunday argument’, which I get, but how many of us find ourselves treading that fine line very often? Not many. And in fairness, having been in a few of those types of situations, and this may vary, but if you think you’re not getting it done because you’re not physically fit enough, then you may or may not be missing the point. Overall muscle stamina is something to look at for golf, high reps with low weights is a good general guideline I reckon. Work all the pulling muscles in different directions. Jumps and squats for leg strength and coordination. I like swimming and some water resistance exercises I’ve been figuring out, that’s kind of cool. I remember A-Rod talking about spending a winter doing a lot of distance running/jogging and when he came back for spring training he had nothing when he left the bases, so he never does that kind of training anymore(shame, really- I didn’t say that). So one size doesn’t fit all, that’s important. I’ve found a lot of great training ideas from ice hockey and I’d highly recommend looking into some of the stuff they do. They kill themselves in training, it’s phenomenal how hard the top guys push themselves in the off season- I’m not necessarily recommending that, but there’s a lot to learn from what they do. The internet is a ridiculous resource for these things, youtube has some great stuff for training ideas.

Lots of great stuff in these two. I tend to take the ideas and modify them as needed. The cable pull and pivot jump that the girl does in the first one just great imo. I like this kind of training because you’re working on strength, speed, and stamina at the same time. 15 or 20 minutes of this beats a 1 hour jog every time! Btw, RR, I’ve used that ‘crate training’ method a fair bit myself- it’s actually really good.
edit: btw, watch out for the loud music!

Fitness and the new world no.1-“modern technology division”… (wouldn’t that be cool!)… … -guru.html

Golf muscles are different. Standard weight training is over rated. Certain things are good of course, strong inner legs such as using an abductor machine, and a rotary torso machine would have benefit.

A certain amount of cardio training is good, but if you walk all your rounds, you’ll be in good enough shape to play golf. The only time I have ever felt a cardio issue is when playing a 36 hole qualifier, and I remember feeling a bit dragging the last nine, but the adrenalin of competition got me to the clubhouse.

I watched the 350 pound Chis Patton shoot 34 under par for 4 rounds in the Winnipeg Open and Guy Boros won the Order of Merit breaking all lifestyle and fitness rules that could possibly be imagined… so I would say that traditional fitness is great for your general health and feeling, but somewhat overrated for learning how to play great golf.

I say traditional, because I do view the golf swing as a very athletic move, but it can be happening underneath a lot of extra padding. The muscles used to swing a golf club properly can be well hidden to the untrained eye.

Here’s another big guy story kinda related to fitness.

Used to play occasionally with “Fred” who, beyond being a pretty good player, weighed almost 300 pounds and was not in very good shape. He insisted we walk the course when we played. I didn’t have a problem with that…but one day it was very hot and humid and Fred threw the bag over his shoulders and headed to the first tee. Me…I used a pull-cart.

Somewhere during the round I mentioned to him he should use a pull-cart…he said "what?..are you trying to kill me?

He proceeded to give me a little lesson…he said " Range, if my bag weighs 30 pounds all I am doing by carrying it equally across my shoulders and back is that I’m adding just 30 more pounds to my total weight, and I can handle that…versus you with your affinity to work harder by either pulling or pushing 30 pounds up and down terrain with that goofy pull-cart."

“Furthermore…it you go long on your approach, you have to circle around to the back of the green, while I can walk directly across the green…now shut up and play.” :laughing: RR

Good story RR. Lot’s of illusions out there. Carry bags are somehow seen as a big effort and I constantly get people offering to chuck my bag on their cart as I insist on walking. There is no easier way to play golf than a carry bag.

I’m actually glad to hear you think this way Lag; I’m very much in agreement. It seems that just because Tiger Woods has a decent set of guns, golfers–including pro golfers–now think gym work is important.

I used to be the jogger–I’d have a heart-rate monitor on and interval train with the high intensity periods at my max heart rate. I remember, I just couldn’t get my heart-rate above 187. If I pushed harder, I started seeing spots and feeling dizzy. I just couldn’t get 188. I was getting great results however, easily keeping weight under control and progressively having to make the training harder and harder.

But was it healthy? No way, that’s an illusion. That was extreme training I was doing but still, our heart has the capability to beat faster to help up survive in fight-or-flight, live or die situations. But voluntarily induce this state regularly and you’re essentially making yourself the same as someone with chronic hypertension. Non-essential functions of the body temporarily suspend like digestion and reproduction to favor the necessary requirements for immediate survival. It’s bad enough that our level of daily stress causes the same, but now we’re voluntarily adding to it with training that let’s face it, is tough, unpleasant and only enjoyable after because it’s over and the results we’re expecting from it. I can’t say I ever enjoyed the process.

I also used to hit the gym hard. If I wasn’t sore the following days, I’d obviously hadn’t pushed hard enough and was disappointed. I’d take supplements to aid in recovering and mask the pain during the workouts. I was lookin’ good.

But was it healthy? No way! It’s muscle trauma, it’s chemicals. It’s strain on all of the body’s organs, not just the muscles. It’s ego.

Now I’m a big believer in that you must treat the body with finesse and I’m glad golf is my sport because it doesn’t require strength or speed, it just requires the body not to be stressed. The yips is stress, choking is stress, mental lapses are stress. I can not blame one shot I waste out there on fitness however.

The softer practices get it right; yoga, tai-chi, qigong,… These are the people that show longevity–the true mark of health–not sportspeople. Retired sportspeople are wrecks–they get body-part reconstructions, skin-cancers and put on a ton of weight from a new, more sedentary life that can’t support the calories they got use to eating.

Somehow growing up in sports trains you that pain = gain. Even when I did yoga I’d be dripping sweat like a leaky faucet and the master would constantly remind me to take it easy and I shouldn’t be sweating profusely. I’d be refusing to tap out in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu while my neck was being cranked off its hinges and then have trouble even driving for the next two weeks.

I was married to a yoga/pilates teacher who made that her new career after realizing the damage being a professional dancer was doing to her. She couldn’t convince me about treating the body with finesse.

My brother had been stuck on a handicap of 2-3 for years. He was pretty fit and strong, trained well but never extreme, but couldn’t break through in golf because, as I believe, his body had too much physical and emotional stress from putting too much training into golf, leaving no stone unturned, but not getting the results he expected. It killed him earlier this year at 37. Official cause of death–unknown.

I’m convinced now. Low-intensity training is the go and that’s what we get from playing golf or doing ABS drills. Anything more allows you to eat poorly and apparently get away with it, but really you’re damaging yourself from poor eating, PLUS the stress from training.

I’m all for healthy living, diet, exercise and so forth. Personally I have a very strict disciplined diet, do a fair amount of lower body cardio stuff, and do my best to stay in good athletic shape, but this has very little to do with golf… just life in general and a good feeling of well being is the goal.

I just saw too much great golf being played by guys like Stadler, Ed Fiori, Chris Patton, Guy Boros etc, and I saw more great golf being played by alcoholic- chain smokers complete with hangovers and so forth. Years on tour simply crushed my personal belief system of fitness based golfing athleticism. :imp:

Just keep in reasonable shape, do your drills, and you’ll be fine.

Totally agree here with Lag watched Lumpy tee off in Chicago with cigarette in one hand coke in the other just before he announced his name? Weight training tends to go to far in golf and possibly could hurt a study was done on micro fibers from a doctor in Northern California showing some interesting results on golfers. The modules should be enough along with a litte cardio or daily walking. Its not the strongest golfer with the trophy always the one with the lowest score!

Great post, Steb… you should workout those keyboard muscles more often…

This was in the recent Golf Week


Horses for courses as far as this topic…there has been all shapes and sizes that have been successful but I am sure for longevity in the sport Player believes his fitness has helped him long term

No doubt GP will be the healthiest corpse in the morgue! Some of his dietary advice is nonsense. It is often observed by those that know the man that if he exercised as much as he claim he would have time for little else. He should have eaten more carrots before the '74 Open if you ask me! :smiling_imp: My dear old grandmother lived to the ripe old age of 99 eating the most vile foods (she was wee lass from Sterling, so use your imagination.) Her energy and quality of life was amazing until her 96th year. She become more melancholy as she began to survive increasing numbers of people she loved :frowning: As for fitness an excellent book is Fix Your body, Fix Your Swing by Joey Diovisalvi (trained VJ among others.) In fact there is frequent mention of post-impact reps! :open_mouth: As for Chris Patton, I do not think his morbid obesity helped him. I have NEVER met or played with a good player that did not have exceptional coordination and the requisite athleticism for golf. I bet Lumpy is a pretty athletic guy under the marshmallow. I mentioned John Bland in another post. He drank like a fish and smoked like a two stroke engine, but could walk the hind legs off a donkey! During his playing days he was a remarkable athlete in the fact that despite the health habits of a vagrant teens could not keep up with getting winded (I know :blush:) If you have it (what is needed) then you do not need to find it in a gym) If you do not have it then there is a certain amount you can do through effort to bridge the gap example if you lack strength and flexibility to protract and retract the shoulders (major and minor rhomboids) then your posture will be off regardless of how good you are at contriving the right “look” at address.

I agree as well. My great grandmother was over 100, many relatives in the late 80’s and 90’s. Grandmother is still alive at 94! Russian and Hungarian. They ate everything growing up and still do. Good genes help immensely! Exercise stacks the odds in your favor as well.

Captain Chaos