6 Exercises That Can Help Improve Your Golf Game
By Bradley Turner, Keiser University College of Golf Director of Online Golf Instruction – MBA, PGA
If you are reading this article, you are like most golfers who aspire to improve their golf game. Balancing work commitments and family time makes it difficult to get everything done each week. Carving out time for your golf improvement aspirations is not easy, but those hungry to improve will find a way to make it happen. Golf is a game that requires so many skills that working with a quality golf coach is an excellent option for avid golfers. Those who are constrained with time yet want to get the most out of their potential as a golfer can turn to some simple actions that can significantly improve their golf performance. Swinging a golf club at a high rate of speed requires a blend of flexibility and quality golf mechanics. This article will give you some ideas on how to efficiently use your time to help your golf game by improving your golf fitness.
For those avid golfers that can find the time for professional training, I suggest working with a certified fitness coach. This is the ultimate for dedicated golfers, and there are plenty of qualified trainers near you. Another great option is taking some yoga classes, which are fantastic and beneficial for your game. Yoga provides a nice blend of strength training while improving your flexibility. Most yoga exercises directly impact a golfer, regardless of how you swing a golf club. If these two options do not fit your lifestyle, then opt for the most basic way to improve your golf game. Committing to a pre-round stretching routine allows you to perform to your potential right from the start of your round.
Strive for a Quality Stretch
The best way to quantify a good stretch is to allocate a number. A value of one is when you first feel the muscle beginning to stretch, a value of two would be a moderate stretch, and a three would be a quality stretch with slight discomfort but not painful. Stretching should leave you feeling great, not hobbling back to the golf cart worrying that you are overstretched. Spend about two minutes with each exercise, beginning with a level one stretch for 20 seconds, followed by a brief rest, then 30 seconds for a level two stretch, another short rest, and then completing a 40-second level three stretch.
Below are six stretching exercises that you can implement into your pre-round routine. The priority of your pre-round routine should start with getting your body moving and ready to play, followed by getting a feel for the speed of the greens, and then hitting golf balls on the practice tee. Most golfers prepare for a round of golf in the complete opposite manner. You do not need a gym or a training aid to do any of these stretches; you only need the motivation to play to your potential and about 12 minutes to get yourself ready for the day on the links.
The culprit for a lot of lower back pain in golfers is tight hamstrings. Regular stretching of the hamstrings can significantly relieve some lower back problems. Standing with your feet together, bend down with your arms extended to reach your toes. This is stuff you learned in elementary school, so let’s take advantage of the stuff you learned in P.E. class!
Stand erect and extend either arm out in front of you. Take the opposite hand and pull your arm towards your chest. Keep the extended arm straight and pull the arm toward your chest; you will feel a nice shoulder stretch. Make sure to stretch both shoulders as they each play an essential role in your golf swing.
This is a must before you swing the golf club. While standing erect, hold a golf club behind your back with both hands with the shaft of the club about shoulder height. Rotate just the shoulders in both directions and ensure you keep the hips stationary. You will feel a stretch in the thoracic region of your back. Making a good turn away from the ball is one aspect of creating a powerful golf swing.
Use the golf cart to ground yourself by placing both hands on the top of the golf cart. Turn your hips away from the cart, and make sure to keep your arms extended on the golf cart, thus limiting the shoulder rotation. Work your hips in both directions since you will need to rotate your hips on the backswing and rotate them on the forward swing. Ben Hogan believed the hips were the secret to good golf, so make sure you are physically ready to make that powerful golf swing.
Ankle and Calf
If you have ever wondered about the influence of the ankle in the golf swing, Tiger Woods is evidence that good ankle and lower leg mobility is essential. We often hear that the golf swing starts from the ground up, which implies the feet, ankles, and calf muscles. Start with your right foot by straddling your feet and then slowly push your knee towards your toes while keeping the heel flat to the ground. After the calf stretch, loosen the ankle joint by lifting your heel slightly off the ground and slowly rotating your ankle in a 360-degree circle using the ball of your foot as the pivot point. Complete the stretch with the left foot.
Hand and Wrist
Most golfers never consider the importance of warming up the hands and wrists before playing. Does it influence a golfer’s ability to swing a golf club? The answer is a resounding yes! Take a club in one hand and hold it parallel to the ground with the arm extended and no bend in the elbow. Then rotate the shaft by first bowing and then cupping the wrist. Switch hands to complete the hand and wrist stretching exercise.
After these six exercises, you will have prepared your body to take on the physical challenges the game of golf requires. In addition, your confidence on the first tee should be high when your friends ask for a breakfast ball since they are not warmed up to play!
If you’d like to study with Bradley Turner and other PGA Master Professionals, contact the College of Golf today.