GOLF FITNESS VS. FITNESS, THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

Bob Forman, MS - Exercise Physiology
Certified Golf Fitness Instructor


There might be some confusion and/or wrong impression with the term “golf fitness.”  Fitness implies a state of health like having a normal blood pressure or not being overweight or even having the endurance to run 3 miles.  
 

Golf fitness, on the other hand, doesn’t pertain to any of these, although some are by-products from a well planned golf fitness training program.  The term golf fitness is a task-related one referring to the golfer’s physical ability to swing an efficient golf club so as to produce good swing mechanics, effective outcomes, and a decreased potential for injury. 

It also relates to the golfer's ability to reproduce that effective golf swing for 18 holes, which often times is precluded by a bucket of balls on the range.  Four to five plus hours of activity can take its toll, regardless if you walk the course or ride, and that fatigue you might be experiencing on the back nine will only increase the potential for bad shots, bad scores, and trauma. 

It had come to my attention quite early in my work with golfers that most are not physically well prepared to swing a golf club.  Factors such as inactivity, lifestyle, and heredity predispose many golfers to anatomical deficiencies in their bodies that rob them of peak performance.  These factors often influence swing efficiency, which impacts ball contact and flight, distance, and the development and persistence of those nagging aches and pains so many golfers experience.   

Oh sure, there are low handicap golfers that never exercised a day in their lives and who happen to get the clubhead square on the ball at impact to hit good shots. However, that doesn’t mean that their physical make-up and/or swing mechanics are necessarily sound.  I've seen this scenario often.  There is a good chance, however, that one or both of these factors will eventually catch up with them and impact their quality of play or, far worse, the ability to play at all.  Unfortunately, I've seen this quite a bit as well.     

Playing golf may actually add to this quandary.  Think about it, the golf swing is a one-sided activity that’s repeated over and over again throughout the course of play and during practice.  Due to the fact that the golfer uses a particular set of muscles, in this repetitive nature and in a certain movement pattern, muscle imbalance is certain.

A body out of balance is a precursor to inefficient movement patterns, a loss of strength and power, and both acute and chronic injury.  A prominent orthopedic surgeon, I recently interiewed, even cited misalignment in the body as the primary reason for the increase in joint replacement procedures over the past 5 years.

Compensation, too, can wreak havoc to the body.  The changes, no matter how minor, golfers make in grip, stance, and/or swing may result in better ball striking, but those subtle adjustments also place unwanted stress to the musculoskeletal system.  If golfers focused, instead, on the muscle deficiencies that impact poor swing mechanics and ball striking, they’d play better golf with less risk of injury. 

The role of a quality golf fitness program is to first identify the muscle deficiencies and imbalances the golfer has and then correct them so as to restore balance back in the body.  In doing so the body will be able to do what it needs to do to swing an efficient golf club.  Restoring proper alignment will also go a long way at alleviating and/or preventing the potential for harm. 

You don’t have to run a half-marathon or bench your weight to be in shape to play golf well.  Take a look at some of the tour players.  Most, if not all, are doing some form of golf fitness training to better their bodies in order to better their swings and improve their games.  Find a certified golf fitness instructor in your area this winter and go through a golf physical assessment to identify your weaker areas.  You'll be pleasantly surprised what a little bit of stretching and golf-specific strength training will do for your game. . . and your overall health.  Come spring, you'll love this game. . . again.            

EXERCISE OF THE MONTH

Static Hamstring Stretch

 One of the main factors for low back discomfort is tight hamstrings, which can also affect hip mobility in the golf swing.

 

 

Check with your physician before starting any type of exercise program.

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

GOLF FITNESS
ASSESSMENT & TRAINING


A quality, customized golf fitness program will. . .
  • Enhance swing efficiency
  • Increase distance
  • Improve playing performance and satisfaction
  • Identify and correct golf-specific injury triggers

    All for much less than what another brand new driver that's going to "fix my game" would cost
     
click here for details

  


The golf exercises are going great.  I am hitting the ball the best I have ever hit it.  My back pain has gone away also. 
 
David R. 

more testimonials

HOST A WORKSHOP

If your Club or organization would like to host an informative golf fitness workshop, contact Bob at bob@golfitcarolina.com or 336-509-4610.

Bob came to my club and did a hour long session on the basics of his teaching and philosophy of fitness and how it relates to the golf swing and its performance.  My members thoroughly enjoyed the hour and wanted more.  I was impressed with his content and explanation.  My members were floored with his Q&A and his personal adaptation to their issues.  I was impressed with his interaction with attendants of the seminar.  If you are looking for someone to integrate your fitness program with the golf program, Bob is the guy to do it!  We will be booking Bob to come back to our club next spring.
Shannon Howell, PGA Head Golf Professional
Country Club of Sapphire Valley, Sapphire Valley, NC


"Bob Forman was fabulous!  He is a great presenter who shared some extremely valuable information related to how anatomical deficiencies such as: poor posture, flexibility, and balance impact our golf swing.  He not only shared what they are and how they impact the swing, but also demonstrated exercises to help correct them."
Ellen Gregory
EWGA-Wilmington, NC chapter

“Westchester is one of the Country’s largest private clubs with a membership that has high expectations for service and performance.  Bob Forman’s seminar on golf specific fitness and flexibility was extremely well received and motivated many of my members to begin a program of evaluation, exercise and follow-ups.  I highly recommend Bob for his knowledge, energy , and ability to connect with amateurs concerning golf fitness.” 
John Kennedy, Director of Golf
Westchester CC, 
Harrison, NY

Bob has a fantastic ability to understand and combine his expertise of the physical complexities of the human body with the PGA Professional’s trained eye with respect to the complexities of the golf swing.  Bob offers a refreshing angle that most amateur and professional golfers can understand and embrace.  Many times, a golfer will have physical limitations that prevents him or her from moving the way the PGA Professional is trying to instruct.  Bob can take the golfer’s weakest physical traits and focus a training program to better overcome those obstacles and allow the golfers to ultimately improve their swing. 
Dennis Nicholl, PGA Head Golf Professional
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

IMPROVE YOUR GAME

Functional Golf Fitness Training is a comprehensive player improvement resource for golfers of all ages and levels, teaching professionals and coaches.  
A great manual for golf teams as well.  

Dedicated chapters on:
- how to identify and correct the common physical deficiencies most golfers have that are impacting their swing and injury potential
- over 40 golf-specific exercises and drills

- preventing/alleviating the #1 injury in golf, low back injury
- how to fix the more common swing faults

Amazon reviews:

"Very clear explanations of causes and fixes for main physical deficiencies affecting golfers. Easy to follow instructions. While other books may give a whole laundry list of exercises that end up not being used, Forman has selected a few for each issue and puts together a program that doesn't take long to do"

"This book not only tells you what to do but also why you need to do and what results you can expect.
I have every book in print about golf fitness and this book is by far the best."


Available in print at TheBookPatch

TheBookPatch.com Buy Now style 1 button
or as an ebook on Amazon

Go to
http://www.amazon.com/Functional-Golf-Fitness-Training-ebook/dp/B00FH88Q0Q

SWING FAULT PHYSIOLOGY

Swing mechanics are often influenced by physical deficiencies in the golfer's body.  Below are some of the more common swing faults, their physical causes and how to correct.

GOLF POSTURE

S-POSTURE AND LOW BACK PAIN

EARLY EXTENSION

SWAY & SLIDE

REVERSE SPINE

While correcting the deficiencies, you also need to rewire the brain-body connection in order to break out of the inefficient swing pattern.  

REWIRE THE BAD SWING HABIT

RADIO / PODCASTS

 

 

November 11, 2017
The top 10 fitness must haves for better golf.  Click on the pic and then "podcast."  
My segment starts at 1:10:30.

 
June 22, 2017
(go to 1:10:00 into the show)
golf posture, muscle imbalance, improving distance, stretching, hydration, Tiger and specialization, Rory and weight lifting



March 14, 2015
(go to 1:08:00 into the show)
fitness vs. golf fitness, strength training and slowing down the aging process, C and S-postures 


scroll down to 9/9/2013
(go to 23:15 into the show)
back injury