Fitness and golf are currently blending together like peanut butter and jelly both on the PGA Tour, and at local golf courses. On the PGA Tour, professionals are utilizing strict strength and cardio training schedules to try and stay one step ahead of their competition. Many professionals are training with golf specific fitness instructors, assuring that each muscle worked does nothing but benefit the golf swing. These demanding fitness regimens are commonplace on Tour, but what about the 99% of golfers who are not professional? Can they too benefit from golf fitness?
The answer is a resounding YES! Golf fitness is for all of us, and can especially benefit us, as we get older. I remember my first boss Pat Croswell would say “I can’t go from the pro shop to the first tee anymore” every time we would play golf after work. As he got older it became even more important that he develop a better fitness routine both before the round and away from the golf course. I am not saying that older golfers should start squatting 300 lbs. like Rory Mcilroy. I am saying that older golfers should adopt a good warm up and a few good exercises to stay healthy and hopefully play better.
Adopting a good warm up will help to keep injury away, and hopefully help you play better. Here are some warm-up tips to help you play healthier.
Stretching has many benefits, and according to the Titleist Performance Institute is greatly under utilized. Older golfers need more time to loosen their muscles, particularly the core and back areas. Be sure to research and use your favorite back and core stretches before your next round. Away from the golf course, jogging, jumping rope, or swimming are all great ways to keep good cardiovascular health.
Use the Range:
Taking a few practice swings before ripping a driver off the first tee simply isn’t enough the older you get. Take the time to hit a few range balls before your next round, as it will help to loosen the neck, shoulders, core, and hips. Hit some higher lofted irons to instill muscle memory and engrain some positive thoughts before the round.
Walk, Walk, Walk:
Pass on the golf cart. Walking burns more calories, works the heart and lungs, and helps to build core muscles that really help the golf swing. You need not carry your bag, as there are many great pushcarts on the market today. You can also rent one at your local golf course. Walking the golf course is great exercise that your body will reward you for.
Whether you are using a strict fitness regimen to get better at golf, or using golf to better your fitness, the two do blend together like peanut butter and jelly. If you have a fitness or weight loss goal for 2016, the golf course is a great place to accomplish it, as the average person will burn over 900 calories walking one round. Remember to warm-up, and contact your local PGA Professional and/or health professional for some great exercises for golf. How many holes will you play in 2016?