When most non-golfers think about the game of golf, they really don't envision finely tuned, chiseled athletes. They probably think about the weekend duffer, likely a little thick around the middle, looking forward to that tall frosty mug of beer at the 19th hole. Check that...non-golfers have no clue what the 19th hole is. What they don't realize is that golf really is a sport, and when a golfer improves his - or her - physical fitness, it usually results in an improvement in their golf game.
Anatomy of the Golf Game
When you break down the individual physical tasks involved with playing the game of golf, it becomes easy to see how improving your overall physical strength and conditioning can help improve your performance. Golf is a sport, and it requires muscle exertion and overall stamina to get the most out of your game. Therefore, increasing targeted muscles strength and cardiovascular fitness will increase your performance with those tasks, which definitely shows up on your scorecard.
Stretch it Out
The last thing you want to have happen while golfing is to suffer an injury. Since a great deal of your golf game revolves around turning, torquing and exerting your muscles, it is extremely important to thoroughly stretch before every round of golf you play. Make sure to stretch all of the primary muscle groups, from legs to arms, back, shoulders and neck. The better you stretch, the less likely you will be to pull or strain a muscle.
Improving your aerobic, or cardiovascular, conditioning is a critical part of maximizing your golf fitness
. Cardio exercises, such as swimming or jogging, are exercises that improve your heart and lungs ability to circulate properly oxygenated blood to all of the muscles in your body. The better the blood flow, the longer and stronger the individual muscles in your legs, back and arms can perform at peak levels.
While aerobic exercise and proper stretching are a great start, you need golf strength training
if you want to really take your golf game to the next level. Strengthening your legs will give you a more stable foundation. Building the muscles in your core, your abdomen and your back will allow you to rotate and apply greater torque during your swing, which will improve your club head speed. Strengthening your arms and shoulders will add significant distance to your shots.
Maintain the Regimen
Like any physical fitness program, it is only effective if you maintain it. Working out once or twice isn't going to help you club monster drives off the tee, and jogging or swimming a couple of times won't improve your stamina for those long par-5's. The key, of course is to establish your fitness regimen and then keep to it. Make it a habit to work out on specific muscle groups 2-3 times a week, and take a couple of hours each week to run, swim or ride a bicycle. Your improvement will come, gradually, and before you know it, you'll see your scores shrinking as your muscles grow.