Do Golfers Need to be Fit? (Exercise for Golf)
So after letting the holidays add a few pounds to my overall weight, I found myself huffing and puffing when walking the golf course.
All of a sudden, golf fitness springs to mind. So do golfers need to be fit?
No, golf is not as physically demanding as other sports, but it can still put you through quite a bit of bodily stress that can test your cardio. Most of it involves a lot of walking, learning to maintain your balance, walking up and down hills, and maintaining good concentration.
Whereas being fit in any sport can help, you don’t have to work out twice a day just to improve your golf swing. However, if you’re curious about increasing your strength for the purpose of getting more golf fit, then read on.
Getting in Shape for Golf Sounds like a Good Idea, but How do I Start?
It’s time to get down to business (or the gym, your choice).
Regardless of which place you choose to work out in, you can do golf-improvement exercises from just about anywhere.
A good place to start is working on your posture and flexibility. Practicing small steps like properly aligning your shoulders and feet can go a long way in improving your swing, and therefore, your golf score.
By mastering your movements and doing various chest stretches, you’ll not only perform better on the course, but also prevent injuries to yourself. Because the last thing you need is a sore lower back after taking a shot halfway through your game.
How to help Avoid Injury
Some other ways you can avoid hurting yourself during golf include doing trunk side bends, or even neck rolls. The main idea here is to improve your overall strength and flexibility. The two go hand in hand like a golf ball propped up on a tee in the box.
You shouldn’t do one without the other.
Some other exercise routines you can get into include pushups, lateral pull downs, and even dumbbell curves.
It’s a good idea to do these exercises well before you head out onto the course, as I can tell you from personal experience that trying to play golf after an intense work-out isn’t such a good idea.
It’s not a concrete requirement for golfers to be fit, especially average ones, but getting into exercise before a game certainly helps.
I know that I certainly benefit from getting in a few workouts a week. Keeping yourself in good shape, especially when preparing for the course, can even help reduce golf injuries such as back and shoulder pain.
By introducing a healthy exercise regime in your life, you only have everything to gain, and may be able to shave a few points off your golf score.
How Far do you Walk for a Round of Golf?
Most times the average golfer will spend up to four miles of walking in a single round. That number only increases the more rounds you play per week, and that can get fairly exhausting! Plus, you’ll add even more miles to your steps if you choose to fetch a ball that goes somewhere weird after you hit it.
Professional golfers have to walk way more, sometimes up to 24 miles for a 72-hole round. And if the weather is hot and unpleasant, their stamina is put to the ultimate test. I know that I’d take a cooler day over a hotter one, but sometimes I just have to endure hot sun to finish my game.
Do Pro Golfers Need to be Fit?
Whereas there’s no official USGA rule stating that golf professionals need to have a certain level of fitness, being in great shape certainly helps the pros improve their game.
Top players such as Jason Day, Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth, and even Brooks Koepa have all benefited from a strict workout regime.
These kinds of workouts can get quite specific. Jason Day has commented that, “For golf, you can’t have a big upper body and a small lower one. You’ve got to have big strong legs and a strong core.”
Seeing how these top-level golfers do a lot of dead squats and bench pressing, it’s no surprise that their performance improves drastically as a result.
Should I Change my Diet to Improve my Golf Game?
It would be a good idea.
What you put into your body is just as important as how often you exercise it. An ideal pre-golf meal would include a healthy combination of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
It’s also recommended that you drink up to “10 8-ounce glasses of water per day,” especially during games in the hot summer months.
Some things to avoid consuming on the course include alcohol and caffeine. Both are diuretics, substances known to cause excessive fluid loss (imagine going to the bathroom a lot), and can hinder your overall concentration.
But if you are just playing for fun, then why not, right?
Speaking of which, by combining both the benefits of a healthy diet and exercise, you can improve your overall concentration the whole time you’re playing. I certainly love it when my mind is still sharp at the 18th hole.
Interesting Facts about Golf and Health
One of my sources features a scientific study seeing how the heart performs during a golf game. The researchers found out that an average golf-player’s heart-rate measures at 106.6 beats per minute.
Even those with certain cardiovascular conditions such as coronary heart disease can benefit from playing a bit of golf, as long as they do a bit of cardio exercise beforehand (and that they don’t skip their medications).
They can even play up to 18 holes! From this example, I see how golf can even be an exercise itself. With that being said, don’t forget that if you want to improve your game, a healthy workout plus meal combo will help tremendously.
What I am doing to help with my Fitness Process
Golf is a sport that just about anyone can take up. Whereas it’s not as physically demanding as, say, tennis or basketball, golf can still put you through quite a bit of exercise.
Although, you sure have to move around a lot and put some effort into that swing, after a while, it can get very tiring!
So I have been using this training to help with the physicality aspect of golfing and it’s proven to work pretty well. You should try it, too!