You can fill your bag with the best expensive high-tech clubs in the world, you can dedicate yourself to a practice regimen on the driving range and regularly take lessons from a pro but at the end of the day the score you post will reflect what kind of physical shape you are in.
Gone are the days when golfers’ concept of exercise involved repeatedly hoisting a heavy beer stein at the 19th hole. They have come to realize that physical fitness is an essential component of a game improvement strategy.
The Pros Do It
When it comes to getting in better shape, PGA Tour and Senior PGA Tour golfers have really stepped up their efforts in recent years. Both tours have fitness trailers stocked with the latest exercise gear that go to each tournament, so the pros can keep up their fitness routine even when on the road. Being stronger and in better shape not only helps them hit the ball farther and improves stamina, it also insures that they don’t fade down the last nine holes on Sunday. Being fit can actually prolong their careers.
Amateurs and recreational golfers can take a cue from their professional counterparts. Better shape = better golf.
The good news is that golfers don’t have to go at it as though they are training for an Olympic decathlon. You can start slowly, a few minutes a day, with some basic stretching exercises, sit-ups or lifting light hand weights. Going for a long walk each day can be a great way of strengthening your legs, and as any golf instructor will tell you, strong legs are the foundation of a good swing. We may think we hit the ball with our arms but leg drive not only provides the power, but is a key to accuracy as well.
Your local Golf Equipment Store is likely to carry some fitness equipment.
Your exercise goal should be consistency. An intermittent exercise program won’t work as well as one that is maintained throughout the year. When you find yourself lacking motivation to start your daily exercise routine, visualize impressing your buddies with the 30 yards you have added to your drives. If you live in a cold climate and enjoy watching televised golf in the winter, why not schedule your golf exercise time during the tournament. Focusing on the tournament drama might keep you exercising longer than you normally might. Just don’t imagine that you will get in as good shape as Dustin Johnson. That’s not called visualizing, it’s called dreaming.
Check With the Doc
And of course, before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to find out how much physical activity you can safely tolerate.
But the first step is, get up off the couch!