Golf Fitness Vs Regular Fitness: Separating the Fluff

senior golf fitness

Seriously? Will standing on a ball make you a better golfer? I don’t think so….

Gary Player believes in the importance of golf specific fitness, but is it really any different than general fitness? Can it really revolutionize your golf game or is it just fluff?

In this article, I will give you the Age Defying Golf perspective and help you separate the gold from the junk in todays golf specific fitness and exercise.

Is Diet Important? The Golf Diet

Your diet is important for your health, energy level, and controlling your bodyweight but I am not sure you need to spend your money on “Golf Diet.” Most golf programs have a diet plan in them but the question you need to ask is, “Do I need to spend more money on a golf program because it includes a ‘golf’ diet?”

Of course the answer is “no.” I believe in eating healthy and I have some education in nutrition, but if that is something you are interested in you should seek out the experts. People that live and breath nutrition. There is no such thing as a golf specific diet and paying extra for a nutrition program from a golf fitness professional will probably be inferior to one from an actual nutrition expert.

In regards to nutrition and diet, I don’t feel that there is anything golf specific about it and there is no reason to pay more because it is part of a golf program.

Is Golf Endurance and Cardio Important?

Yes, this is important. As golfers pass the age of 50, it can become more difficult to finish 18 holes of golf without being exhausted. And you probably know that if you are tired, you are not going to play very well.

However, training endurance and cardio training is very, very simple. I do not believe there is any reason to pay more for a ‘golf specific’ program for the sake of endurance. Ride a bike, go for a walk, ride the elliptical or simply play more golf will improve your endurance.

In the Age Defying Golf Programs, you will gain all of the endurance you need for golf, even though, there are no golf specific cardio exercises.

You don’t need a golf specific cardio program to build your endurance for golf.

Do You Need a Golf Specific Weight Loss Program?

Personally, I believe this is an advertising ploy. We have had a lot of golfers (mostly women) tell us that they lost weight using our program. But that’s because the program is exercise based. Not because there are any special exercises designed for weight loss. Exercise burns calories, so when you start an exercise based program, you could lose weight.

However, if you need to lose a lot of weight for your health, there are experts out there that will help you reach your goal much more quickly than a program designed to make you a better golfer.

Is Golf Specific Strength Important For Golf Fitness

There are still some golf professionals out there that teach that there is not such thing as golf specific strength or fitness. They feel that all the muscles are equally important and general exercise is good enough.

Sport Specific Training

Golf is a sport, just like basketball, football, speed skating, sprinting, etc. But would you train an offensive lineman in football the same as a basketball player? Of course not! Each sport has specific demands with different needs. For instance, an offensive line man needs huge muscles to push against their equally huge opponents. Their sport has a specific demand and they train for it. They train with exercises like extremely heavy squat exercises.

Compare that to a basketball player who needs quick and explosive power from their legs. Basketball players do squats but not with huge amounts of weight. They use lighter weights but push the weights with quick explosive force. If basketball players trained with a lot of weight, they would lose the explosiveness needed to jump. That is sport specific exercise.

Golf Demands Specific Movement

Golf is no different. You depend on different muscles to perform different actions. General exercises at the gym usually do not involve a lot of rotation movement. Yet the golf swing is rotational. Like basketball, the golf swing is more dependent on explosiveness. So using weights that are too heavy can hurt your golf game. This is why using weighted golf clubs is generally a bad idea.

So in regards to strength, being golf specific IS important.

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Is Golf Specific Flexibility is Important For Golf Fitness

Maintaining or improving a certain level of flexibility is important for your quality of life. But in golf, you need much greater flexibility in certain joints than what is good enough for your quality of life.

For instance, 70 degrees of rotation range of motion in your shoulder is enough for everyday living, unless you are a golfer. Anything less than 90 degrees can negatively impact your golf game. So that last 20 degrees of motion is golf specific. The reason that you need a golf specific flexibility program is that there is nearly no other activity or exercise that you would do that will get you that motion.Shoulder stretches for golf

So in regards to flexibility, being golf specific IS important.

What Else is Special About Golf Specific Fitness

Golf specific flexibility and exercise are only part of the components of golf fitness and I think this last component is what sets us apart from others. Golf movement training is something unique and powerful that physical therapists have been able to add to the game of golf.

Golf Mechanics: Train to Engrain

One of the biggest components of physical therapy is training people how to move correctly. The technical term is ‘neuromuscular re-education,'(and I won’t get any more technical than that). A big benefit of a golf specific program is that it includes exercises that are designed to engrain high performing golf mechanics into your subconscious system. Once engrained, the movements become repeatable and highly consistent.

These type of exercises are part of our Age Defying Golf Rx system only. Our EZ program is golf specific strength and flexibility only.

This type of training is growing very quickly and is one of the reasons why physical therapy is making such a huge inroad in golf performance. Big name golf companies such as Titliest and Nike Golf have developed their own training programs designed to advance physical therapists training, specific for golf performance.

In Summary
If you are over 50 and looking to improve and enjoy your golf game, find a program that is designed to help you do just that. Golf specific fitness programs that include weight loss, diet and others are usually just generic add ons that help justify a higher price. Yes, you should eat healthy and exercise your heart,  but a golf specific program will not add any value over traditional nutrition and cardio exercises from experts in those fields.

If you are over 50, spending 100’s of dollars on the newest golf equipment is also a waste of money… a lot of money. Age Defying Golf Rx will change your body into a precision golf machine that will make your 5 year old driver look good!

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Dr. Ryan York, DPT CGS
Doctor of Physical Therapists
Certified Golf Performance Specialist

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