Building a Stronger Golf Swing
Golf fitness is really in the news and getting lots of buzz these days, but most players are really confused about this subject. In my “other life” . . . besides running EIDOLON Golf . . . I am a partner in the development of a very exciting new golf swing training product called the CORE Golf Trainer. While this is not yet fully on the market in its new iteration, being involved has caused me to study golf swing fitness to a great degree . . . and then The Wedge Guy gets this question from one of our younger readers, Clint R., in Meridianville, AL:
“I have never lifted weights in my life. I'm 15, 6'1", and about 135. What are the best workouts to build a strong golf swing?”
Well, Clint, there is no question that building stronger, faster muscles can help you become a better player, but there is definitely a right and wrong way to do that. In golf, we don’t really care about conventional muscle strength, such as that required to lift heavy weights. After all, a golf club weights much less than a pound. What we are after in golf conditioning is S-P-E-E-D and endurance. We want our muscles to be of a quick-fire capability and we must do that within a framework of flexibility and range of motion. A strong and powerful golf swing requires a full range of motion and very precise and coordinated movements of the body core, arms and hands/wrists. The faster you can do this, the more clubhead speed you develop – it’s really THAT simple.

The principle of the CORE Golf Trainer® is to apply hydraulic resistance in exact right angles to the swing itself, throughout the entire swing motion. But more on that sometime later. Right now, we’re talking about what you can do to build a stronger, more powerful golf swing, using tools that are at your disposal. This applies, of course, to any golfer wanting more distance.

Let me begin by stating my opinion on distance. More distance is not for sale in the driver rack . . . . unless you haven’t bought a new one in 15 years or so . . . nor on the iron rack. The secret to more distance is in better quality contact and strength training. Better fundamentals come through instruction and practice. And here are my top five workouts to help you build more clubhead speed:
1. Stretching. This probably doesn’t apply to young flat-bellied Clint, but us older guys and girls would benefit greatly by daily stretching to improve our golf power. Of particular importance are the torso muscles and the large muscles in the legs and shoulders. Read up on this and you’ll find a wealth of information on stretching exercises specifically designed for the golf swing. A few minutes a day can make a world of difference pretty quickly.

2. CORE Training. Strengthening the big muscles of the body core is hugely beneficial to golf swing power. But, as I mentioned, what you are after is S-P-E-E-D, not brute strength. And again, there are a number of published exercise routines and techniques for achieving a stronger body core. Any Google or other online search will keep you reading and learning for hours.

3. “Off Side” Strength. The golf swing has to be led by a strong “front side” pull, and that means we have to rely on our “off” hand for power. For right handed people, that means you should bias your strength training to your “off” side so that it can achieve more of a balance. I like to do this with a weighted club of the Momentus® type (but there are other good ones), and swing it left side only to build that pull-through power.

4. Release Strength. The “secret” power move in the golf swing is a strong rotation of the hands and forearms through the impact zone. The wrists do not create power in the swing by unhinging – they do it by rotating the club through impact in sync with the rotation of the body core. It does no good to develop core rotational speed if your hand rotation cannot keep up. Conversely, of course, fast hands with a slow body core will be limited in power as well. You can keep a light dumbbell in your office and/or living room to do simple rotation exercises while you are on the phone or watching TV. It WILL pay off.

5. Golf Swing Speed. Back to the Momentus® or other weighted club, there is no better golf swing strengthening exercise than to swing a weighted club. But go with the lighter ones and make your workout one of more reps with less weight. Heavier weights and less reps build big muscles and lead to more fatigue and post-workout soreness and recovery. You don’t want that. Fifty to a hundred swings every afternoon/morning with a weighted club will work wonders. And while you’re doing those, focus on your fundamentals – posture, grip, extension back and through, rotation through impact – the things that will build power and distance.
So, there you have my top five. I’m certain many of you have your own exercises that you believe in . . . so share them with us, OK?


photo source
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.


[ comments ]
Clint24 says:
Thanks Terry for answering my email. I'm friends with a lot of football players at my HS, and they all talk about how much the can bench and squat and so on. So I really just started (withing the past two weeks) doing about 50-100 curls with two 10 pound wieghts just before bed and I can tell a huge difference in my game.

Thanks again, Clint

P.S.- Its Meridianville, Alabama, not Meridian (Thats in Mississippi!)
3/9/10
 
GolfSmith7 says:
I have been doing a golf specific workout since January of 09 which I found on the Iphone. I also do cardio and a stretching class twice a week at golds gym that last about 45-50 minutes. I went from a 91 mph swing speed on the driver to 106 since then. I regularly hit at least one 300 yard drive each round and this past sunday I hit a drive of 306 in 58 degree weather on wet ground meaning most of it was carry, oh yeah. I used my golflogix gps to measure the distance. All that to say that golf specific workouts WORK!
3/9/10
 
Kickntrue says:
@clint24- got your city worked out. Roll Tide (I guess...)
3/9/10
 
Clint24 says:
@kickntrue- Thanks for fixing that. What happened to Penn State?? Don't be one of those fairweather guys who pulls for a team he knows little to nothing about. Don't ya'll play this year?? Then why are you saying that? Auburn's football team is looking up for this year, but thats a while away and this isnt the right website to discuss that. Keep up the good work on this site, and WAR EAGLE!!!
3/9/10
 
svj says:
i haven't played for around six months and doubtfully i haven't been on oob, for a while either, but wedge guy is writing some amazing stuff... i think, fitness tips would be amazing on here... free weights aren't a scary thing for a golf swing. knowing when and what to do and when to do it, is a big part of building speed in the golf swing...
3/9/10
 
Matt F says:
I've been using a Total Gym over this winter, and have been doing specific golf exercises that I hope will improve my game when the snow melts.

Matt
3/10/10
 
falcon50driver says:
I hear that University of Alabama is offering a course, that is a cross between Sexology and Oceanography, called "Don't F*** With the Tide"
3/10/10
 
Eddy Whitaker says:
using light weights really helps...

if ur looking for core building..best thing is situps...and the ab exercise where u balance on your butt, keep your legs in the air...and twist around from left to right....planks also help...

legs...just swap between lifting weight, and cardio...for walking golf courses..stairsteppers really help
3/11/10
 
notyourdata says:
@GolfSmith7: If you don't mind, could you share the name of this iPhone program that you used?
3/12/10
 
GolfSmith7 says:
Not a problem its the Ipump Core Sports program and I incorporated it with a stretch program twice a week at Golds gym. I am 36 in a years time the improvement has been awesome. My last round I reached all the par 5's in two distance wise, some the ball landed over the green... my favorite was reaching a 525 yard par 5 in two, so I get there in two then it takes me 3 strokes to finish 30 feet into the hole. I guess I need to work on my short game. lol
3/12/10
 
rxman says:
will steroids help? (lol)
3/14/10
 
birdieXris says:
I've been doing a lot of endurance/resistance training (elliptical machines, stairclimbing, and conventional weights) as well as stretching and Tae Kwon Do. I've upped my driving average to 280yds from 265, and it's much easier to repeat all swings and stay in balance (thanks TKD!!!).
4/2/10
 
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Terry Koehler is "The Wedge Guy" and President of SCOR Golf- The Short Game Company.

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