It’s clear why professional golfers train with strength coaches. Touring professionals finally realized that to maximize performance they need to be more than simply fit. They need to be in “game shape” just like other athletes.
Recreational golfers can take advantage of the same sports conditioning science used by professional golfers. However, just like professionals, recreational golfers must understand that running on a treadmill and lifting weights is fine for fitness but doesn’t necessarily help improve your swing mechanics.
The first goal of a golf conditioning program should be to build your capacity to develop a fundamentally sound swing and minimize injury. If you’re already a low handicap player, conditioning can focus on maximizing performance. After all, if sport specific conditioning programs didn’t help good golfers then why do the best golfers in the world continue to train?
Why is improving physical capacity to swing correctly so important? If a golfer can’t physically execute sound swing mechanics no amount of lessons and practice will overcome the inhibiting physical limitations. Improvements become frustratingly difficult to achieve.
Faulty swing mechanics also cause injuries, particularly to the lower back. More practice with poor mechanics only adds flawed repetitions thereby increasing accumulated trauma to muscles, joints and the spine. The swing’s rotational demands are hard enough on the body without adding bad mechanics to the mix.
Proper training is also the counterbalance to the debilitating impact of muscular imbalances resulting from multiple golf rounds and practice swings. The golf swing is an asymmetrical action. This asymmetry is repeated many times during practice and play. Coupled with things like poor posture, playing a lot of golf increases the propensity to develop muscular imbalances. These imbalances rob power from your golf swing and destabilize your spine.
Once swing mechanics improve, conditioning can focus on factors such as club head speed, control and balance.