With The Masters Tournament wrapping up last month and Spring in the air, it’s prime time to get outside for a round of golf. And while we all can’t claim three-shot victories like Scottie Scheffler, we can continue to improve our game and do more. To that end, I reached deep into my 2019 book “Power of The Swing: A Training Guide to Maximize Distance and Accuracy,” for some training tips on upping your game. The book is more of a training book for the game — how you move, how you get into position, how strong and stable you are. For example, the golf posture means you’re bent over and rotating over and over in the same direction, which is a recipe for back issues. The book provides helpful exercises to prevent or help with that and other issues.
Simply put, each joint in your body should be able to get into the positions demanded in golf and training in order to maximize performance. If your joints are unable to get into positions to absorb, produce and adapt to stress, various compensations will occur throughout the body, causing your golf performance to suffer, not to mention increased risk of overuse injuries. We believe that having adequate range of motion should be a priority in order to maximize force production and reduce injury risk. Additionally, being “flexible” isn’t enough; you need to be able to CONTROL each joint through its available range of motion. What’s the use of being able to get into extreme ranges of motion if your body does not know how to control these ranges of motion? If you need a place to start, compression at Restore may help improve flexibility and mobility.
Increase Core Stability
Core stability is defined as the ability to control the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis to allow optimum production, transfer, and control of force and motion to the terminal segment in integrated athletic stabilities. Get to know your planks!
Improve Your Vertical Jump
The higher you can jump, the farther you can hit the ball. And some of the best drivers on the PGA Tour are also the best jumpers. So to improve your vertical jump, there are a few tips I can offer.
1. Develop Strong Legs: The more force you can apply into the ground, the higher you will jump (Newton’s 3rd law.)
2. Train With Velocity: The Olympic lifts (Snatches, cleans), Plyos, Weighted jumps
3. Build A Strong Core: A weak core will result in energy leaks and diminished energy transfer, resulting in less explosiveness.
Focus On Dynamic Stretching
Static stretching involves holding a stretch at the end range position for an extended period of time. Conversely, dynamic stretching involves moving a joint through its full range of motion in a controlled fashion. To answer the question of which type of stretching should be performed prior to a round of golf, we first need to examine the effects both types of stretching can have on performance. Static stretching pre-exercise has been shown to be detrimental to performance involving strength, power and rate of force development. Dynamic stretching, on the other hand, has been shown to improve subsequent performance involving strength and power.
Train In Multiple Planes
When people think about golf training, they immediately think about the core: specifically training in a rotary (transverse plane) fashion. Although the transverse plane is important, it would be a mistake to spend all of one’s time training solely in this plane. To maximize golf performance, training should not only include ground-based, multi-joint movements, but performing in all three planes of motion: sagittal (top to bottom), frontal (front) and transverse (left to right). This type of training will create a more athletic and physically developed golfer.
Jon Sanderson has been the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for Michigan Basketball and Golf since 2009. He is the only strength and conditioning coach in NCAA history to participate in a Final Four as a player (1999 Ohio State) and coach (2013,2018 Michigan). Sanderson has coached 18 players that have gone on to play professional basketball in the NBA. He is regarded as one of the top coaches in the country at developing basketball talent. “Power of The Swing: A Training Guide to Maximize Distance and Accuracy,” is available for purchase here.