Three Keys to A Killer Golf Swing

Golf – Real Life Fitness

Green grass, beautiful trees, and a blue lake

A powerful golf swing will be needed to get on the green.

The sun was starting to burn off the clouds that had been lingering all morning, and was going to make itself known.

Two Pintail ducks land in the lake to the west, no doubt looking for a meal and to cool off. Green grass, lined with some old trees. Overall, it’s a quite early afternoon.

This was my experience at a recent company golf tournament.

I don’t play a lot of golf, even though I have a good time when I do. Recently I was invited to play in this tournament, and they’re usually a ton of fun.

Golf, in and of itself, isn’t exactly intense exercise. However, consider that we played 18 holes, and even while we were using carts, I still logged 18,000 steps on my pedometer.

Throw in the “explosive” nature of your basic golf swing, and you have some muscles being activated.

Because I don’t play on a regular basis, my lower back, and oddly, my left hamstring were soar for a couple of days after.

Golf requires flexibility, and explosive strength. Without these, your basic swing goes to pot.

Golf Training

With that all said, I have a few suggestions. If you’re going to go lose some golf balls (this is how I keep score–by how many balls I lose on the course), consider the following:

  • Kettlebells – Many Kettlebell exercises use explosive, rotating movements. These hammer your core, while building key muscles. Kettlebell exercises will help build strength that will be used in your golf swing.
  • Yoga - First, I hate yoga. Not because it doesn’t work, but because it’s so friggin’ hard. Bottom line, yoga builds not only strength, but also flexibility. As mentioned earlier, this is going to help build an explosive swing.
  • Stretching - If you don’t do a good cool down, and stretching after your workout, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Stretching helps dissipate lactic acid that builds up during exercise. A good stretch at the end will help build and maintain flexibility. Again, building a better swing.

If you’ve never played golf, don’t judge it from what you see on TV. That’s like watching grass grow. Go get yourself some basic instruction, and have fun with it. It’s a game that is played around the world, and for a very good reason.

Photo: DBouley

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12 Responses to “Three Keys to A Killer Golf Swing”

  1. Tim says:

    I haven’t done specific resistance training for golf, but I have definitely seen a difference after I started doing yoga with P90X. My back swing goes just a little farther, and the ball does too.

  2. RandiMarx says:

    I love golf, but don’t get to play much. Maybe 2 or 3 times a year. My kids play on the Wii, and think they’re really good. I keep telling them that I’m going to take them to learn how to play for real.

    I have to tell you, I like the idea of training like this to improve my play. Are there any exercises that will solve a slice?

  3. Todd says:

    @Tim, Good to hear about the yoga being a help. I’m tellin’ you, the flexibility that you get from it helps in so many ways.

    @Randi, Awesome, get those kids off that wii, and onto a real course. They’ll have so much more fun. I’m going to be getting my kids out this summer.

    Unfortunately, that slice is going to need to be corrected with a golf pro, and a LOT of practice. I have a wicked slice now and again, and it’s due to me opening the club face up. When I hit it square, it goes straight as an arrow.

  4. Anne says:

    I keep saying that I’m going to go try playing golf, but I’m scared of making a fool of myself. The “boys” at work play quite a bit, and I know that it’s a good networking tool. I just don’t want to screw up by looking like a newbie.

  5. Greg says:

    My boss *loves* golf, and I wish I could get into it, but it just isn’t happening. If I had the spare cash and time, I’m sure I could, but without the time to really work at it, I just find it a frustrating activity… Too many other things to occupy my attention.
    Greg´s last [type] ..How To Lose Belly Fat – And Keep It Off

  6. Todd says:

    @Anne, it can be a great networking tool. You probably won’t close any business deals on the course, but the comradery that grows from playing a round of golf builds trust. The time actually playing the game is pretty small. It’s all that time between swings that you get to know the other players in the group. Not to mention the time spent on the “19th hole” after you’ve played.

    @Greg, That’s pretty much why I don’t play a whole lot. Family and work come first, before I get to go play. Money-wise, I have a cheap set of clubs (<$100), and usually play at one of the cheapest courses in town. Professional instruction is a must, because if you’re shots are always going in the weeds, you won’t have fun. I found a golf clinic at a local driving range for under $20. I get to hear what the pro is telling the other people, plus 1-on-1 time with him to tweak anything that is a problem with my swing.

  7. I like going to the driving range. I suck at it but I like it. Docs just told me I can’t work on my fitness stuff, I have to “get healthy” first. Losers.

  8. Todd says:

    @Julie, so you have to “get healthy” before you can exercise. That seems so wrong. Can you do anything fitness related–even swimming?

  9. Nice tips Todd. I can definitely see kettlebell training to improve your golf swing. Also, training with bands and chains to develop acceleration, plyo drills and Olympic lifts to increase power, and odd object training such as tire flipping and sledgehammer training to work the core and all those little muscles we don’t use when we bench press. Yoga’s great too.
    Project Swole´s last [type] ..The Chris Hemsworth Thor Workout

  10. Matt says:

    In the past I’ve typically golfed horribly once a year in the family golf tournament, but now I think I’m ready to get some new clubs and get a little more serious.

    I STILL have to get back into that yoga class. I TOTALLY feel your pain there Todd! It’s sort of like spin class in a way. You feel like crap several times throughout, but you always leave feeling like you kicked some ass. Great way to start a day!

    -Matt
    Matt´s last [type] ..Fitness Words are Power!

  11. Rick Kaselj says:

    Never though about KB helping with golf.

    Great idea.

    Rick Kaselj of http://ExercisesForInjuries.com

    .
    Rick Kaselj´s last [type] ..Shoulder Pain Exercises

  12. Todd says:

    @Swole Those are some great additions.

    @Matt It’s a great game to love/hate. Awesome comparison of yoga and spinning. I hate ‘em both while I’m doing them, but feel awesome afterward.

    @Rick I’ve not heard anybody else making the connection between KB training and golf either, but it just makes sense to me. Any twisting and explosive movements, IMO will help on the links.

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