When cold, wet Oregon winters are over, the golf course is waiting – time to get your body in shape! As with any sport, it’s best to be strong, limber and focused. Endurance is just as important as brawn. Precision and a cool head can make a bigger difference than 300-yard power.
Tuning the whole body and mind takes a balanced approach. Here are five ways to get ready for the season, and to stay in shape all year long.
Stretching Regimen: Back, Hamstrings, Quads, Shoulders
Staying loose is vital to a good golf game. Backswing, follow-through and a natural swing all depend on it. We recommend a daily stretching routine, so it becomes a consistent habit.
Back stretches are a great place to begin limbering up, since your back and hips are the center of your golf swing. Hamstring and quadricep stretches will help you anchor with confidence. Working your shoulders can make a big difference in fluid, easy motion for your drive.
Rhythmic Motion: Aerobics, Dance, Martial Arts
This might sound weird – but dancing can help your golf game. A golf swing should be smooth and rhythmic, and any form of rhythmic exercise will help your body be more fluid. Gym-style aerobics are a natural choice, but any kind of dance can be fun and effective. Martial arts are all about precision, power and smooth movement, and can be excellent for any athlete.
Endurance: Swimming, Running, Power Walking
Aerobic exercise is one of the best things for your golf game. Get your heart rate and breathing rate up and sustain for 20 minutes or more. Even if you use a golf cart, enhanced endurance will improve your game. You don’t play as well when you’re tired.
Running can be tough on the knees, so many athletes power walk instead. Maintain long strides, walk at a brisk pace, and walk for a half hour or more. If you have access to a lap pool, swimming is great aerobic exercise. It strengthens your arms, legs and back, loosening muscles at the same time, without the impact to the knees of running or walking.
Hand-Eye Coordination: Basketball, Yard Games, Archery
Basketball is one of the best hand-eye coordination sports there is, and it is also great brain training. You fine-tune your mind will for accuracy to the target, and at the same time you’re building endurance through aerobic exercise.
Yard games like croquet, bocce and lawn darts are also good for improving coordination and accuracy. The effects are cumulative, too; the more ways you work on your hand-eye coordination, the nimbler your brain will become.
A special note on archery: there’s a strong correlation between archery and putting. In both cases you need a clear mind, physical discipline, focus on a small target and a smooth release.
Golf is very much a mental game, and a calm mind is essential. With yoga you can train your mind to be calm, just as you can train yourself in any other discipline. Yoga is also a fantastic way to stretch and loosen up. Many top athletes in every major sport do yoga regularly, both for a limber body and a clear mind.
Pick a Favorite, or Rotate Exercises
Whether you choose one type of exercise, or change your routine and try different things, your golf game will benefit if you stretch and work out regularly. We look forward to seeing you on the course!