Tag Archives: golf fitness

Real Improvement Happens in the Offseason

We hear the clichés all the time. Champions are made in the offseason, or the best athlete is made during the offseason.  Every coach talks about the offseason being the foundation to success.  If all of that is true, and I believe it is, then why do many of us treat the offseason as a break from golf?

I usually always take a winter break from golf. I would play the few times the temperature rose enough to play while wearing a few base layers, but improvement plans slipped my mind.  This year, I will take a different approach to my offseason.  Since failing to plan is a problem, I created an offseason plan to improve my weak areas.

My offseason plan focuses on 2 areas for improvement, my swing and fitness. My swing needs the work to start the season more consistent.  However, fitness might be the biggest area I can improve during the break.  Here is my plan for the winter:

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Day Off Full Swing Work Putting Work Day Off Workout Day #2 Chipping Work Simulated Practice on Optishot
  Walk on the Treadmill Workout Day #1   Walk on Treadmill to Finish Workout Day #3  

 

The plan seems like more work than during the season, which I had trouble reaching 5 days. However, I plan to adjust when I do some of the work.  I have kids, and one of the best ways to teach our kids is through modeling behavior.  Saving my fitness and workout for the evening while they are in bed doesn’t provide the extra benefit of teaching them fitness is important.  Since my kids are still young enough to find playing anything with me as fun, I plan to have the workout days with them.

Golf fitness is a little different than just lifting weights, so I designed 3 workouts that are 15-30 minutes that will help me become a better athlete and be fun with the kids. Here is the plan:

 

Workout Day #1:

Warmup

Squats with a Medicine Ball

Agility Drills on a Speed ladder

Jumping Hurdles (the progressively taller banana step hurdles)

Frog Jumping Race

 

Workout Day #2

Warmup

Medicine Ball Throws

-Squat Throw High

– Side Throw

Pushups

Crab Race

 

Workout Day #3

Warmup

Medicine Ball Spikes

Medicine Ball Jumps

Planks

Sit up throws with medicine ball

Plank Race

 

I know some of the activities sound silly, but making the workout fun helps motivate me to actually do it. Fun workouts will also get my kids involved and they will also encourage me to do the work.

The golf work will be similar to during the season. I will pick a specific area to work on, but will continue to focus on interleaved and variable practice with the testing effect to build my new motions.  I recently subscribed to Golf Science Lab, and they provide a ton of information on proper practice.  My next post will be my first thoughts about their product and how it will change my practice.

Post your thoughts or your own offseason plans. Utilize the offseason to have a great next season!

Can Fitness Really Affect My Golf Score?

Wow, the Ryder Cup last weekend was great. The excitement boiled over.  I enjoyed each day.  Watching golf inevitably brings the infomercials and quick commentary that sometimes highlights a weakness I need to work on, and last weekend was no different.

A couple years ago, I experienced the pleasure of playing Erin Hills, next year’s US Open site, near the end of the season. The weather started changing, and the course was beautiful.  Definitely one of my favorite courses, but I struggled mightily walking the course.  Erin Hills is walking only, which helps with the beauty, but walking it is climbing up and down non-stop hills.  It is the closest I have ever felt to the phrase, “walking up hill both ways.”  I played really well through 9.  On 10, I felt my legs completely lose strength.  I could walk and play, but my legs couldn’t stabilize my swing.  I ended up 6 shots worse on the back 9 with 1 birdie and the rest doubles or worse.

Erin Hills is a unique challenge. I never considered other courses to cause the same problems, especially since I ride a cart 95% of the time.  However, recent experiences made me question my assumption.

I started integrating the swing plane and weight shift on the course last round. The weight shift is working really well and creating better contact.  However, the back 9 saw similar problems as my experience at Erin Hills.  I didn’t shift my weight on 10, and subsequently, I pulled my approach low and left.  I did the same thing on 11.  My local course isn’t as penal as Erin Hills, so I still salvaged a decent round, but my lower body felt tired towards the end.

Every week, we hear the infomercials or announcers talk about a solid foundation. I always believed I possessed the solid foundation.  I am not in the best shape, but I am not terribly out of shape.  Last weekend it clicked though.  Hearing it after my experience helped me realize that even the slightest tiring can make a golf swing get out of sync.  Looking back, almost every round I feel like I lose my sync at some point during the round.  I sometimes get it back for a few holes, but many times, I finish without the same swing I started with.  My base may not be holding up to a full round.

My goal is a consistent golf swing, so being out of sync at the end of the round will definitely cause problems. I now realize that I need to integrate golf specific exercises into my routine.  I don’t plan on changing my routine yet, but after the end of the season, I will integrate off season training into my weekly schedule.

I purchased the Joey D workout program a few years ago and have multiple books on golf fitness. We still have nice weather here, so I have a little while longer to improve this season.  Come back to check out the plan I create for integrating both swing practice and golf fitness during the winter.  As the greats always say, great players are made during the off-season.  Enjoy the last few weekends of golf!