I think most golf fitness stuff is both an attempt to enhance the sport and it’s players, as well as a marketing ploy for trainers to feel extra important and “niche.”
Do we need assessments? Yes. Do we need to do some specific muscle activation, stretching, joint mobility, and breathing work? It depends. The bottom line though is that most golfers are overly concerned about the very specific things yet overlook the big picture.
Most golfers, even the pros, have some sort of crappy posture (T-spine or low back, usually, or both), limited hip mobility or strength, lack stability in the feet (thanks, cushy shoes), and are generally weak in the core musculature and function. So WTF do we do about it? Light little band work, some stretching for an hour, “golf specific” rotation on cables? As they say on that NFL show, “C’mon Man!”
I joke around with my athletes. Yes, golfers are athletes, and aren’t always serious! ATHLETES. If you play golf, you are an ATHLETE. Remember that. Athletes don’t workout like delicate little flowers. Anyway, I joke that a certain exercise or weight is either pro level, competitive junior, or member-guest bullshit! We want to be pro level and locked in.
Until you are strong and capable through a variety of movements in the gym, the little stuff isn’t that important. Weak upper body posture isn’t going to get fixed by just stretching. If you can’t do a solid pull-up, row a respectable amount of weight, and cannot pick some weight up off the floor properly, then throw that bullshit little exercise from the golf magazine out. You need to get strong. A properly designed strength program will put you in the right exercise at the right time, and will properly progress you. Repeat until strong!
Most of the little things get fixed along the way of a good program. It’s a good idea to work with someone, whether it be a trainer, massage or physical therapist, yogi,or whomever is an experienced body-movement expert to make sure you maintain joint mobility and muscle tissue quality. Get strong, get mobile enough. That’s it. Let golf be your golf specific work.
This is how athletes in every sport do it. Get strong, stay mobile enough. If you aren’t a beast, you need to become one. I’ll dive into more specifics on program design and all that, but the point here is that there needs to be a mentality shift for golfers.
Golf is for the course, not the cables
The gym is where you become a beast, not a flower
That’s my poem for the day folks.