Are You Fit For Golf?

One of the biggest and most appealing aspects of golf is that it can be played by almost anybody. There are many different clubs that help people with a wide range of disabilities play the game and as long as you can swing a golf club, then in theory at least, you can play the game to some degree.

However, as increasing numbers of golfers are realising, there is a difference in being fit to play golf and being fit enough to play golf to the maximum of your ability.

Angel Cabrera 1

You only need to look at the workout regime of players like Tiger Woods (in the days when he was healthy), Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott, Ian Poulter and more to realise that the modern golfer is a long, long way from the somewhat portly figures you may find ambling around your local course every week.

Even golfers who were once famed for their more rotund appearance, such as Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke, have worked incredibly hard over the past few years to shed the pounds and become a fitter, strong athletic golfer.

Many people subscribe to the belief that it was Tiger Woods that ushered in the era of the super-fit professional golfer, but in actual fact, you could argue that it was South African legend Gary Player, who was the first to take physical fitness seriously.

Gary PlayerJ

Player was famous for his physical prowess when he was at his peak and it is something that the legendary player is still rightfully proud of today. Player has the physique that many modern golfers would envy, and he is 79 years of age.

So what are the key areas a golfer needs to address if they are to become as fit as they could possibly be for golf?

  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight – Getting to an optimal weight is a key issue. Excess body weight can be problematic when swinging the golf club, not to mention unhealthy. Many golfers have slimmed down to help improve their game and a healthy diet that is low in fat and full of fresh fruit and vegetables is key in this.
  2. Training – Fitness training works alongside a healthy diet to help improve muscular power and endurance. Many will have seen the Facebook pictures of Rory McIlroy lifting impressive amount of weights as part of his training regime and while weight training does help build body mass, it is only part of the program. Golfers also need physical endurance and mental acuity to help them retain focus on the course, especially towards the end of a round in sweltering heat. Flexibility is also a key element, especially as the golfer gets older as it helps with the swing and also prevents injury.
  3. Refuelling – There’s little point in treating your body like a temple away from the course, if when you are on it, you restock your energy levels with two bars of chocolate and a caffeine-filled sugary drink. Golfers will know how to refuel on the course properly using the best sources of energy (banana’s are always popular and energy drinks can also help) but they will also know that this refuelling needs to be done optimally and at key times in order for them to reap the benefits.

There may still be the golfer that doesn’t quite align with the modern thinking about being fit for golf, but the fact of the matter is an increasing number of top professional golfers are not just fabulous with a club in their hand, they are also high quality athletes in their own right.

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