How does a golfer start a fitness program? How does any person, regardless of his or her golfing ability, get in shape to become a better or more consistent player?
David Ostrow, CEO of Body Balance for Performance, one of the leading organizations in golf fitness, has some answers.
Across the United States, Body Balance includes 32 franchise operations that focus on golf as well as other sports activities. Ostrow saidmany Body Balance clients begin their fitness programs in the winter, a perfect time for most people to initiate a fitness routine.
Ostrow, a physical therapist, is certified bythe Titleist Performance Institute as a level-3 medical professional. He also is a member of the medical advisory board for TPI, which organizes and conducts the biennial World Golf Fitness Summit.
The first step, according to Ostrow, is to find a certified fitness professional. TPI (www.mytpi.com) certifies golf trainers. So does Body Balance (www.fitgolf.com) and facilities such as the Chek Institute near San Diego (www.chekinstitute.com).
The next step: Golfers must choose carefully between a physical trainer and a medical professional, says Ostrow, who is credentialed in both fields.
“A medical professional focuses on range of motion ...
First came shoes and gloves, then a popular line of performance golf outerwear.
FootJoy’s next business expansion long has seemed destined, and now it’s imminent: The Fairhaven, Mass.-based company announced it will fully enter the golf apparel business.
Beginning in January, FootJoy plans to begin shipping what it described as “a complete range of golf apparel comprised of performance fabrics.” The company already has tested the market with sales of performance shirts.
“This strategic initiative has been carefully considered for several years and is supported by an extremely sophisticated and comprehensive study of the golf apparel category,” said Andy Jones, FootJoy’s vice president, gloves/accessories/apparel, worldwide, in a statement released April 18.
FootJoy’s apparel, featuring spring and fall collections, will be designed to complement the company’s outerwear – a category it entered in 1997 with the launch of DryJoys rain wear. Last year, FootJoy aggressively began promoting its various apparel products with its “Layer Up” concept, aimed at serious golfers seeking the ability to regulate their body temperature and the flexibility to adapt to changing weather conditions.
Said Jim Connor, FootJoy’s president: “We’re excited about the opportunity to move into an adjacent ...
LPGA commissioner Mike Whan walked into his first players’ meeting last November behind Suzann Pettersen and thought: I need to get to the gym more.
If Pettersen wasn’t a top-5 golfer, she might be a physical therapist or elite trainer. She’s fascinated by the body and how it performs. A back injury in 2005 left her crawling, and every workout since has been designed with her back in mind.
Pettersen built a $40,000 gym in the basement of her Orlando, Fla., home, where she works out with trainer Dave Herman. On the road, she gets a kick out of watching gyms at player hotels go from packed to ghost town as the season progresses.
“This is where I build my energy, my getaway place,” she said. “If you love something, you’ll get more out of it.”
After the Solheim Cup last September – an exhausting week by anyone’s standards – members of both teams fell ill the next week in Portland, Ore. Pettersen, however, did the opposite of take it easy. She flew Herman out to hit up the Nike Campus in Beaverton every day.
“If you let your body go down on the couch, you’ll ...
Many golfers have their favorite exercise devices. Often the most useful and effective golf fitness and strength-training aids are the simplest. Here is a collection of golf warm-up equipment, training tools or exercise gear for the home or course, each costing less than $100.
Fit for Golf Training Ball
The skinny: This is a 6-pound medicine ball with eight golf fitness exercises clearly illustrated on the ball’s cover. The exercises focus primarily on the back, legs and core.
Web site: www.fitforgolfshop.com
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Izzo Golf Resistance Cords
The skinny: Intended to strengthen hips, torso, back, rotator cuffs, shoulders and chest. These portable stretching cords pack easily for travel.
Web site: www.izzo.com
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Medicus PowerMaximus L Wedge
The skinny: This weighted lob wedge is designed for hitting practice shots. It teaches timing and tempo, along with a proper swing plane. Weighs 2 pounds.
Web site: www.medicus.com
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Momentus Strength Trainer
The skinny: Targets golf-specific muscles and synchronizes hand, arm and body movements. It is designed to increase strength and flexibility with its counterbalanced weights.
Web site: www.momentusgolf ...
Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.
Gerry James is a PGA golf professional, but any similarity to other instructors ends there.
James is a muscle man. A former winner of the Mr. California bodybuilding title, he also won the 2005 senior division crown in the Re/Max World Long Drive Championship. To do that, he clobbered a 366-yard tee shot at night with the temperature near 60.
Now he tees off on a different subject: He believes most golfers are too lackadaisical in their exercise routines. He preaches intensity in the gym. He advocates carefully supervised strength training with heavier weights. He says most golf training programs are too light and easygoing.
Want more distance? Get stronger, James says. With the help of a qualified trainer, push yourself a little harder.
This is a controversial approach to modern golf instruction, but James stands his ground. He believes seniors need strength training more than any other group of golfers. He asserts that working out in the morning and playing golf in the afternoon is something most golfers can do.
Furthermore, James offers one of the most irresistible guarantees in golf: If a student doesn’t gain 20 yards off the tee, there is ...
Let’s get to the core of the matter.
Golfers everywhere are talking about core fitness, core training and core muscles. Many don’t know exactly what they are talking about, but this modern exercise philosophy sounds important and can result, as distance-starved golfers are learning, in longer drives.
That’s the core of the matter: Golfers want to hit the ball farther, and core fitness is one way to gain extra distance. However, this emphasis on core offers much more.
Core means center. It refers to the trunk of the body, the area between the thighs and chest. It encompasses the important abdominal muscles and three areas that have a huge impact on the golf swing – the lower back, pelvis and hips.
Core training, when done correctly, can enhance flexibility. It can provide additional strength and stability in the golf swing. It can result in extra swing speed and yardage. Protection of the spine is another benefit. It can help prevent joint and muscle injuries and boost stamina. It can improve balance.
In the beginning, most of the exercises do not involve weights or machines. Inflatible exercise balls and heavier medicine balls are used for stretching and strengthening. In ...
Look out. As you and your golf game turn the proverbial corner, you may bump squarely into the future.
If you ask me, the future of golf is the side-by-side combination of swing training and body training. It is the symbiosis of core muscle training with core golf training – in other words, the best way to exercise is bonded with the best way to swing.
Core, in this case, means center of the body, or trunk. It is the connection point for many of the crucial muscles and joints used in the golf swing.
This marriage of fitness and instruction is incredibly important and is the formula that will produce future champions. Titleist correctly predicted the future with its Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif., which opened officially in January 2004.
The TPI combines fitness and flexibility instruction with swing instruction. For touring pros, it is their lifeline to a long and successful career.
Tiger Woods got lucky. He was born with a near-perfect golf body. He is slim, supple and strong. When I first saw Woods play at 12, he was a skinny kid with amazing power. Watching him, other juniors just gulped. He was like a golfer from ...
ANAHEIM, Calif. – If you as a golfer do not pay attention to the overall strength and condition of your body, you probably are adding strokes and losing driving distance.
Whether you are a man or woman, a lack of flexibility or strength can easily lead to unwanted compensations during the golf swing.
These were key messages from the four-day World Golf Fitness Summit that ended Oct. 19 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Trainers and researchers from 10 countries were uncompromising in their belief that poor fitness is a major contributor to poor golf.
The good news, according to these experts, is that most physical limitations to a more efficient and powerful golf swing can be overcome with a sustained exercise routine.
This is the same conclusion reached by Phil Mickelson.
Among the speakers at the summit was Sean Cochran, a 36-year-old strength and conditioning coach from San Diego who is Mickelson’s fitness instructor.
Somehow, American golf fans are stuck on the idea that Mickelson woke up one day in 2006 and decided to remake his body. The simple thinking is that he stopped eating Twinkies and substituted 20 pushups per day.
Oh, if life were so simple. The reality ...
SAN DIEGO – Dr. Mike Lardon is a sports psychiatrist. The difference between a sports psychiatrist and a sports psychologist can be as wide as, oh, the Pacific Ocean.
Unlike sports psychology, a largely unregulated field with a wide range of qualifications, sports psychiatrists such as Lardon are medical doctors.
Lardon majored in psychology at Stanford University, graduated from the University of Texas Medical School, attended UCLA for internal medicine training, and completed his psychiatry residency plus a two-year fellowship in psychobiology (the relationship of the mind and body) at the University of California at San Diego.
He serves as an associate clinic professor of psychiatry at UCSD and maintains a private practice.
So lay down on my couch, and I’ll tell you how to hit a 300-yard drive.
No, no, no.
Lardon constantly crusades against stereotypes in the psychological arena.
“In psychiatry, we are pigeonholed all the time,” Lardon said as we walked Torrey Pines Golf Course during the U.S. Open. “People talk about us like we are the ones who give drugs to crazy people.
“In the same way, sports psychologists and psychiatrists are pigeonholed: ‘Oh yeah,
I know all about them. They give advice to athletes ...
ORLANDO, FLA. – What in the world is Pilates for golf?
In short, it's a fitness program – including dozens of individual exercises that can be done without machines – in which the golfer lies mostly on his/her back, stomach or side. The body is then extended, spread out or stretched to concentrate on specific muscles and muscle groups. Increased flexibility is the major goal.
“The exercises are simple and easy,” Pilates teacher Sarah Christensen said, “and the benefits are huge.”
Added fitness instructor and stretching expert Roger Fredericks, of La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif.: “Pilates is more active than most forms of yoga. It’s more aggressive, if you will.”
On the eve of the 2008 PGA Merchandise Show at the Orange County Convention Center, Christensen was bending and gesturing and trying diligently to educate a group of golfers about Pilates.
When she invoked the name of PGA Tour player Camilo Villegas, a green-reading contortionist, her audience went from snooze to full alert.
Two years ago, Christensen’s task might have been impossible. Most golfers never had heard
of Pilates. Now, at least, it has joined the mainstream golf vocabulary and even is starting to gain a ...