Finding the fountain: Proper fitness, warm-up keep your game competitive after 40

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Finding the fountain: Proper fitness, warm-up keep your game competitive after 40

2018 British Open

Finding the fountain: Proper fitness, warm-up keep your game competitive after 40

It often seems golf is a young person’s game, but that couldn’t be further from the truth at the British Open.

First-time Champion Golfer of the Year Francesco Molinari is 35.

Since 2011, Darren Clarke, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Henrik Stenson have captured the Claret Jug in their 40s.

Zach Johnson was 39 when he won the 2015 British Open at St. Andrews, and Tom Watson lost in a 2009 playoff at Turnberry. He was 59 years old.

Finding the fountain of youth across the pond is a common occurrence these days, as Els, Mickelson and the like have proved it’s possible to maintain
an elite level of play. It just takes a little more maintenance work, something strength and conditioning specialist Trevor Anderson can personally vouch for.

“Think about being in cold weather and warming your car engine up before you start driving,” Anderson said. “Same type of deal. Your body is an engine, but it’s not automatically prepared all the time, especially if it’s a little bit of an older engine. Doesn’t mean it can’t do what it once did. But the longer it sits, the more preparation it’s going to take, and the less you prepare the more you have to suffer the potential problems on the backside.”

Anderson works with professional golfers and athletes from all sports out of his Better Every Day Fitness Institute in Orlando.

He began to build a base philosophy a decade ago while playing professional Slamball, a full-contact version of basketball on a court with trampolines installed in the surface.

Now in his early 40s, Anderson can still jump like he used to and recently threw down a series of dunks during a visit to the Orlando Magic’s Amway Center.

The difference, as in any sport, is the energy these acts use up and the amount of recovery time required as one gets older. “I was shooting deep 3-pointers, started dunking,” Anderson said. “I’m 41 years old, so people think it’s quite a feat to be able to dunk. I can still do it, but my energy levels for doing it are different. … It’s just like a Tour player. They can still do everything for the most part that they’ve always done, but the energy demands and consequences for not preparing for those actions tend to be a little more substantial.”

According to Anderson, a good warm-up isn’t necessarily about stretching. It’s more of a neuro-process, activating all the different mechanisms in the body to produce powerful movements and rotation in the golf swing.

Maintaining an emphasis on fitness and the proper warm-up increases one’s odds of playing like a champion and keeping up with younger generations as time goes by. Here are three examples of proper activation exercises to help prepare for a round and begin the recovery process after it’s over.

Here are three exercises that will help golfers maintain their swing movement and power:

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