In all sports, preparation is the key to top performance. Baseball, hockey and even basketball have a preseason, which allows athletes an opportunity to gradually get in shape, so that they are “game ready” for the regular season. A preseason golf schedule can also give you a chance to work on your basic fundamentals as well time to set some goals for the upcoming season.
It is important to be in good physical shape before the season starts in order to maximize your performance on the course and help prevent injuries. If you have any physical issues in the preseason, we suggest that you first seek advice from your physician. Some injuries may require treatment from a physiotherapist or message therapist, simple stretching exercises or medications to help relieve pain.
If you have not maintained an active lifestyle over the winter, it is important to gradually work yourself into shape. There are three areas that I suggest you work on this spring to help improve your game. Flexibility training, aerobic training and strength training are all important components of a good golf swing.
First, work on stretching all your golf muscles and improving your overall flexibility. As our body ages we lose flexibility and our range of motion. The key muscles to work on include your core (abdominal) muscles, shoulders, back, hips and legs. All these muscles need to be stretched so that you can create a swing that can generate power and distance. Once your season begins it is important that you continue to stretch and warm up properly before you play and practice.
Aerobic training involves activities that will help you to improve blood flow and gradually increase your heart rate. A treadmill, stationary bike, short walks or even daily rides on your bicycle are a great way to start. It is important to start slowly and gradually increase the length of each of your training sessions. An average golfer that walks eighteen holes will walk close to four miles during their round. Prepare yourself properly this spring for that next “walk in the park.”
Strength training involves working your specific golf muscles to help generate power in your golf swing. Most players on tour understand and follow a regular program for strengthening their golf muscles. Work all your golf muscles and make sure that you equally work both sides of your body, when you work with weights.
Practice sessions at the range also need to be planned. Don’t be too eager to play golf before your swing and body is ready. At the range you can work on the various elements of your game and gain a better understanding of both your strengths and weaknesses. When you do play golf this spring, start with 9 holes and keep track of important statistics such as fairways hit, greens hit in regulation and putts per hole. These numbers will give you a great indication of what you need to work on. If you don’t understand how to improve your weaknesses, then take some lessons from a qualified instructor. You will be able to quickly pinpoint your swing flaws, make swing modifications and learn some effective drills that will help eliminate your swing mistakes.