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Make 3 Changes To Hit The Ground Running This Season

Make 3 Changes To Hit The Ground Running This Season
By Craig T Henry BSc (Hons)
UK Strength and Conditioning Association Accredited Coach
TPI Certified Golf Fitness Instructor

It’s that time of year again, when there is a buzz of anticipation for the new golf season ahead. So many possibilities, so many opportunities to play your best golf yet. It doesn’t matter what level you play at, we all feel it. For a lot of golf enthusiasts the excitement of watching possibly the most glamourous of the four Majors, combined with the promise of finally seeing some short sleeve weather is enough to get us back on to the practice ground with fresh enthusiasm.  

Whether this is a case of dusting the cob webs off the clubs, after they’ve been dug out of their winter hibernation or you’ve been putting in the steady ground work throughout the off season, it’s important that the practice you do at this vital time gets you ready for competition. After all, that’s what everyone is taking a break from during the offseason. We all want to hit the ground running in our first competitive game out. With that in mind there are a few lessons we can take from the gym and apply them to the practice ground. 

When training for any sport, it is important that an athlete and their coaching team apply a principle called ‘periodisation’. Essentially this means splitting training into certain periods or phases, which the athlete will go through during the season. One reason we do this is so that the athlete can continue to grow physically and mentally, rather than stall or plateau if they work on the same thing continuously. Really, we don’t want training to get boring or easy! 

When I’m working with an athlete there are three main changes we’ll be making to their training at this time of year: 

  1. Get more sport (golf) specific
    We want to get our training demands closer to the specific demands that players will meet in their chosen arena. In this case the golf course. 
  2. Increase the Intensity
    We can do this in a number of ways, whether by increasing resistance, speed or by making the training more competitive. What is important here, is that we are moving up through the gears towards competition. 
  3. Make it Asymmetrical
    This one links back to our first change. We want to train a golfer asymmetrically because they play a sport in which they move asymmetrically. What I mean by this is that a golfer only swings the club in one direction, as opposed to a sport like weightlifting which requires more balanced movements. 

We can apply these same three changes to golf practice, in the build up towards the competitive season: 

  1. Get more golf specific
    When you apply this to the practice ground, we need to think about how we can replicate the demands we will come across on the golf course. For example we could imagine playing a course while we are on the range and go through our full routines for each shot. This will practice more like play. 
  2. Increase the intensity
    Now I don’t mean you should make your practice faster or swing heavier golf clubs, but you can certainly make practice more competitive. You could introduce practice games, either with a friend or on your own. Consequences and rewards can always add that little bit of spice that comes with competition. 
  3. Make it Asymmetrical
    When it comes to practice we’ve all been guilty of practising the same shots over and over again. Ideally, as we get closer to the start of the season, we want to introduce the variability or asymmetry that comes with playing a round of golf. Why not practice with a bit more randomness? Hit your 6 iron as high as you can, hit your 3-wood as low as you can. Practise shots you might actually come across on the golf course. 

If you can make these 3 changes to your practice sessions in the gym and on the range, you’ll start to condition yourself for the competitive golf ahead. Whether that means playing in more club medals or playing in national events, it’s important to move through the gears so that your best golf is ready when you need it. 


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