Training Your Way to More Distance

August 8, 2005

Golfers spend literally thousands of hours every season on the driving range, hitting golf balls and working on technique, hoping to find that “magic bullet” that will take their game to the next level. But how many have invested the time and effort in developing strength and conditioning program OFF the golf course?

Even at the highest level of competitive play, the impact of a good strength and conditioning program can be seen from some of the world’s best players.

Gary Player was perhaps the first to seriously embrace fitness as a way of improving not only his overall health, but his golf game as well. Player’s competitive record and longevity in the game speaks to his success in this area.

Among the current players, Tiger Woods sees fitness and strength training as a key part of his practice routine. A good strength and conditioning program can add distance to drives, improve consistency, reduce fatigue and minimize our risk of injury.

Taking the first step

The first step toward improving the level of golf fitness is to recognize the fact that golfers are athletes, not sportsmen as many pundits like to argue. As athletes, a strength-training program is fundamental in the quest to improve, as it is for football and baseball players. While the club head actually hits the golf ball, it’s the athlete’s body that instructs the club to perform a certain way at impact. If golfers improve the way the body functions, they can improve the results at the moment of impact.

Weight training tips

Before we get into the actual sample program, I would like to share a few of my thoughts on weight-training and how to maximize time in the gym.

Rule #1: Weight training should be intense! Train with heavy weights in the four to six rep range to stimulate muscle growth.

Rule #2: Keep your workouts brief! Limit yourself to 45 minutes in the gym each time you train, and skip the talking between sets.

Rule #3: Nutrition is key! You’ve all heard the expression “You are what you eat.” Make sure you consume small frequent meals throughout the day, plus a high quality whey protein shake right after your workout.

Rule #4: Always challenge yourself to improve! Strive to lift more weight today than you did last week.

In addition to your weight training workouts, I would also recommend including three 20-minute cardio sessions per week. Cardiovascular work will improve your level of conditioning, and help you maintain your energy and focus on the back nine.

Sean Conrad is a commercial lines producer with InterWest Insurance Services Inc. in Woodland, Calif. In addition to creating risk management solutions for his customers, Conrad is also active in several non-profit organizations, and serves as the chairman of the IBA West College Recruitment Program. He can be reached at (530) 406-3824 or via e-mail:

Sample Routine

Monday: Legs

2 sets of barbell squats

2 sets of leg press

2 sets of stiff leg deadlifts

Wednesday: Chest and Back

2 sets of incline dumbbell press

2 sets of flat bench barbell press

2 sets of dumbbell pullovers

2 sets of lat pulldowns

2 sets one arm rows

2 sets deadlifts

Friday: Arms and Abs

2 sets barbell curls

2 sets hammer curls

2 sets lying tricep extensions

2 sets floor crunches

2 sets machine crunches

2 sets rope crunches

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Insurance Journal West August 8, 2005
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